Autumn is one of the best times of the year for TV and film with many of the best big and small screen offerings held off until award season draws near so they can be deemed fit for a coveted statuette. Usually, it’s worth the wait and the later half of 2016 promises to be no exception in this regard. Below is a selection of some of the films, documentaries, and new shows we can’t wait for:
Victoria (Sunday, 9pm on UTV Ireland)
It’s halfway through the series, but this is one to catch up on if you’ve missed the starting episodes (which reportedly cost €1 million per episode to make). Former sidekick of Doctor Who, Jenna Coleman, shines as the English monarch Queen Victoria and we’re given a fresh insight into her reign and passionate marriage to Prince Albert played by Burberry model-turned-actor Tom Hughes, and the close relationship she enjoyed with her first Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne (played by the highly dashing Rufus Sewell). Historical liberties are taken of course but it’s lavish and extremely watchable.
Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope, (Monday, 19th September, 10pm RTE 2)
This is a new Irish six-part drama we’re highly excited about. Seána Kerslake stars alongside Amy Huberman in a series centres on strong female characters – it follows two Cork twenty-somethings, Aisling and Danielle, whose relationship and lifestyle starts to spiral out of control when they move to Dublin and aims to be a witty and realistic take on life for Irish women. Writer Stefanie Preissner penned the script and its cast and crew were predominately female. We can’t wait to watch.
Amanda Knox (Friday 30th September, Netflix)
Was she a cold-blooded psychopath who brutally murdered her roommate or a naive student abroad trapped in an endless nightmare? In what is sure to be another gripping Netflix Original Documentary Amanda Knox, explores the notorious case that made headlines around the world. In March 2015, seven and a half years after their arrest, 27-year-old Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were definitively acquitted of the murder of her roommate Meredith Kercher after being charged with her murder years before. The case still causes debate, and the documentary takes an in-depth look at Knox and the events before and after the killing.
The Fall Season 3 (September, BBC2)
This gripping, disturbing and underrated crime drama is back for a third season next month. Both the superb Gillian Anderson and an excellent Jamie Dornan (though we’ll never quite forgive him for 50 Shades…) return as Superintendent Stella Gibson and Paul Spector, the serial killer she’s still hunting. Remember the incredible season two cliffhanger? We’d never spoil it for you here, but get watching ahead of the new season – we have a strong suspicion it’s going to be very, very good.
The Girl On The Train (October 6th)
This film is one to look forward to. Like Gone Girl (of which it’s frequently compared), it’s a thriller where the women’s motives are unclear, and we’re faced with an unreliable narrator in the guise of the brilliant Emily Blunt who plays a flawed female lead. The story starts when while on her daily commute, Rachel (Blunt) passes both the house of her ex-husband (now remarried) and a young couple, Scott and Megan (Haley Bennett), who she begins to develop an obsession with. Everything changes when Megan goes missing and Rachel can only recall flashes of the night it happened, though she swears she saw her before she vanished. It’s been given any amount of pre-release hype, so here’s hoping it doesn’t disappoint. If you decide not to wait it out, the book is a gripping read which yours truly highly recommends.
Planetarium (November 16th)
This French film already has people talking due to its two lead actresses, Lily-Rose Depp and Natalie Portman. The French-Belgian film centers on a pair of American sisters in 1930s pre-war Paris who claim to be spiritualists that can contact the dead; their characters Laura and Kate attempt to navigate a career in French cinema after a film producer offers them their big break in front of the camera. Both stars speak in both English and French throughout and it already looks like one for award season.
Blue Velvet 30th Anniversary (December 2nd-4th)
It’s hard to believe that David Lynch’s neo-noir masterpiece is 30 years old. Undoubtedly one of his most celebrated films (though Mulholland Drive comes a close second), this psychosexual, visual drama has lost none of its impact, even three decades after its release. Lynch takes an in-depth look at the twists and turns of the human psyche and the darkness that lingers alongside a quiet suburban town in America, as Jeffrey Beaumont (played by a baby-faced Kyle MacLachlan) investigates the appearance of a severed ear and mysterious nightclub singer, Dorothy Vallens (played by the mesmerising Isabella Rossellini). The film returns to the big screen as part of The Light House Cinema’s just announced David Lynch Season and will be screened in December.