Best films to stream this week: 24 March

Best films to stream this week: 24 March

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.

Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time ★★★★☆

This mesmerising and unpredictable but ultimately satisfying mystery from Hungarian director Lili Horvát takes its neurosurgeon heroine Márta (played by Natasa Stork) from America to her home city of Budapest, where she's arranged a rendezvous with fellow neurosurgeon János (Viktor Bodó), who then shockingly claims not to remember her. Wondering whether the whole thing was in her head, Márta stays in the city and the film follows her as she follows him.
Watch now on Curzon Home Cinema.

Whiplash ★★★★★

The film with which director Damien Chazelle made his name also brought JK Simmons some belated recognition; after years of sterling but underappreciated film and TV work, he snagged the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his fearsome performance as a verbally abusive bandleader, who terrorises Miles Teller's aspiring drummer. This beautifully orchestrated, painfully tense film also won Academy Awards for its editing and sound mixing. Chazelle would go on to direct La La Land and First Man, and Simmons is about to be seen in the acclaimed and entertaining Palm Springs (out Friday 9 April on Amazon Prime Video), but this may be their best work to date.
Watch now on BBC iPlayer.

Finding the Way Back ★★★★☆

The director of 2011's Warrior, Gavin O'Connor, is on solid ground here with an uplifting tale of sports-related redemption. Starring a rarely better Ben Affleck, who won plenty of admiration for his turn, it follows a high school basketball star turned alcoholic, who is given a shot at rebuilding his reputation when he's asked to coach his old team. With Affleck having endured his own very public battle with alcohol, it's a film that plays movingly on such struggles.
Watch now on Sky Cinema.

The Duke of Burgundy ★★★★☆

The latest film to benefit from a special Mark Kermode introduction, probing the making and meaning of the film, is Peter Strickland's typically unconventional, playfully retro and irreverently funny romance. Sidse Babett Knudsen and Chiara D'Anna play lovers Cynthia and Evelyn who collect and study winged insects, with the film sensually probing their twisted dynamic and showing how their regular sadomasochistic role play belies what's really going on in their relationship.
Watch now on BFI Player.

Eighth Grade ★★★★★

American director Bo Burnham absolutely nails those awkward early teenage years in his humane and sometimes hilarious 2018 debut, which contains a knockout performance from Elsie Fisher as hapless 13-year-old protagonist Kayla Day. As Kayla tries to impress mean girls, embarrasses herself at parties and takes out her frustrations on her sweet dad (lovely work from Josh Hamilton) you'll have your head in your hands with horror and recognition, but Burnham keeps things hopeful and charming too. It's available to watch from Friday.
Watch now on Netflix.

The Duke of Burgundy

  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • UK
  • 18
  • Directed by: Peter Strickland
  • Cast: Sidse Babett Knudsen, Chiara D'Anna, Monica Swinn
  • UK release: 9 October 2014

Cynthia (Knudsen) and Evelyn (D'Anna) are lovers who share a passion for the collection and study of winged insects, but their sadomasochistic mistress-servant relationship is threatened by Evelyn's insatiable appetites. The sensual imagery and tortured relationship are tempered by sensitive performances and surprisingly…

Whiplash

  • 5 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 1h 46min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Damien Chazelle
  • Cast: Miles Teller, JK Simmons, Melissa Benoist
  • UK release: 16 January 2015

Andrew (Teller) is an aspiring jazz drummer at Shaffer Conservatory, who falls under the influence of terrifying conductor/instructor Terence Fletcher (Simmons). Teller thrives as the obsessively determined Andrew, and lifelong supporting actor Simmons emerges with formidable authority as the psychotically particular…

Eighth Grade

  • 5 stars
  • 2018
  • US
  • 1h 34min
  • Directed by: Bo Burnham
  • Cast: Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton, Emily Robinson

Kayla (Fisher) is an awkward teenager in her last week of grade school, who posts would-be inspirational vlogs while lacking confidence in daily life. Fisher is superb as the anxious, heroic Kayla and it’s a humane and sometimes hilarious debut from comedian-turned-filmmaker Burnham.

Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Period of Time

  • 4 stars
  • 2020
  • Hungary
  • 1h 35min
  • Directed by: Lili Horvát
  • Written by: Lili Horvát
  • Cast: Andor Lukáts, Attila Mokos, Benett Vilmányi, Júlia Ladányi, Linda Moshier, Natasa Stork, Péter Tóth, Réka Pelsöczy, Viktor Bodó, Zsolt Nagy
  • UK release: 19 March 2021

Marta, a neurosurgeon, leaves her successful career in America behind to return to Budapest to pursue a relationship. But, when she meets her partner, he claims that they've never met before.

Finding the Way Back

  • 4 stars
  • 2020
  • US
  • 1h 48min
  • Directed by: Gavin O'Connor
  • Written by: Brad Ingelsby
  • Cast: Ben Affleck, Al Madrigal, Michaela Watkins, Janina Gavankar

Jack Cunningham (Ben Affleck), a high school basketball superstar, reluctantly accepts a coaching job. After having walked away from the sport too soon, this could be his chance at redemption.