In Review

What’s on this weekend? From Long Bright River to Parasite

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: The Pale Horse

Boyd Hilton in Empire

“In 1961, widowed antique dealer Mark Easterbrook (Rufus Sewell) is caught up in a mystery: why is he on a list of names found in a dead woman’s shoe? His investigation brings him to the eerie village of Much Deeping, where things only get more twisted….Phelps’ ingenious, entirely gripping script touches on class conflict and rich-white-male entitlement, exposing the nasty underbelly of polite society with tightly controlled contempt. As one posh boy character says of Much Deeping, ‘it sounds pornographic – so I’m all in favour’. Us too.”

Episode 1, BBC One, 9pm Sunday 9 February

MOVIE: Parasite

Hau Chu in The Washington Post

“The first half of the film can be downright hilarious — if you enjoy buffoonery at the expense of the rich. It’s not that the Parks are that unlikable; they are easy marks because they are so insulated by their wealth and privilege in society that they simply couldn’t know any better…In the second half of the movie Bong twists his knife so deeply into this festering wound of class warfare that you begin to wonder if there can be any heroes in this story at all.”

Released 9 February

BOOK: Long Bright River by Liz Moore

Stephanie Merritt in The Guardian

Long Bright River is being marketed as a thriller, but, as with the best crime novels, its scope defies the constraints of genre; it is family drama, history and social commentary wrapped up in the compelling format of a police procedural. There’s a serial killer targeting young sex workers in Kensington; there’s police corruption and a good but unorthodox cop defying orders to pursue justice. But although the tropes are familiar to the point of cliche, the result feels startlingly fresh.”

Published 6 February

STAGE: Faustus: That Damned Woman

Andrzej Lukowski in Time Out

“In Christopher Marlowe’s ‘Doctor Faustus’, scholar antihero Johann Faust famously dicks around with the power he has traded his soul for, squandering his years of virtual omnipotence on stuff like playing practical jokes on the Pope. Chris Bush’s contemporary take on the myth, ‘Faustus: That Damned Woman’, asks (kind of) what a woman might have done with the power. And the answer – in this co-production between Headlong and the Lyric – is that heroine Johanna Faustus does a lot more. Like, a lot more.”

Until 22 February at the Lyric Theatre, London

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