Best films to stream this week: 29 July

BlacKkKlansman

Our weekly guide to the best films available on home entertainment platforms

Here at The List we tend to look forward to what's on the horizon but, with entertainment options limited, knowing what to watch right now in the comfort of your home is still much needed. To help ride out these challenging times, we'll keep casting our expert eye over what's new to TV and streaming services each week, bringing you the cream of the current movie crop. Let us do the decision-making for you, and then just sit back and enjoy.

Alice ★★★★☆

Emilie Piponnier is astonishing in the directorial debut of Australian filmmaker Josephine Mackerras. It's an unconventional story of female empowerment, as Piponnier's deceived housewife turns to prostitution to make ends meet, and finds her footing as well as a friend (Chloé Boreham's Lisa). Shot in her Parisian flat and with her young son featuring as the protagonist's little boy, with Alice Mackerras inventively transcends budgetary limitations and the potential murkiness of the subject matter to produce a beautifully realised story of casting off the shackles of a toxic relationship and, defiantly, setting out on your own.
Watch now on demand.

The Traitor ★★★★☆

Available to watch on the big screen in addition to VOD, veteran filmmaker Marco Bellocchio is behind this classy and considered take on the story of real-life mafia informant Tommaso Buscetta – brilliantly played by Italian character actor Pierfrancesco Favino – who helped take down hundreds of Sicilian mobsters, and spent years looking over his shoulder. It's an epic and ambitious insight into crime, betrayal and differing notions of honour, well-performed by a colourful cast and evoking such gangster classics as The Godfather and Goodfellas without feeling overly indebted.
Watch now on demand.

How to Build a Girl ★★★★☆

American comic dynamo Beanie Feldstein (Booksmart, Lady Bird) is an unlikely but inspired pick for a young Caitlin Moran in this charming, cameo-strewn and sensationally funny adaptation of Moran's semi-autobiographical novel, set in Wolverhampton and directed by Coky Giedroyc (Mel's sister). Capably flanked by Paddy Considine and Alfie Allen, Feldstein's teenage protagonist Johanna blunders her way through school, social situations and a local TV appearance, and begins to realise her ambition as a writer on a mean music magazine.
Watch now on Amazon Prime.

BlacKkKlansman ★★★★☆

Soon to be seen in Christopher Nolan's tantalisingly postponed sci-fi thriller Tenet, John David Washington (son of Denzel) got his big break here, in Spike Lee's idiosyncratic, amusing and emotional spin on black police officer Ron Stallworth's incredible infiltration of the Ku Klux Klan. With Lee winning acclaim for his Vietnam flick Da 5 Bloods a couple of months back, it's an apt time to comb through his formidable back catalogue, with this Oscar winner (for Best Adapted Screenplay), co-starring Adam Driver, a fine example of his recent work.
Watch now on Netflix.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly ★★★★☆

Nominated for a quartet of Oscars in 2008, this marvellous French production from director Julian Schnabel is a triumph of immersive, interrogatory filmmaking. As it attempts to emulate the experience of locked-in syndrome, it captures a sense of a soaring human spirit raging against physical limitations. It's based on the memoir of French Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby (played here by Mathieu Amalric), who, following a stroke, painstakingly dictated his life story to a transcriber one letter at a time, by blinking his left eyelid to indicate his choice, and died just two days after the book was published.
Watch now on MUBI.

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