In Review

What’s on this weekend? From Homeland to When Lambs Become Lions

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: Homeland - series eight

Brian Tallerico in Vulture

“The final season of Showtime’s Homeland starts by plunging its characters right into the middle of a crisis in the Middle East, as negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government break down to such a degree that Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) calls his old friend Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) in to help. When the seventh season of Homeland played with issues like internet sock puppets, Russian interference, and fake news in 2018, it felt very modern and relevant, but will a nearly-two-year hiatus dim expectations for this eighth and final season? Is there another story in the life of Carrie Mathison to be told? Could she get one more chance at redemption? And, most of all, after everything she’s been through on this show, can she finally find peace?”

9pm on Sunday 16 February, Channel 4

MOVIE: When Lambs Become Lions

Glenn Kenny in The New York Times

“In the economic wasteland of Kenya, an ivory dealer here called X plays the slick outlaw. ‘God has given me a sweet tongue and a sharp brain,’ he says, adding, ‘I have no fear in my heart’ [Director Jon] Kasbe spent years among these people, and his movie is an intense 74-minute distillation of his dedication. It doesn’t go into the origins of the trade or how pressures from Western countries feed it. Rather, it’s a striking, human portrait of men in trouble, looking for escape and possibly redemption.”

Released 14 February

BOOK: Weather by Jenny Offill

Alex Preston in The Guardian

“As with her previous novel, the paragraphs in Weather are each a kind of koan, some short, some long, all of them containing a piece of central, organising wisdom. Penelope Fitzgerald was the queen of the innocuously devastating aphorism; Offill has inherited her crown. Again and again her sentences resonate powerfully, drawing you in with their humour before sideswiping you with their veracity… In Weather, we construct a whole from the pieces Offill gives us, and find that we hold in our hands a truly remarkable novel, perhaps the most powerful portrait of Trump’s America yet.”

Published 11 February

STAGE: The Whip

Dominic Maxwell in The Times

“Was Britain’s abolition of slavery in its colonies in the 1830s a belated triumph of conviction and compassion? In part, suggests this stodgy but stimulating and ultimately winning new play for the RSC by Juliet Gilkes Romero. It was also marked by greed, ambition, compromise and political chicanery… The Whip turns into something gripping and affecting as it shows the muddled conclusion to the anti-slavery bill. The ending is bittersweet rather than happy. And the white knights coming to the rescue are painted, finally, in lifelike shades of grey.”

At the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, until 31 March

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