Table of Contents
Going Out: Cinema
Starring Will Smith, this biopic of Richard Williams, father of Venus and Serena, tells the story of a parent/coach so dedicated to his job that his daughters would transform tennis for ever. It’s a much-overused phrase, but the man is a literal gamechanger.
A delicate, autumnal, 72-minute dream of a film, the latest from the French director Céline Sciamma finds a little girl connecting emotionally with her mother, in a magic realist time-loop where they are both eight years old. Highly recommended, and not as twee as that premise might suggest.
Drive My Car
A brainy and brilliant film based on a short story by Haruki Murakami, Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s stately adaptation takes its time to build an intimate portrait of a Japanese theatre director grappling with the infidelities of his late wife, an anxiety he expresses through his work staging a production of Uncle Vanya.
Halle Berry directs and stars as Jackie Justice, a disgraced former mixed martial arts fighter, who must get back in the ring to support the son she gave up as an infant following his father’s death. An underdog story as much about the feels as the fights. Catherine Bray
Going Out: Gigs
Manchester, 22 Nov; London, 23 Nov
The Swiss-Sri Lankan newcomer brings her “Raguwavy” genre, a hypnotic blend of R&B, hip-hop and south Indian music as showcased on her mixtape Damnshestamil. This two-city jaunt feels like a precursor to bigger things. Scenes from the Wild
Southwark Cathedral, London, 25 & 27 Nov
The City of London Sinfonia marks its 50th-anniversary season with the first performance of a specially commissioned song cycle by Cheryl Francis-Hoad, based on the Wainwright prize-winning book by Dara McAnulty, Diary of a Young Naturalist. Andrew Clements
London jazz festival
Various venues, 20 & 21 Nov
The closing weekend brings saxophone great Charles Lloyd (Barbican Hall, Sat). Two very different virtuoso pianists, Stefano Bollani (Queen Elizabeth Hall, Sat) and Brad Mehldau (Barbican Hall, Sun) are among the other highlights. John Fordham
Going Out: Art
National Gallery, London, 20 Nov to 27 Feb
Albrecht Dürer is the Leonardo of the north, an endlessly curious mind. This exhibition chases his restless Renaissance spirit by following his journeys to Venice, where he fancied the soldiers, and Flanders where he saw and praised Aztec art. His images of new landscapes and strange beasts are utterly beguiling.
Tate Modern, London, 25 Nov to 3 Jul
The art of Himid is not everyone’s idea of “modern”. She won the Turner prize, after all, with an installation that restages Hogarth and paints enigmatic and perturbing narrative scenes. Yet she switches to conceptual art to theoretically dissect media images. This show should be a bracing intellectual blast.
Fabergé in London
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 20 Nov to 8 May
Fabulous for fashionistas … and historians of Russian-British relations. This exhibition shows how Peter Carl Fabergé, egg-maker to the tsar, set up a London branch in 1903 to sell ornate wonders including a bejewelled cigarette case to the oligarchic Edwardian elite. It’s a glittering portrait of a gilded age.
Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, to 2 May
The 78-year-old Pindell has been fighting racism for decades. She combats injustice with direct, explicit interventions such as her 1980 video Free, White and 21, and paintings that engage with the history of slavery and apartheid. Yet she also makes gorgeously sensual abstract canvases that breathe the politics of beauty. Jonathan Jones
Going Out: Stage
Outwitting the Devil
Sadler’s Wells, London, 23 to 27 Nov
UK premiere of choreographer Akram Khan’s take on the Mesopotamian epic poem Gilgamesh. The show opens a season celebrating 20 years of Khan’s storytelling. Lyndsey Winship
Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club
Playhouse theatre, London, to 14 May
Tickets (very expensive tickets) are still available for this immersive reboot of Kander and Ebb’s powerful musical, set in a Berlin nightclub in 1929. Jessie Buckley, Eddie Redmayne and Omari Douglas star; it’s directed by the equally talented Rebecca Frecknall.
A Christmas Carol
Sherman theatre, Cardiff, 26 Nov to 31 Dec
Another week, another Christmas Carol, although each is different. Joe Murphy directs his first show since taking over the theatre in 2019 and this adaptation is written by Gary Owen, whose work is always so daring and direct. It’s set in Victorian Cardiff, with a female Scrooge played by Hannah McPake. Miriam Gillinson
Folkestone, 20 Nov; touring to 31 Jul
Two decades into his career, Watson is among the most accomplished alternative standups in the country: always different and interesting, but never light on laughs. His latest show, This Can’t Be It, converts his recent existentialist meltdown into bracingly confessional comedy. Rachel Aroesti
Staying In: Streaming
Available now, All 4
Life on an organic farm is not as idyllic as it first appears in this creepy Swedish drama, winner of best show at last year’s Cannes international series festival. Fares Fares (Westworld, Chernobyl) plays a new recruit who becomes unsettled by his increasingly strange surroundings.
I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!
21 Nov, 9pm, ITV; then ITV Hub
This long-running reality show does more than just generate sponsorship deals. The now Wales-set competition is most entertaining when it plays with our collective nostalgia, taking famous faces from pop culture past and putting their personalities to a public vote.
The Princes and the Press
22 Nov, 9pm, BBC Two
The media portrayal of William, Harry, Kate and Meghan is a fascinating entity in itself: chronicling various newspapers’ agendas as well as society’s deeply ingrained prejudices alongside the lives of the new-gen royals. In this two-parter, the BBC’s media editor Amol Rajan unpicks the past decade’s coverage.
From 24 Nov, Disney+
If you’re already struggling to keep up with developments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, brace yourself: the fifth MCU TV show of 2021 is upon us. Hawkeye follows Jeremy Renner’s eponymous master archer as he trains up a young superfan named Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld). RA
Staying In: Games
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl
These Switch remakes of classic Pokémon games will hit the nostalgia spot for the Zoomers who were kids in 2006.
Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One
Video games are the best way to experience a mystery story, and developer Frogwares has good pedigree with the Holmesverse.
Out 23 Nov
An elegant adventure game about a little grim reaper, kind of like a morbid Zelda by way of Studio Ghibli, comes to Switch, PS4 and PS5 after making its debut on PC and Xbox earlier this year. Keza MacDonald
Staying In: Albums
Smile – Phantom Island
Swedish producers Björn Yttling (Lykke Li) and Joakim Åhlund (Charli XCX), AKA Smile, return with a second album of psych-tinged pop. Highlights come from fellow Swedes, with singer-songwriter Freja the Dragon cooing on the mournful Eon, while Robyn lights up the 70s soft rock of Call My Name.
Adele – 30
The music industry’s Christmas present arrives in the shape of Adele’s fourth album, the follow-up to 2015’s 22m-selling 25. Inspired by her recent divorce, lead single Easy on Me is stadium-sized, while collaborations with producers Inflo (Little Simz) and Ludwig Göransson (Childish Gambino) push that voice into new directions.
Elbow – Flying Dream 1
Written remotely in London and Manchester, Elbow’s ninth album – the follow-up to 2019’s UK chart-topping Giants of All Sizes – started out as “little love notes” sent between band members. The song sketches were then perfected in the empty Brighton Theatre Royal, the intimacy lending the songs an added layer of wistfulness.
Ladyhawke – Time Flies
Synthpop exponent Pip Brown returns after a period of ill-health with a sparkling fourth album, a hook-laden callback to 2008’s self-titled breakthrough. Fellow New Zealanders Broods add punch to lead single Guilty Love, while sashaying, disco-tinged highlight Think About You demands to be played on a light-up dancefloor. MC
Staying In: Brain food
Wirecard: The Billion Euro Lie
25 Nov, 9pm, Sky Documentaries
Once a bright star in European financing, the German tech company Wirecard collapsed in 2020 after almost €2bn went missing from its accounts. This fast-paced doc covers the subsequent arrest of its CEO and the continuing scandal.
The Paris Review
The literary magazine has recently launched the third season of its inventive podcast, boasting interviews on craft and composition with revered writers such as George Saunders and Joan Didion.
Operating in affiliation with the Open University, OpenLearn is a treasure trove of free curated knowledge, hosting more than 1,000 short online learning courses, ranging from introductions to analysing poetry, to forensic psychology and modern languages. Ammar Kalia