Get cozy with these fantastic small screen offerings this May

May 04, 2024
Source: Getty Images.

As the weather cools and days are shorter it’s a good time to spend some cozy days with some good screen viewing. Here are a few I enjoyed and one to avoid.

The Miracle Club

The star-studded cast includes Laura Linney, Kathy Bates and Maggie Smith who live in 1967 in the small Irish town of Ballygar. They have their own reasons for wanting to visit the sacred French town of Lourdes and the Shrine of our Lady and a whilst they don’t win the prize at the talent quest some lucky twists see the local women and the outsider who returned home after her mother’s death, make the pilgrimage.

It’s a little predictable but an enjoyable watch and the director and writers do capture the faith, tradition and power that the church had over ordinary lives during the time exceptionally well. The costumes and set are also true to the era. It’s a movie about a series of complicated relationships with a mix of forgiveness and hope. I found it a lovely watch.

The Beautiful Game

If a movie has Bill Nighy in it I’m going to watch it. He would be in my top five favourite actors and his subtle, measured style is wonderful. The man even took his granddaughters’ Sylvanian Families Bunny to the Oscars with him because he didn’t want to leave it unattended in his hotel room.

Now he has made this amazing movie with a purpose and soul. Bill Nighy stars as Coach Mal in this uplifting movie and is supported by a skilled cast including Michael Ward. The storyline is that the English team is heading to Italy to play in the Homeless World Cup, an international street soccer tournament. The gentle unravelling of each player’s own story is woven into the game action well.

My partner will always buy a copy of The Big Issue if he sees a vendor and I read about the movie in The Big Issue before I found it on Netflix. The Homeless World Cup is a real event with links to The Big Issue and the story of one team is told by writer Frank Cottrell Boyce and Director Thea Sharrock.

This is a movie with heart, laughter and tears. The next Homeless World Cup is this year in Seoul- here is a link to information if you are interested and want to find out more. and if you are not familiar with the Big Issue
their organisation and goals and choose to learn more here is a link to the Australian group

Irish Wish

Another Irish movie but I didn’t really enjoy this one as I found it a little too predictable. Lindsay Lohan travels to Ireland for the wedding of her client and friend but secretly wishes it was her that Phil, (Alexander Vlahos) was marrying. Enter that mischievous Irish Saint Bernadette and guess what happens?

Whilst her dream is apparently coming true Maddy realises that she is in fact meant to spend her life with someone else. It’s a case of be careful what you wish for and I watched it to save you the effort unless you are a real Lindsay Lohan fan or really love cheesy romcoms in which case you might enjoy it.

Mr Bates vs the Post Office

Based on the real life scandal and the court case of Bates vs The Post Office that followed, this is a David and Goliath story in 4 parts.

A faulty IT system creates shortfalls resulting in prosecutions and charges being made in the UK against sub postmasters. The total refusal by the post office bureaucracy and their IT supplier to acknowledge any error or even listen to the issues being consistently raised sadly ruined many lives in the UK. In 2009 Mr Alan Bates formed a group and brought these people together to take action and it’s from this that the series takes its name.

Toby Jones is wonderful as Mr Bates. The public outcry in the UK after this series aired resulted in the former Post CEO having her CBE (Commander of the British Empire) revoked by King Charles earlier this year and new legislation being introduced by the British PM. It was such a miscarriage of justice that I did have to keep reminding myself that it was true. It is also a wonderful reminder of the power of storytelling to impact change. Writer Gwyneth Hughes and Director James Strong should be applauded for creating this drama which became a news story and created positive change.

Apples Never Fall

The Delany family, Joy (Annette Bening), husband Stan (Sam Neill) and children Troy, Logan, Brooke and Claire live a comfortable life but appearances are not what they seem for the former tennis coaches and their children and when Joy disappears so does pretence with the focus on a family member for each of the 7 episodes as they each have to reexamine their own relationships and the relationship between their parents.

It had me hooked from episode 2 and I loved Sam Neill’s character, is he or isn’t he evil? Based on the book by Australian writer Liane Moriarty and originally set in Australia, this production relocates the family to the US although it was filmed here.

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