In Review

What’s on this weekend? From Selling Sex to 1917

Your guide to what’s worth seeing and reading this weekend

The Week’s best film, TV, book and live show on this weekend, with excerpts from the top reviews.

TELEVISION: Louis Theroux: Selling Sex

Jenn Selby for the i newspaper

“The seemingly unshockable Louis Theroux is back with a brand new documentary. This time, the journalist and presenter will examine the exchange of sex for money in the UK. Theroux will meet three different women who legally undertake sex work to supplement their incomes or to make a living. They operate their businesses from their homes or hotel rooms, using online technologies to take bookings, vet potential new clients and share photos. Through a series of interviews, Theroux will attempt to discuss whether the profession is exploitative and damaging, in a patriarchal society that conditions women to bow to the desires of men, or if it can be an empowering and profitable choice for those who do choose to engage in it.”

9pm, Sunday 12 January, BBC 2

MOVIE: 1917

Alex Godfrey for Empire

“Due to the insanity of the war — the horror and the madness — there’s a surreal quality to much of 1917, and for a large part of it the corporals’ quest feels like a dark The Wizard Of Oz, or The Lord Of The Rings — they are Sam and Frodo heading into Mordor, and soon after setting off they find themselves in a Hieronymus Bosch hellscape. Here, as with many of its sequences, 1917 excels, every camera move paying off. It’s a grim spectacle, but an incredible one…Almost everything you’ve ever seen in a war film is here. But never quite like this. It is very much a stylistic exercise, but if you’re going to do that, you have to really go for it. And 1917 really, really goes for it.”

In cinemas 10 January

BOOK: Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

Angie Kim for The New York Times

Plane Crashes Mid-Flight. Hundreds Dead. One Boy Miraculously Survives. If the setup for Ann Napolitano’s third novel sounds like a front-page newspaper headline, that’s because it was. In 2010, a commercial airliner from South Africa to London crashed in Libya. A 9-year-old boy survived; all others on board, including his parents and brother, died. Napolitano became obsessed, not only by the story, but by social media’s fascination with it, so much so that she ended up spending the next eight years writing a fictionalised version set in the United States. The result is Dear Edward, a haunting novel that’s a masterful study in suspense, grief and survival.”

Published 6 January

STAGE: This Time

Lyndsey Winship for The Guardian

“As the trapeze sways gently like a pendulum marking time, this multigenerational cast share memories of youth and age, innocence, hindsight and parenthood, pinning down moments where we become aware of our own feelings and fallibilities, from the frustrations of a mum driven to hurling a smoothie across the room, to the girl seeking and fearing freedom as she grows up.

Their words are unsentimental but insightful, their movements – balancing on each other and suspended in the air – are full of care and support. They capitalise on slow-paced simplicity, deftly skilled but always utterly human.”

At Shoreditch Town Hall until 19 January

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