An Ed Sheeran album and a spinoff of “The Bachelor” starring a 72-year-old widower are some of the new television, movies, music and games headed to a device near you
Among the offerings worth your time as selected by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists are Wes Anderson's movie “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar” starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and Jesse L. Martin returns to NBC in “The Irrational,” playing a behavioral science expert.
NEW MOVIES TO STREAM
— John Carney, the director of “Sing Street” and “Begin Again,” has a new musically inclined charmer in “Flora and Son,” arrives on Apple TV+ Friday. Eve Hewson stars as a single mother to a 14-year-old boy in Ireland who are both having a rough time of it. In an attempt to “change the narrative” she signs up for remote guitar lessons, with a California based instructor played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. AP Film Writer Jake Coyle wrote that it’s a star-making turn for Hewson. “Hewson’s confident, charismatic leading performance has enough grit and spunk to light up the screen,” he wrote, adding that, “Carney, who wrote and directed the film, has a way of not hitting the cornball notes too hard and mixing in enough humor to keep the saccharine tones from overpowering.”
— It doesn’t seem real that we could have two Wes Anderson movies in a year, but sometimes good things do happen. In addition to “Asteroid City” (on Peacock), Netflix has “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar,” a Roald Dahl adaptation starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the title character that starts streaming on Wednesday. Clocking in at just under 40 minutes, the glowingly reviewed film is and the first of four rolling out shortly after including “The Swan” (Thursday), “The Ratcatcher” on Fridayand “Poison” on Saturday.
— “Other People’s Children,” an intelligent French gem from director Rebecca Zlotowski, follows a 40-year-old teacher Rachel, (played by the wonderful Virginie Efira) who embarks on a relationship with a man (Roschdy Zem) who has a 4-year-old daughter. Rachel has no children of her own, and is satisfied with her life, but also finds herself developing a strong attachment to the little girl as the three inch closer and closer to feeling like a family. The “new girlfriend” rarely gets this sort of nuanced, empathetic treatment and Efira brings life and lightness to a complex but never tragic character. There are wonderfully comedic scenes and those that will pull on your heartstrings too — and, of course, Paris isn’t hard on the eyes either. The film opened quietly in the U.S. earlier this year but will be available to stream now on MUBI and should not be missed.
NEW MUSIC TO STREAM
— In May, the English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran released “−“, or “Subtract,” his fifth full-length album and the final installment of his series of releases named after math symbols. (The first was his 2011 debut, “+.”) On “Autumn Variations,” Sheeran’s sixth album, produced by The National’s Aaron Dessner (Taylor Swift, Gracie Abrams), a divorce from the format has allowed for new freedoms. Inspired by composer Edward Elgar’s “Enigma Variations,” in which every composition was about a different friend, Sheeran’s latest release centers on his relationships. “Last autumn, I found that my friends and I were going through so many life changes. After the heat of the summer, everything either calmed, settled, fell apart, came to a head, or imploded,” Sheeran said in a statement. “When I went through a difficult time at the start of last year, writing songs helped me understand my feelings and come to terms with what was going on.” Prepare the tissues.
— It has been five long years since Jorja Smith ’s debut LP, “Lost & Found,” defined an era of R&B-pop-trip-hop. In 2021, she dropped a short EP, “Be Right Back,” as a sort of intermediary — but who knew the sophomore release of “Falling or Flying” would take her to new exploratory heights? Surprises abound, from the Bombay Bicycle Club and the Kooks-inspired English-indie track “Go Go Go” to the glossy, soulful title track “Falling or Flying.” “I like this world that I’ve just come into. And I’m still figuring things out. Always figuring things out,” Smith says of releasing new music in the current era. “This is the first time I’m putting stuff out there that I can connect with right now.”
NEW SERIES TO STREAM
— Jesse L. Martin returns to NBC in “ The Irrational, ” playing a behavioral science expert with a keen understanding of what makes people tick. This skill makes him an in-demand problem solver and translator-of-sorts for government agencies and big corporations. The show is based on Dan Ariely’s book, “Predictably Irrational” premiered Monday and streams on Peacock. (For more autumn TV options, check out AP's fall preview here.)
— Blake Shelton left “The Voice” last spring after 23 seasons but another country star has taken a seat in a swivel chair. Reba McEntire joins the show as a coach alongside Gwen Stefani, John Legend and Niall Horan, who won last season with contestant Gina Miles. Season 24 of “The Voice” airs new episodes on Monday on NBC. It streams the next day on Peacock.
— What happens when you combine Reese Witherspoon’s production company Hello Sunshine and the team behind “Vanderpump Rules” for an unscripted show? Romance in a small, Southern town with a side of gossip! “Love in Fairhope” follows five women at different points of their life as they look for love in Fairhope, Alabama — a town with historic homes, tree-lined streets, bluffs overlooking a bay, and where everyone knows one another other’s business. “Love in Fairhope” debuted Wednesday on Hulu.
— The next spinoff of “The Bachelor” franchise aims to show you can’t set an age limit on finding love. Gerry Turner, 72 is “The Golden Bachelor.” A widower from Iowa, Turner had 22 women, ages 60 and older, vying for his affection. “The Golden Bachelor” premiered Thursday on ABC and streams the following day on Hulu.
NEW VIDEO GAMES TO PLAY
— Denmark’s Jeppe Carlsen was the lead designer of the indie sensations Limbo and Inside, two of the eeriest games of the last 15 years. He’s launched a new studio, Geometric Interactive, and its debut release, Cocoon, looks just as spooky. It’s an exploration of the multiverse in which you can carry an entire world in an orb on your back. Not only can you jump between orbs, sometimes you’ll need to insert one world inside another to solve a particular tricky puzzle. All this globetrotting leads to a “cosmic mystery” — and, if Cocoon is anything like Carlsen’s previous work, you might not want to know the answer. The trip begins Friday on Xbox X/S/One, PlayStation 5/4, Nintendo Switch and PC.
— EA Sports’ FIFA has long been one of the world’s bestselling sports games, but some soccer fans were concerned when the publisher and the sport’s worldwide governing body ended their 30-year arrangement. Not to worry: EA is back on the pitch with FC24, which presumably stands for “football club.” You won’t be able to compete in the World Cup, but more than 700 real-life teams, from the English Premier League on down, are playable. Or you can build your own team from more than 19,000 actual footballers — even combining men and women on the same squad. As Ted Lasso would say, good thinkin’, Abe Lincoln. Kickoff is Friday on Xbox X/S/One, PlayStation 5/4, Nintendo Switch and PC.
Catch up on AP’s entertainment coverage here: https://apnews.com/entertainment.
The Associated Press