5 things to watch this bank holiday weekend – 3 to 5 May

Ryan Gosling plays a stuntman, Kristen Stewart a thirsty bodybuilder, and a neglected Italian tearjerker emerges on Blu-ray.

Misunderstood (1966)

Where’s it on? Blu-ray

Misunderstood (1966)

This devastating Italian drama is a classic on home soil but barely known in the UK. Luigi Comencini’s film must rank among the most penetrating depictions of a father-son relationship, and their struggle for mutual understanding, ever put on screen. That matchless British actor Anthony Quayle plays the English consul in Florence, John Duncombe, who has lost his wife and must decide how and when to break it to their two young sons. While the youngest is kept in the dark, the eldest faces up to the loss with remarkable maturity but finds himself increasingly at odds with Duncombe’s expectations of him. Misunderstood shows two brothers growing up with the run of a huge house and idyllic garden, but where the human drama seems destined for another dam burst of sadness. A revelatory Blu-ray release from Radiance.

The Fall Guy (2024)

Where’s it on? Cinemas nationwide, including BFI IMAX

The Fall Guy is director David Leitch’s colourful, knowing and frequently hilarious ode to the work of those behind-the-scenes men and women who risk their necks to make movie stars look dynamic on screen: stunt performers. It’s a trade Leitch knows well, having started out as stunt double for the likes of Brad Pitt and Jean-Claude Van Damme. Rebooting a 1980s ABC action show of the same name, this action-packed comedy serves up Ryan Gosling in nuclear charisma mode as stuntman Colt Seavers. He takes a near-fatal fall in the film’s opening minutes and later finds himself up to his neck in conspiracy after the lead star vanishes from the production of a sci-fi spectacular called Metalstorm. This disappearing actor plot has echoes of the Coen brothers’ 50s Hollywood saga Hail, Caesar! (2016), but the insider’s view here is bang up to date and full of witty, larger-than-life detail.

Love Lies Bleeding (2024)

Where’s it on? Cinemas nationwide, including BFI Southbank

Rose Glass is the British director who turned heads in 2019 with her debut feature, the psychological horror Saint Maud. She’s returned with this sweaty, erotic, bodybuilder noir – a midnight-movie thriller set around a gym in the New Mexico desert in the late 1980s. In an atmosphere ramped up on steroids and lust, Kristen Stewart plays Lou, the gym manager who falls for a sexy new customer, Jackie (Katy O’Brian), who is headed to Las Vegas for a bodybuilding competition. They hit it off, and Lou is soon introducing Jackie to both steroids and the heated world of her extended family, including troubled dad Ed Harris and her sister and her abusive husband. Murder, blackmail and drug-induced mania beckon, and Love Lies Bleeding relishes every sleazy, nocturnal moment. 

Chocolat (1988)

Where’s it on? Blu-ray

Chocolat (1988)

Having worked as an assistant director to the likes of Wim Wenders and Jacques Rivette, Claire Denis made her directorial debut, 36 years ago, with this exquisitely realised coming-of-age story set in 1950s Cameroon, just prior to independence. The drama takes place in flashback as the grown-up France (Mireille Perrier) returns to Cameroon and recalls her childhood growing up there – and in particular her friendship with her family’s Cameroonian manservant Protée, played by the brilliant Isaach De Bankolé in an early role. Like France, Denis’ father was a French civil servant stationed in Africa, and Chocolat conjures her own memories and experiences of a childhood of exotic isolation. This Blu-ray brings us the new 4K restoration.

Fanny Lye Deliver’d (2019)

Where’s it on? Film4, Monday, 01:35

Fanny Lye Deliver’d (2019)

This 2019 feature from occasional British auteur Thomas Clay – it was his first feature in 10 years – is a throwback to the 1960s and 70s era of British films like Witchfinder General (1968) and Winstanley (1975) that attempted to grapple with the powerful political and religious forces that shaped 17th-century Britain. Fanny Lye Deliver’d is set on a remote Shropshire farm in 1657, where the simple lives of a puritan pair (Maxine Peake and Charles Dance) are unsettled by the discovery of a young couple hiding in their barn. Clay’s film becomes a kind of civil-war-era home invasion drama after the stowaways take their hosts hostage. But they also represent a Trojan horse of modern ideas: their progressive philosophies have an earth-shaking impact on the eponymous Fanny. Atmospherically shot in a valley that’s permanently thick with mist, Fanny Lye Deliver’d is an inspired addition to the canon of films about our rural past.