Culture | What we’re watching, reading and doing this March
By Christopher Kingston
It’s been an eventful couple of months and we’ve enjoyed loads of great movies, TV and books. Here are some more to get you though the month of March, we have feel good films, some thrilling TV and thought-provoking books to enjoy.
We can already tell this is going to end up on many a romantic film list in the future. Set in 1760, this historical forbidden love story is a real slow burner, and became the first female-directed film to win the coveted Cannes Film Festival Queer Palm award.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
A group of women decide to form a choir to help them cope with the fact that their loved ones are fighting abroad in Afghanistan. They find music, singing, laughter and unexpected friendships which transform their lives. Stars Kristin Scott Thomas and Sharon Horgan, known for TV series “Catastrophe”.
One for the whole family This animated Pixar film is set in a Fantasy world much like ours inhabited by Elf’s and other fanatical creatures. Two brothers voiced by Chris Pratt and Tom Holland embark on a quest to find a way to bring their Dad back from the dead so they can spend one more day with him.
Kiera Knightly and Jessie Buckley star in in this depiction of the 1970 Miss World beauty competition. Set in London, the film follows the plans made by a group of women determined to disrupt the competition, with claims that they’re demeaning and offensive to women. Misbehaviour is a shining example of the struggles women faced during the era and the strength of the women that fought against it.
Following on from last year’s live animation success with Aladdin and The Lion King, Disney have brought another classic to life. Mulan wants to bring honour to her family, but when China is invaded only the men are recruited to join the army. Mulan disguises herself as a man, taking the place of her father in the war. This could be a modern epic, however some die-hard Disney fans may be disappointed to find the musical element and some of their favourite characters missing from this live-action remake.
Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale) stars in this psychological horror, playing Cecila Kass, a woman trapped in a controlling relationship with her scientist husband. She goes into hiding, but when her ex dies suddenly in mysterious circumstances, she begins to believe it was a hoax, and now she is being hunted by a person nobody else can see.
The Invisible Man
Based on the comic book of the same name, this 10-part supernatural horror about a family who is forced to move to a strange house, where the children discover mysterious keys that can open many doors within. However, a powerful entity is also looking for the keys to fulfil its own malevolent purpose – definitely not one to watch alone!
Locke & Key
Based on the young adult book series by Malorie Blackman, Noughts and Crosses is based on an alternate version of history, with a romantic ‘Romeo and Juliet’-esque storyline set against a dark background of racism and prejudice. Also keep your eyes peeled for rapper Stormzy’s first acting role – he doesn’t disappoint.
Noughts and Crosses
BBC One and BBC iPlayer
Out 5 March
A six-part documentary series that looks at the developmental growth of new born babies from brain development to learning new skills. A fascinating insight into the mind of a toddler, this series is perfect if you’re thinking about starting a family or just want to learn more about how your baby is developing.
Series 2 of the Narcos spin off that dealt with the hunt for drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, who made billions from the production of cocaine. The second series deals with the rise of the Guadalajara Cartel and the member of the DEA sent to take them on. The series production has a real-life dark history, after a member of the production crew was killed when the real cartels found out they looking for locations for the show.
Narcos : Mexico
David Schwimmer, of iconic Friends fame, stars in this workplace-comedy set in the UK’s Government Communications HQ. Schwimmer plays an egotistical American agent who will do anything to reach the top. Except plenty of laughs and light-hearted scenes in this British comedy.
You definitely shouldn’t sleep on Cheer. The Netflix mega-hit follows Navarro College’s competitive cheerleading team for a year, capturing their up’s and down’s as they compete in the National Cheerleading Association’s annual competition.
Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan’s new travelogue series sees them exploring Greece together. Expect the usual banter and comedy from the duo as they tour the country, eating beautiful food and seeing some incredible sights – it’s so good, you almost feel like you’re there with them.
The Trip to Greece
If you enjoyed Season 1 of this did he/didn’t he drama starring Joanne Froggatt and Ioan Gruffudd, then you’ll be pleased to know that the long awaited series 2 will be back on your screens this week. We don’t want to give any spoilers away if you haven’t seen Season 1, but prepare to be hooked to your TV for this six-episode run.
ITV and ITV Hub
The debut novel from Candice Carty Williams was shortlisted for the Costa first novel award. Queenie is a coming of age story set in modern Britain about a girl struggling to navigate shifting cultures and relationships. It focuses on important topics such as mental health, race and consent with a fresh and confident approach, and has already received critical acclaim. An absolute must read for everyone.
One of the winners of the 2019 Booker prize, Girl, Woman, Other follows 12 different stories that deal with a host of characters, each of them on a personal journey through life. Identity, race and womanhood are deftly covered in this real and honest depiction of life in modern Britain.
If you’re enjoying binge-watching Netflix’s ‘The Stranger’ then we think you’ll love the latest Harlan Coben thriller. Set 30 years after a feral child is found in the New Jersey backwoods, the local community now depends on him to help solve the mystery of a missing girl in mysterious circumstances. Described as “the modern master of hook and twist”, we suspect it won’t be long before Coben’s novel becomes the latest Netflix hit.
How much do we really know about our skin? How does our diet affect it? What makes our skin age? And why can’t we tickle ourselves?
The skin is our largest and fastest growing organ, and yet it’s the one we understand the least. It’s home to a mesmerizingly complex world of micro-organisms that are vital to our health. It’s also one of the first things people see about us and is crucial to our sense of identity. Our skin plays a central role in our lives.
Through the lenses of science, sociology and history, Dr Monty Lyman leads us on a journey across our most underrated and unexplored organ. Examining everything from our microbiome, to our love of tattoos and whether or not beauty products really work, he reveals how the skin is far stranger and more complex than you’ve ever imagined.