Watchlist: Summer into Autumn

I haven’t done a watchlist for a good while – this one covers from mid-July to now. Sadly I haven’t been to the theatre all summer, nor the cinema, managing to miss Asteroid City, but I’ll stream that as soon as the rental price comes down. But I have watched loads on the small screen…


  • Michael Clayton – (DVD) 2007 – George Clooney, Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton and Sydney Pollack – brilliant!
  • Tamara Drewe – (DVD) 2010 – All star British cast led by Gemma Arterton in the title role in the film adaptation of Posy Simmonds’ graphic novel which was based on Far From the Madding Crowd. Roger Allam, Dominic Cooper, Luke Evans, a splendid Tamsin Greig all do a great job. Really fun. I particularly loved the two naughty schoolgirls though.
  • Brazil – (DVD) 1985 – I rewatched Terry Gilliam’s magnum opus from the 80s, and could see many more influences and things it has influenced this time. It’s glorious to look at but overwhelming! I loved it, but don’t need to see it again now.
  • The Fountain – (DVD) 2006 – A time-shifting SF/Fantasy tale padded with mystical twaddle from Darren Aronofsky – but as it stars Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz I could bear it!
  • White Noise -(Netflix) 2022 – Greta Gerwig and Adam Driver in the adaptation of Don Delillo’s 1985 novel. Mid-life crises, a toxic cloud, and a supermarket dance at the end. Loved it, I need to read the book now.
  • The Lobster (2015) (Prime rental) Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz with an all-star supporting cast including Olivia Colman, Lea Seydoux, John C Reilly and Ben Wishaw. So bizarre I watched it twice. This weird dystopia in which people have to couple up (unless you’re a rebel in the forest) is not one for watching before bedtime as it has a horrifically did he/didn’t he ending which gave me nightmares. Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, who went on to direct The Favourite.


  • Hijack – (Apple) – With Idris Elba on board as a passenger, you’d hope he’d rescue the plane from the hijackers, wouldn’t you. Superb, playing out in real time over the seven hour flight with a cliffhanger at the end of each episode.
  • Nighty Night – (DVD) 2005 – Six half-hour-long episodes of darkest comedy from Julia Davis as the sex-starved fake widow after new neighbour Angus Deayton. With Rebecca Front, as Deayton’s disabled wife, Kevin Eldon as the not-dead-yet Terry, with Mark Gatiss and Ruth Jones amongst others in support. Very funny.
  • Good Omens II – (Prime) – More fun with Tennant and Sheen as the devil and angel who are best friends, with added John Hamm.
  • The Sixth Commandment – (BBC1) – based on a true crime, Timothy Spall, then Anne Reid play the elderly devout parishioners who are gullible, taken in by the smooth talking of a young trainee vicar Ben, played by Eanna Hardwicke, unwittingly/unwillingly abetted by his friend / in thrall, Martin played by Conor MacNeill, were both excellent.
  • Wolf – (BBC1) Just nasty basically. Based on Mo Hayder’s novel, a dual storyline of a family being terrorised and tortured in their country mansion while DI Caffery is obsessed with avenging his brother, missing for many years. Don’t bother.
  • The Woman in the Wall – (BBC1) – Ruth Wilson excels as insomniac/sleepwalker Lorna a victim of a Magdalene Laundry mother and baby home, desperate to find out what happened to her baby. Daryl McCormack and Simon Delaney star as Dublin detective and provincial local cop respectively. It gets creepier and creepier as Lorna and Colman (McCormack) get closer to the truth. Last episode tonight…
  • The Following Events Are Based on a Pack of Lies – (BBC1) – a dark comedy (?) about a con man and his ex-wife. Watchable but bizarrely improbable plot.
  • The Morning Show – (Apple) is back for series 3. Whoop! Whoop! With more added Jon Hamm, and Stephen Fry, alongside Jennifer Anniston, Reece Witherspoon and Billy Crudup.
  • Strictly Come Dancing – (BBC1) – One week in, and I’m hooked. I was shocked at how good Nigel Harman was – his paso shaping! Amanda Abbington tried too hard, Bobby Brazier was so sweet, and Angela Rippon was just A-Maz-Ing! First to go? I predict Les Dennis, poor Nancy.

16 thoughts on “Watchlist: Summer into Autumn

  1. A Life in Books says:

    Always like to see what you’ve been watching! I’ve been scrabbling around for something to get my teeth into recently but I’m enjoying rewatching Outnumbered and Shetland (before it all changes). I also watched Actor, a Czech drama on Walter Presents, which as very dark, and at the cinema, Past Lives which I loved. Highly recommend it.

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      Past Lives sounds wonderful – Greta Lee is brilliant in The Morning Show btw. I so loved Outnumbered, especially when they were little – we have all the DVDs.

  2. madamebibilophile says:

    I remember thinking Wolf looked too horrible to watch. White Noise sounds great though!

    (PS Having seen Nigel Harman in Guys & Dolls I wasn’t at all surprised by his dancing, but the paso did reignite my crush on him from about 20 years ago 😀 )

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      The sad thing with Wolf was having watched the first episode, I felt compelled to see how it ended, despite its inherent nastiness.

      The Nigel Harman / Katya combo is dynamite! Can’t wait for next week now.

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      And in The Morning Show, he’s a mad billionaire megalomaniac! Versatile actor, but he’ll always be Don Draper for me.

  3. Liz Dexter says:

    We are excited by Strictly (Manchester woman did so well, really liking the Irish woman, taking the usual time to work out who everyone is but love Eddie Kadi from Sorry I Didn’t Know (which I hope will be on in October again) and hope he does well. We’ve also got Taskmaster and Welcome to Wrexham on the go.

  4. MarinaSofia says:

    I really couldn’t cope with the exaggerated acting and script of Wolf – although the original book by Mo Hayder was quite good. I haven’t really had a proper series to sink my teeth into for a while, haven’t watched much TV.

  5. Cathy746books says:

    We are on episode four of HHijack and it is great fun. I’m a big fan of Neil Maskell. I also loved White Noise – the book is great and I thought the film was a very clever adaptation.

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      The cliffhanger endings of each Hijack episode were brilliant! I must read White Noise, I’ve owned a copy for years and years!

  6. Calmgrove says:

    Neither Emily nor I are fans of Angela Rippon but I hope she progresses on merit rather than for nostalgic reasons and Shirley’s evident bias. And we gave up on The Following Events because it just felt too contrived, however beautifully filmed.

    I didn’t spot the Hardy homage Tamara Drewe paid when we watched it a few years ago, though the plot did feel vaguely familiar. Brazil though I would like to see just once more, Gilliam’s direction does have a dated feel now but the images, as in his Twelve Monkeys, are stunning and utterly memorable. Christopher Nolan I imagine may have learned a lot from his approach.

    • Calmgrove says:

      Hah, just found this quote online: “Filmmakers Nolan has cited as influences include: Stanley Kubrick, Michael Mann, Terrence Malick, Orson Welles, Fritz Lang, Nicolas Roeg, Sidney Lumet, David Lean, Ridley Scott, Terry Gilliam, and John Frankenheimer.”

      • AnnaBookBel says:

        In a way the Gilliam / Nolan imagery influence seems so obvious, glad it’s confirmed! With some of the others in that list I’d imagine it’s process rather than just imagery (IMHO!)
        I’m not a Rippon fan otherwise, but her fitness and flexibility for her age shines out and Kai is the perfect partner for her. She’ll do well.

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