May brings with it a whole host of new films and TV shows, especially as cinemas begin to reopen and tentatively start showing brand new releases. Here are our film, TV and on-demand highlights for May 2021
Mainstream – 7 May
From the Coppola entertainment dynasty emerges another director – this time, granddaughter of Francis, Gia Coppola, with Mainstream. Starring Maya Hawke, Andrew Garfield, Johnny Knoxville, Nat Wolff and Coppola mainstay Jason Schwartzman, the film acts as a cautionary tale as three people form a strange love triangle while trying to maintain their autonomy in the fast-paced technological modern world.
The Woman in the Window – 14 May
Based on the thriller by controversial author A J Finn, Amy Adams leads the psychological drama as Dr Anna Fox, an agoraphobic psychologist who becomes fascinated by a family living across the street, only to be implicated when the mother goes missing. Directed by Joe Wright (Pride and Prejudice, Anna Karenina), the film also features Gary Oldman, Julianne Moore and Anthony Mackie.
Those Who Wish Me Dead – 14 May
Angelina Jolie returns to the big screen in a self-described “female-driven neo-western”, adapted from the novel by Michael Koryta. Set in the wilderness of the Montana forest, the film follows a young boy who witnesses his father’s murder and is forced on the run by assassins wishing to silence him. The film also stars Nicholas Hoult, Tyler Perry and Jon Bernthal.
Rare Beasts – 21 May
The directorial debut of actress Billie Piper, Rare Beasts is an anti-romantic comedy about a career-focused single mother who falls in love with a seemingly charming, traditional man. Having previously debuted at the Venice Film Festival, Piper leads the cast alongside Leo Bill, Lily James, Kerry Fox and David Thewlis.
Cruella – 28 May
Disney+ has exclusive streaming rights to this Cruella de Vil origin story starring Emma Stone as the eponymous Dalmatian hunting villain, originated in the live-action films by Glenn Close (who also acts as an executive producer). With Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya, Lars and the Real Girl) directing a script from a bounty of Hollywood’s top working writers, Emma Thompson, Joel Fry, Emily Beecham and Mark Strong also feature in Disney’s latest live-action feature.
The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It – 28 May
The third installment in The Conjuring franchise, the film returns to the case files of Lorraine and Ed Warren, legendary paranormal investigators, bringing to life one of their most terrifying and sensational cases. Based on the real-life tale of when a suspect accused of murder would claim demonic possession as a defence, Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson return to play the Warrens, joined by Ruairi O’Connor, Charlene Amoia and Sterling Jerins.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch – 4 May (Disney+)
Prepare to celebrate Star Wars Day in full force with the release of this animated series from Disney+. Starring Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad), Ming-Na Wen, Stephen Stanton and Andrew Kishino, the series follows Clone Force 99 – aka the Bad Batch, who was introduced in the Attack of Clones film – who take on a series of incredible missions and adventures in the aftermath of the Clone Wars.
Selena: The Series – 4 May (Netflix)
Following the release of the first part of the series in December, Netflix will release part two of Selena: The Series this month. Actress Christian Serratos portrays the iconic Tejano singer, with the second half of the series continuing to explore the sacrifices and challenges her family face as she rises to fame. The series has been officially supported and authorised by Selena’s family, with the second part likely to explore the downside of Selena’s newfound fame.
The Underground Railroad – 14 May (Amazon Prime)
Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel emerges from development on Amazon this May, directed by Barry Jenkins (Moonlight, If Beale Street Could Talk). Starring Thuso Mbedu, Aaron Pierre and Joel Edgerton, the series presents an alternate timeline in which the Underground Railroad is an actual railroad, on which an enslaved woman named Cora attempts to escape to freedom. Brad Pitt’s Plan B entertainment company produces.
Eurovision Song Contest – 22 May (BBC1)
Aptly themed “open up”, Rotterdam finally gets its chance to host Europe’s favourite night of music after its win in 2019. Broadcast in the UK on BBC1 – and complete with the iconic commentary by beloved Irish chat show host Graham Norton – 39 countries will compete to claim the Eurovision trophy. James Newman, the UK’s selection for the 2020 contest, will return to compete with a brand-new song called “Embers”.
The Kominsky Method – 28 May (Netflix)
The Golden Globe award-winning series returns to Netflix for its third and final season. Starring Michael Douglas as a has-been actor who now works as a coach for new talent, the third season is likely to explore life without his old friend as Alan Arkin will not be returning for the last episodes of the show. Kathleen Turner is bumped up to series regular, with Sarah Baker, Nancy Ann Travis and Paul Reiser returning.
Domina – 14 May (Sky Atlantic)
Sky Atlantic’s new sweeping historical drama turns the tables on our notions of ancient Rome – by placing women at the forefront of power and politics in the Roman Empire. The series follows Livia Drusilla, Emperor Tiberius’s mother, who quickly became one of Rome’s most influential and powerful women in the aftermath of Julius Caesar’s assassination. It stars Kasia Smutniak, Isabella Rossellini, Matthew McNulty and Liam Cunningham.
Taskmaster The Podcast
With Series Eleven well underway on Channel 4, former champion (and chickpea enthusiast) Ed Gamble breaks down each new episode in a weekly podcast, chatting with former contestants about the show they’ve just seen – and their own experiences battling the fiendish Taskmaster, as well as backstage secrets you never knew. New episodes are released weekly at 10pm following the Thursday night broadcast.
Americast from BBC Sounds
Hosted by Jon Sopel, the BBC’s North America Editor, and BBC journalist and Newsnight host Emily Maitlis, if you’ve ever wanted to try and understand the theatre of chaos that is American political life this is the podcast for you. Featuring interviews with politicians, activists and journalists, Sopel and Maitlis break down the week’s biggest talking points, take questions from listeners – and generally attempt to explain what on earth is going on across the pond.
Bridgerton: The Official Podcast
As the Shondaland and Netflix behemoth prepares to film Season Two of this regency romance series – now following eldest Bridgerton Anthony in his own love story – this podcast aims to give listeners an insight into how the show is made, chatting with the actors, writers, production team and designers who have brought Julia Quinn’s novels to life. If you’ve found yourself consumed by the show, the podcast will tide your obsession until season two makes it to our screens.