The days are shorter. We’re all staying in anyway. Here’s what to watch on TV.

In previous years, November’s TV has sometimes been something of a viewing lull before the festive period, with its packed TV roster of Christmas specials and classic seasonal movies. Not so November 2020. This month we are being treated to a wealth of new releases across all the major streaming services – from WWII documentaries and stellar cast dramas to cinematic classics retold to keep us entertained through the long, dark evenings (or to binge-watch during the day; no judgement here). Here’s a round-up of the month’s absolute must-watches, and where to find them.


Rebecca


Netflix


Directed by Ben Wheatley, this glossy rendition of Daphne du Maurier’s classic tome stars Lily James as the second Mrs de Winter, Armie Hammer as Maxim de Winter, Kristen Scott Thomas as Mrs Danvers and Sam Riley as Mr Favell. A tough act to follow after Alfred Hitchcock’s Oscar-winning 1940 telling, it may lack the cinematic finesse of the original but is a captivating watch nonetheless. All the key Du Maurier ingredients are there: a young ingenue; a captivatingly charismatic older man; unwavering loyalty and the mystery and jealousy of ‘love lost’ – all shot against the backdrop of 1930s English aristocracy. Escapism telly, perfect for autumn nights.


Enslaved with Samuel L Jackson


BBC iPlayer


Samuel L Jackson’s ‘Enslaved’ follows the journeys of trafficked men and women from Africa across oceans to the Caribbean, South America and the US. Tracing the footsteps of individual’s stories from Jackson’s own family tree he thoughtfully, yet unflinchingly, brings the stats and history books to life. He also dives beneath the ocean to explore the sunken ships that never made the journey, highlighting yet more unacknowledged lives lost. An important watch for anyone who wants to improve their knowledge of colonial history.


The Liberator


Netflix


Shot using a new and unique form of animation that combines CGI with live-action performance, The Liberator is based on the book of the same name by Alex Kershaw. It covers an intense period of the Allied invasion of Italy, known as Operation Avalanche, and follows US Army Officer Felix Sparks and the 157th Infantry Regiment from Oklahoma, a National Guard unit comprised primarily of cowboys, Native Americans and Mexican-Americans. We stay with them from the invasion of Italy to the liberation of Dachau over a 500-day period that is noted in history as one of the bloodiest and hard-fought of WWII.


Small Axe


BBC iPlayer


Part of the Small Axe collection of films from Steve McQueen, Mangrove debuts on BBC One on 15 November. The series is set between the 1960s and 1980s, with each of the five films telling the story of a different family from London’s West Indian community. The story follows how their lives have been shaped by their own desires to make lives and livelihoods for themselves in Britain, despite endemic racism and discrimination. Yet this is no historic tale; it is as relevant in 2020 as it was then – with timeless portrayals of joy, love, family, music and hard-won success.


JoJo Rabbit


Sky Cinema


Sky Cinema is streaming Taika Waititi’s Academy Award-winning Jojo Rabbit this month. Adapted from Christine Leunens's 2008 book Caging Skies, Waititi uses his signature humour and pathos in this WWII satire that follows Jojo, a lonely German boy, whose world is upended when he discovers his mother has been harbouring a young Jewish girl in the attic. As a member of the Nazi Youth Camp and Adolf Hitler’s ‘number one fan’, Jojo is immediately thrown into internal debate at the discovery, forced to unpick what he has blindly learnt and what he is now experiencing and feeling, right under his own roof.


On the Rocks


Apple TV


On The Rocks is the latest release from writer and director Sofia Coppola. It follows disenchanted Laura (Rashida Jones), a frustrated writer who has lost her mojo and, she fears, the attention of her husband (Marlon Wayans) and so begrudgingly accepts the help of her bon vivant dad (Bill Murray) to tail him in a ‘did he, didn’t he’ game of cat and mouse around New York City as they try to catch him in the act. Murray steals the show with his debonair one-liners and old-school schmooze. It is, in fact, the father/daughter relationship between him and Jones that audiences are rooting for by the closing credits. A warm, affectionate watch – perfect for autumn.

By Lydia Mansi
November 2020

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Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor

Lydia is an all-round lifestyle guru, tireless champion of women in business and our resident expert on beauty.

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