Films to cheer the spirits - recommendations from Saffron Screen

PUBLISHED: 15:04 15 April 2020 | UPDATED: 15:04 15 April 2020

Florence Pugh in Lady Macbeth

Florence Pugh in Lady Macbeth


Films to cheer the mood a month into the lockdown

A month into the lockdown, you might need some films for good cheer that will bolster your mood. Here are some suggestions from REBECCA DEL TUFO programme manager at Saffron Screen

Victoria and Abdul (12A, BBC iPlayer).

The tale of a remarkable friendship between Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) and Abdul Karim, a young clerk who came from India to celebrate the Golden Jubilee. Despite palace interference, the two formed a convivial bond as an ageing Victoria began to see a changing world through new eyes. Saffron Walden welcomed author and journalist Shrabani Basu, who wrote the book on which the film was based, when Saffron Screen showed the film in 2017.

Monsoon Wedding (15, All 4).

Stay with the Indian theme and revel in the music and joy, as well as the complexity and sadness, of Mira Nair’s The soundtrack of this beautiful film is still one of my favourites when I need cheering.

Harry Birrell Presents: Films of Love and War (12A, iPlayer).

Harry Birrell was given his first cine-camera as a boy in 1928. He spent his life recording incidents great and small – family events and romances, but also his wartime years in Bombay, the jungles of Burma and the mountains of Nepal. Actor Richard Madden (Bodyguard) reads excerpts from Birrell’s diary alongside the film footage in this deftly assembled documentary portrait of a thoroughly decent man that is also an absorbing, frequently very affecting personal history of the 20th century.

The Lady Vanishes (U, iPlayer)

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Alfred Hitchcock’s 1938 classic is enjoyable, intriguing and packed with great characters. Margaret Lockwood plays a headstrong young debutante, returning from continental Europe to London by train. She befriends a sweet old lady, Mrs Froy, who later, disturbingly, disappears, and nobody else remembers her. Revel in this crisply satisfying tale of espionage from the master of suspense.

Paddington and Paddington 2 (PG both Amazon Prime)

Two of the most heart-warming films you could possibly watch. They will nurture you in these tricky times.

Shaun the Sheep The Movie (U, Amazon Prime).

Shaun and the rest of the flock team up with Bitzer the sheepdog to rescue the Farmer from the Big City. With no dialogue, but featuring the fantastic Aardman animation, this combination of lovable characters, slapstick and witty humour is guaranteed to delight adults and children alike.

Fighting with my Family (12A, Netflix)

A lovable comedy starring Florence Pugh, Jack Lowden, Nick Frost, Lena Headey and Dwayne Johnson. A wise-cracking, warm-hearted true-life tale by Stephen Marchant (The Office) about a tight-knit Norwich family who scrape a living on the local wrestling scene until Raya (Pugh) gets the chance to move to America and train there.

Lady Macbeth (15, Amazon Prime). Starring Florence Pugh, this brilliant, stark, and pretty brutal 19th century drama tells the story of a defiant young woman trapped in a loveless marriage, who embarks on a passionate, and dangerous, affair.

The Falling (15, Amazon Prime),

Florence Pugh’s debut role was here where she co-stars with Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams. It is an intriguing a drama about a mysterious fainting outbreak in 1969 at an all-girls school. Carol Morley is hosting a fun film club on Twitter on Friday nights (#FridayFilmClub) or join Saffron Screen on a Monday night for #SaffronScreenfilmclub if you miss sharing your thoughts about the films you have seen.

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