Dark Waters and Military Wives: James King’s Week in Film

Our film expert is back with his latest at-home movie recommendations

James King

Inspiring characters, fictional and real, make up your trio of movie recommendations this week. Elisabeth Moss bravely battles the unknown, Mark Ruffalo bravely battles pollution and Sharon Horgan bravely battles pop classics in front of an audience. Whether horror, drama or uplifting singalongs are your thing, you’ll find something here to raise your spirits.

Best new Amazon Prime Video feel-good film 

Military Wives

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.

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WATCH: Military Wives trailer

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 very different musical tastes. Ultimately using singing as a cathartic experience, the women and their friends find themselves blossoming as people and unifying as a group. It’s never about being note perfect. It’s about being authentic and singing from the heart and that’s why the choirs have became a global sensation. And this is the perfect tribute. 

MILITARY WIVES [12A] is available to buy on Amazon Prime Video 29 July and on DVD from the 6 July


Best new horror film on Amazon Prime Video

The Invisible Man

The name THE INVISIBLE MAN might be familiar but that’s the only thing about this new take on the HG Wells classic that you’ll have seen before. Instead of focusing on a male scientist tinkering away in his lab and coming with a miracle formula, this new version concentrates instead on his anxious girlfriend Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss), on the run from her tyrannical genius partner, but up against a superpower that means he really could be stalking her anywhere, anytime. 

READ: Where are these creepy child actors from horror films now?

It’s a switch of formula that works a treat. Suddenly an old story - once planned to be a more conventional movie starring Johnny Depp - becomes a relevant and contemporary thriller for our  era of #metoo and ‘gaslighting’. As Cecilia says at one point, when describing the mind-games played on her by boffin boyfriend, “This is what he does. He makes me feel like I’m the crazy one”. Fresh from ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, Moss could barely have been a better choice for the role. Unforgettable. 

THE INVISIBLE MAN [15] is available to watch buy on Amazon Prime Video now and on DVD/Blu-ray from 29 June 



Best new drama on Sky Store 

Dark Waters

Avengers-star Mark Ruffalo plays a very different kind of superhero in this true story of campaigning lawyer Robert Bilott and his twenty-year battle to get compensation for victims of chemical poisoning. Set in a corner of West Virginia reliant on manufacturing giant DuPont for employment, DARK WATERS sees Bilott drawn ever deeper into a story of factory workers and locals developing incurable diseases - a bleak story, for sure, but necessarily so. Think Erin Brockovich without the glamour. 

READ: Is there going to be a Mamma Mia 3?

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WATCH: Dark Waters trailer

Mark Ruffalo is the perfect choice to play Bilott, radiating an honesty that makes it easy to trust him with your life. Strong support comes from fellow heavyweights Tim Robbins and Bill Pullman too, although Oscar-winner Anne Hathaway feels a little underused as Robert’s wife, Sarah. As  much as the story of DARK WATERS is a tough one, director Todd Haynes always keeps things visually intriguing, lighting scenes with an almost chemically green tinge. Films about ‘the little people’ taking on a vast corporation have rarely looked this eerily beautiful.  

DARK WATERS [12] is available to watch on Sky Store now and on DVD from 6 July 

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