In Review

What’s on this weekend? From Calm with Horses to Rick Stein’s Secret France

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: Rick Stein’s Secret France

Joel Golby in The Guardian

“Twenty years ago, Rick Stein discovered a grift that would define a millennium – that, once a year, the BBC will pay him to take a three-week trip to get drunk on expenses in any country he wants as long as he takes a three-man camera crew away for the ride – and Secret France is the natural conclusion of that. He is very simply repeating a childhood holiday he once had, but this time is allowed to drink wine and go on backstage tours of cheese factories. It is impossible to calculate how many penknives he might try to smuggle back on the ferry.”

Friday 13 March, 7.30pm on BBC 2

MOVIE: Calm with Horses

Ian Freer in Empire

“A kind of West Ireland Mean Streets, Calm With Horses treads familiar ground — the push and pull between domestic happiness and a life of crime — but Nick Rowland’s feature debut thrives on strong performances, especially from lead Cosmo Jarvis, and a palpable sense of tension and simmering violence…Rowland’s filmmaking, from jump cuts to impressive oppressive sound design, keys you into the edginess and despair that engulfs the characters. For the most part, the mood hangs like a low cloud, the vividly realised bleakness amped up by Blanck Mass’ foreboding electronic score.”

Released Friday 13 March

BOOK: The Gift of Forgiveness by Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt

Elena Nicolau in Oprah Magazine

“The victim of a kidnapping. The survivor of the Charleston church shooting. The son of a notorious drug dealer. In The Gift of Forgiveness, Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt shares intimate conversations with 22 people who have gone through unfathomably difficult experiences—and how they found freedom through forgiveness…With The Gift of Forgiveness, Schwarzenegger Pratt wrote the book she wished she’d had during a rough patch about two years ago. ‘I was struggling with forgiveness in my own life, and had been for years,’ Schwarzenegger Pratt recalls. She says she found she was best ‘helped and guided’ by speaking to other people, and learning how they implemented forgiveness in their own lives.”

Published 10 March

STAGE: Shoe Lady

Ava Wong Davies in The Independent

“There’s more than a touch of Beckett to Shoe Lady. Starring the excellent, brittle Katherine Parkinson as Viv, the shoe(less) lady, EV Crowe’s newest play is a queasily existential piece of work.  Viv is a modern, middle-class woman unmoored. Quite literally – she’s an estate agent who’s staggering through her day, having lost one of her shoes. Caught off balance, she attempts to regain some semblance of control, hobbling out of her house to a shoe shop, a café, her son’s birthday party – but most pressingly, to work. Viv is terrified of losing work. ‘I get so scared about how close we live to not being able to live,’ she confesses. ’It’s incredibly hard not to sink to the bottom.’”

At the Royal Court theatre, London until 21 March

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