The best of entertainment from March 2019, as chosen by Red Bee’s entertainment experts.
Best Film: US
Not wishing to compare it too much with his last film, Get Out, but Jordan Peele has once again delivered a horror film with a social conscience. It’s proper horror too, once you’ve got your head around the bizarre idea of evil doppelgangers following you around, and it moves swiftly from being quite creepy, to genuinely scary, with occasional laughs peppered throughout to ease you through the terror. Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o is excellent as both the protective mother and her monstrous alter ego.
Best Documentary: LEAVING NEVERLAND
With a heavy heart, this month’s pick is Leaving Neverland, the disturbing two-part documentary detailing the abuse allegedly inflicted on two boys by Michael Jackson. Despite primarily relying on talking head interviews, it’s a deeply compelling four hours, and particularly hard-hitting in part two where more time is spent with the allegers’ family members, who reveal how all their lives have been affected. Though it may leave fans unsettled, it makes for important viewing, throwing open the debate as to whether it’s possible to separate an artist from their art.
Best Gig: DOVES
The Doves’ first performance in nine years, persuaded out of hiatus by Roger Daltrey to perform in support of the Teenage Cancer Trust, playing a string of hits from their Mercury-nominated albums Lost Souls and The Last Broadcast. The gig sold out in five minutes for fans desperate to hear their huge, pounding sound. The sound of the industrial north rattling the chandeliers of the soft south.
Best TV Series: AFTER LIFE
Ricky Gervais writes, directs and stars in this Netflix series. It’s Gervais in his usual, post-The Office, disillusioned, unnecessarily sweary, hacked-off role. But if you can get past that, you’ll find a rather moving and profound portrait of a man struggling to cope after his wife’s death. A great support cast helps, with a particularly touching turn from Penelope Wilton.
Best Podcast: FULL DISCLOSURE WITH JAMES O’BRIEN
O’Brien openly admits that this is basically an excuse for him to interview all the people he’s always wanted to meet, but that’s no bad thing, given his evident fascination with his subjects. He suggests the podcast will offer in-depth long form interviews, although his initial interview with former Prime Minister Tony Blair, despite including some hard-hitting questions about the legacy of Iraq, clocks in at a relatively swift 33 minutes, so will be interesting to see whether he manages to convince later guests to open up a little more, as the likes of Joe Rogan have successfully done (see now infamous Elon Musk interview). Subsequent conversations are with Ricky Gervais, Simon Amstell and Deborah Meaden.
Stay tuned for more in April