Spring has crept up at long last; it’s a relief to see winter trailing behind. In the cultural sense, there is plenty to look forward to this month (asides from the brighter evenings). Whether you’re in the cinema or planning to enjoy some downtime at home with a book, TV show or music playlist, you’ll have much great stuff to choose from.
The TV series
Queer Eye Season 3
Did I mention that I was late to this brilliant makeover-themed party? The Emmy® Award-winning Queer Eye returns ready to transform the stylistically challenged and into hip and happening savants at the hands of the Fab Five. This season, these fearless ambassadors of taste are headed to Kansas City to bring their infectious brand of self-love, confidence and encouragement to a whole new roster of heroes. Quite simply, it will spark joy.
The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann
It was a disappearance that reverberated across the world; everyone remembers where they where when they first heard of Madeleine and saw her photograph. The Portuguese police together with Scotland Yard mobilised a major investigation which would go on to become the most high-profile missing child case in British history.
By blending new interviews with more than 40 contributors, 120 hours of interviews, archival news footage and reenactments, the eight-part series, The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann strives to take a unique look at the facts of the case as well as its impact on media standards around the world.
While it will no doubt be a fascinating watch, it is worth remembering that this is still about a three-year-old girl who vanished and was never seen again. Her parents objected to this programme being made, arguing that it would only hurt the investigation. A missing child is at the heart of the media storm, something that many tend to forget.
Belgian film-maker Lukas Dhont’s Girl, an affecting French-language drama in which the transgender 15-year-old Lara (Victor Polster) chases her dream of becoming a professional ballerina as she awaits gender-confirmation surgery. This one is emphatic and utterly moving – it had many people talking at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
In cinemas March 15
The anticipation for Jordan Peele’s directorial follow-up to the brilliant Get Out has been extremely high, yet we know very little of his next film Us apart from the fact that Lupita Nyong’o and Elisabeth Moss have leading roles Lupita’s character, Adelaide, and husband Gabe (played by Winston Duke) take their kids to their beach house but it’s not long after they arrive before they realise that something is just not right with the locals in the area. The trailer alone looks terrifying.
In cinemas March 22
She Lies In Wait by Cytha Lodge
In Gytha Lodge’s She Lies In Wait, it’s 1983 and the bright, beautiful 14-year-old Aurora Jackson has disappeared in Brinken Wood in England. It was supposed to be a night of fun; she was thrilled to be asked to tag along. She was never found, and no one apprehended. Until now. The discovery of her remains 30 years later near the site where she was camping with her older sister and five other schoolmates suddenly catapults Chief Inspector Jonah Sheens back to what is one of his most haunting investigations.
All eyes look towards the now prime suspects; the six in the woods when Aurora vanished. They all maintain innocence – but only they knew of the hideaway where she was found. The interweaving plot sees present-day police determined to solve the mystery with flashbacks to the last day of the teen’s life as seen through her eyes. A gripping, atmospheric thriller and
hugely promising debut.
Michael Joseph, approx. €15, out March 21
The Narrow Land by Christine Dwyer Hickey
The Narrow Land by Christine Dwyer Hickey is a beautiful and slow burner of a novel. It’s 1950 and late summer season on Cape Cod. Michael, a ten-year-old boy, is spending the summer with Richie and his glamorous but troubled mother. But he has troubles of his own; repressed flashbacks; urged not to speak German, to speak of the pain of war. Soon the boys form a bond – and another unlikely friendship is forged when they meet a couple living nearby – the artists Jo and Edward Hopper. Edward is the famous one.
Unwell and depressed by his inability to find inspiration, he becomes increasingly withdrawn. His wife grows increasingly volatile; her own identity suppressed by his success and talent. She is obsessive and overbearing in equal measure, furious that her husband may be besotted with another. She does not know that it is with Richie’s frail and beautiful Aunt Katherine who has not long to live – an infatuation he shares with young Michael. An enchanting read.
Atlantic Press, approx. €14.99, out now
Lana Del Rey, Norman Fucking Rockwell
After endless teases of lyrics and song snippets, Lana Del Rey fans will be pleased to hear that the singer’s sixth studio album is just weeks away. Featuring already released tracks ‘Hope Is A Mysterious Thing For A Woman Like Me To Have… But I Have It’, ‘Mariners Apartment Complex’ and ‘Venice Bitch’, the new LP promises should be classic Lana, poetic, mysterious lyrics enshrined by a catchy and soulful melody.
Out March 29
Dido, Still On My Mind
Dido remains most famous for her ‘Stan’ collaboration with Eminem and Faithless vocals, but as an artist, I’ve always found her hugely underrated. Her emotionally challenging lyrics counter the soothing tones of her music and her voice is the perfect combination of melancholic beauty. The album is her first in five years and is a soothing respite from today’s largely formulaic pop music.
Main photograph: Netflix