UPDATE: September 9 - Our two new additions this week are two quite different British films. One is the satirical In the Loop, essentially a feature-length episode of The Thick of It. The other is Sliding Doors, a rom-com featuring two stories branching out from one inconspicuous moment in time. Read more about them and our other top choices below.
Both the BBC’s own feature-length content and big movies from all around the world appear in the film section of iPlayer. The length of residence varies significantly, ranging from the default 30 days to over a year. The BBC is trying to lengthen this time, and Ofcom is currently examining its proposals to do this, so hopefully in the near future, you will have a little longer to watch all of these excellent movies. For now though, you’ll need a well organised schedule if you want to make time for these among all your other TV and cinema appointments.
Sliding Doors (1998) - Expires September 14
After a terrible day at work, Helen misses her train. But she also catches it. Switching back and forth between two different stories, we see how her life differs and matches up between the timelines, with the relationships between her and her husband, or with a pleasant man she met in a lift, changing significantly.
Quartet - Expires September 16
In a retirement home for professional musicians, three opera singers find that their upcoming performance at a yearly gala will be the centrepiece of an attempt to raise money for the home. When the fourth singer arrives, an ex-wife of one of the other singers, this important task becomes more difficult.
My Life as a Courgette - Expires September 16
Courgette (or Icare to give him his real name) is an orphan, sent to an orphanage after he accidentally kills his mother. After initially finding it difficult to settle in, he befriends some of the other orphans and tries his best to help, including Simon, the prickly but smart long term resident, and Camille, heir to a family fortune that needs keeping away from her greedy aunt. Together, they try their best to enjoy their lives and to help each other with their problems.
Viceroy’s House - Expires September 23
As the last British ruler of India, it is Lord Mountbatten’s duty to help establish an independent nation. But with pressure to split the land into two based on religious lines, he is faced with making a decision that will have enormous consequences for the new country. Meanwhile, two members of his staff see this conflict play out in miniature, both on either side of the Hindu/Muslim divide.
The King’s Speech - Expires September 29
After struggling with a stammer for much of his life, the future King George VI (Bertie to his friends) seeks the help of a quirky speech therapist in order to help him execute his royal duties. With his unexpected accession to the throne, the importance of overcoming his speech impediment multiplies, and the relationship between patient and counsellor is put to the test.
In the Loop (2009) - Expires October 7
Taking place in the same setting as beloved comedy The Thick of It, politicians in the UK and US governments are debating sending troops to the Middle East. Cabinet minister Simon, who has publicly both denounced and backed a war, becomes a pawn in the strategy of both sides to get their way. Then there’s the added threat of Malcolm Tucker, the feared director of communications for the Prime Minister, who is determined not to let Simon interfere with his own plans.