What to watch on TV this weekend (Aug 7-9th)

Here’s another round-up of films and TV shows you might enjoy this weekend.

Friday:

Official Secrets – Amazon Prime

Keira Knightley, Matt Smith and Ralph Fiennes star in the true story of a British whistleblower who leaked information to the press about an illegal NSA spy operation to push the UN Security Council into sanctioning the invasion of Iraq. It was only in cinemas last October, so it’s arrived on streaming quite quickly.

Joker – Sky Premiere – 8pm

You may remember back in the mists of time (or February), Joaquin Phoenix won an Oscar for his role as troubled comedian Arthur Fleck who embarks on a downward spiral that brings him face-to-face with his alter-ego: The Joker.

Everything: The Real Thing Story – BBC Four – 9pm

If you want something a little lighter, BBC Four has a documentary charting the rise of four working class boys from Liverpool who became the biggest-selling Black group in British pop history. Their hits included You to me are Everything, Can’t Get By Without You and more. But unfortunately their rise to stardom came with personal tragedy and racial prejudice.

Saturday 

Howard – Disney Plus

Another documentary, this time about lyricist Howard Ashman who provided the lyrics to some classic Disney gems, including The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. Sadly, he passed away at just 40 after battling AIDS. The film tells Ashman’s story from his childhood in Baltimore to realising in the 1980s that the future of Broadway musicals was in Disney animation. It’s an insight into someone who was involved in songs we all know and love, but maybe we don’t know him.

Battle of the Sexes – Channel 4 – 9pm

Another true story, although slightly lighter. Emma Stone and Steve Carell star in the true story of a 1970’s tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. The pair played a winner takes all match – but that wasn’t the whole story. Billie Jean was dealing with her sexuality and Bobby had gambling issues. Emma Stone made this the year after La La Land and I think she puts in just as good a performance as her Oscar winning one. Carell’s job is to play it for laughs for most of the movie, but actually the journey Bobby goes on is quite moving.

Sunday

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote – Sky Premiere – 1:35pm or 10:15pm

This story behind this film could actually be a film itself. Director Terry Gilliam took 30 years to bring it to the screen. He first started making the film in 2000 when it was going to star Johnny Depp and then that fell through. So he tried again, and in 2018 this version was released. Jonathan Pryce and Adam Driver star in the tale of Toby, a disillusioned film director who revisits his student film and finds the star has convinced himself he is Don Quixote and Toby is Sancho Panza.

Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing – Dave – 8pm

If you want to try and cool off after what’s going to be a rather warm weekend, how about the first episode of Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing? The chaps set off on an angling trip around the UK, starting in Norfolk where Bob attempts to catch some fish using his childhood rod – and fails. It’s a nice nostalgic way to wrap up the weekend.

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