Welcome to another week of great movies! And following on from an International Women's Day poll by Sky Cinema that saw Bridget Jones crowned the ﬁlm world's most inspiring heroine of all time, I've got even more spirited female characters to champion as played by Sharon Horgan, Kristin Scott-Thomas and Helen Mirren (now that's one Charlie's Angels reboot I'd pay to see). Happy watching!
BEST FILM ON THE BIG SCREEN THIS WEEK - 6 March
Ever belted out an old eighties tune in the shower? Then this is the ﬁlm for you. Based on the true story of the Military Wives Choir phenomenon popularised by conductor Gareth Malone, here's a movie that mixes Calendar Girls bonding with Full Monty grit (it even has the same director). The result is the feel-good ﬁlm of the year. Prepare to have Cyndi Lauper's ‘Time After Time' in your head for weeks to come.
WATCH: The trailer for Military Wives
Kristen Scott-Thomas and Sharon Horgan star as chalk-and-cheese spouses at the British Army garrison in Catterick, both looking for a way to keep busy whilst their husbands are away, but each with a very diﬀerent approach. Uptight Kate (Scott-Thomas) wants to go educational, laidback Lisa (Horgan) favours fun. Finally agreeing on a singing group, there's then debate about which direction to take. Pop or classical? Covers or originals?
Will you be watching Military Wives?
But ultimately MILITARY WIVES is about strong individual personalities learning to work together for a common cause: coping in the toughest of times. Using singing as a cathartic experience, the women blossom as people and unify as a group. It's never about being note perfect. It's about being authentic and singing from the heart. Music as therapy. If MILITARY WIVES doesn't exactly surprise plot-wise, it's the honesty of the performances that really impresses, creating a magical couple of hours that will test your tear ducts as well as your stretch your vocal chords.
MILITARY WIVES [12A] is out at cinemas now.
BEST FILM ON THE SMALL SCREEN THIS WEEK - 6 March
THE GOOD LIAR
Thrillers live and die on their credibility but when you've got acting legends Dame Helen Mirren and Sir Ian McKellen on board you know that, however outlandish the plot, you've got the right leads to make it believable. Without them, THE GOOD LIAR would be an average, faintly ridiculous, tale of bitter revenge. With them, though, it's a masterclass from two heavyweights in how to inject relish and humour into a story, creating a charming romp full of dastardly deeds and cheeky oneupmanship.
WATCH: James interviews Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen
Sir Ian plays Ray Courtnay, a crinkly con artist whose latest target is the similarly aged Betty (Dame Helen), newly widowed and with plenty of savings in her bank. McKellen, as you can imagine, gives it his all - virtually twirling his moustache as he woos Betty with his lies and oneliners. Mirren keeps things more downbeat, understandably reticent towards Ray's advances but also hiding her own secrets. Nothing is what it seems and the two stars clearly cherish playing characters so duplicitous.
Helen and Ian star in The Good Liar
As THE GOOD LIAR unfolds you might have to take a few leaps of faith with its twists and turns yet there's a glint in its eye (and Sir Ian's) that helps things along considerably. So much so that when the plot relies on ﬂashbacks with diﬀerent actors, that sparkle dulls a little. Look out for Russell Tovey as Betty's grandson Steven though. He may be sharing scenes with two of Britain's most-decorated actors but he more than holds his own, clearly as chuﬀed as they are to be part of a wickedly playful thriller.
THE GOOD LIAR  is out to buy on Amazon Prime and Digital Download now and on Blu-ray & DVD from 16 March
BEST NEW FILM TRAILER
CONNECTED - 6 March
If you enjoyed Into the Spiderverse and The Lego Movie as much as I did, you're going to love CONNECTED - another brilliantly, beautifully bonkers animation from producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Looking like a cross between Inside/Out and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, CONNECTED's top drawer voice talent includes Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph and Olivia Colman.
CONNECTED [Cert TBC] is out in UK cinemas on 9th October.
Connected will be out later this year