Disobedience, Film 4, Tuesday, 9pm

Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams and Alessandro Nivola star in this taut three-hander from 2017 set in an Orthodox Jewish community in London. Weisz is Ronit, a photographer in New York shooting arty portraits of tattoo-covered hipsters when we first meet her and she takes a phone call telling her that her Rabbi father Rav (Anton Lesser) has died. Numbed, she goes ice skating alone, drinks red wine in a bar and has impersonal sex with a stranger in a toilet cubicle. Then she flies to a bleak, wintry London and re-enters the lives of her childhood friends Dovid (Nivola), now a Rabbi himself, and Esti, who Ronit is amazed to learn is now Dovid’s wife. Why amazed? All is revealed later. As preparations continue for Rav’s funeral and the ceremonies and rituals which attend it, Ronit moves into Dovid and Esti’s spare room and struggles to come to terms both with bereavement and her own past. That something scandalous has occurred to take her to New York is clear from the looks and comments she receives from other members of the community, but the reasons for her estrangement from her father, her faith and her former friends only gradually become clear.

Weisz is typically dark and intense, a chain-smoking interloper from the outside world who sets the mores and morals of the Orthodox community into sharp relief, and Nivola, hidden behind a thick beard and the sober black garb of an Orthodox Jew, is a brooding presence throughout. But it’s McAdams who’s the revelation – particularly if you last saw her in Netflix car crash Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga playing kooky Icelandic singer Sigrit alongside Will Ferrell’s goofball Lars. Better known for her comic turns in films such as Wedding Crashers and Mean Girls, she shows another side to her acting here as she tiptoes timidly around her own house in shapeless clothes and a frumpy wig.

The film is adapted from Naomi Alderman’s prize-winning novel of the same name and directed by Chilean film-maker Sebastián Lelio, best known for his Oscar-winning 2017 drama A Fantastic Woman (which starred transgender actor Daniela Vega), and for 2013 film Gloria, a big winner on the film festival circuit which he subsequently remade in English starring Julianne Moore and John Turturro. Both of those films centred on female characters and told stories of women finding strength and love in extremis. Disobedience is no different – slightly overlooked on release, it’s well worth a second look

The Hater, Netflix

Now streaming

Directed by young Polish film-maker Jan Komasa, whose previous film Corpus Christi was nominated for the Best International Feature Film award at this year’s Oscars, The Hater was picked up by Netflix after winning top prize at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival. Komasa, then, is clearly a man to watch.

A (very loose) sequel to his full-length feature debut Suicide Room, from 2011, The Hater follows blank-faced young sociopath Tomasz (Maciej Musiałowski) as he is thrown out of law school for plagiarism and inveigles his way into the lives of the Krasucka family, wealthy Warsaw residents who used to holiday in his village with their two daughters. Mother Zofia (Danuta Stenka) runs an upscale art gallery (typical exhibit: a wave sculpture made from clothes worn by asylum seekers) while father Robert (Top Of The Lake’s Jacek Koman) wanders around looking cool. Tomasz becomes obsessed with the drug-taking, hard-partying youngest daughter Gabi (Vanessa Aleksander), stalking her online, and then blags his way into a position with a disreputable PR company whose main source of income comes from using fake social media accounts to discredit their clients’ rivals. When that includes the gay, liberal politician standing for mayor of Warsaw, the amoral Tomasz uses his skills of manipulation and covert surveillance to befriending a Far Right activist and vlogger within a violent computer game to give him a real life mission.

Set against the backdrop of fake news, social media, Far Right street demonstrations, strident nationalism and competing political ideologies – liberal, pro-EU sentiment on the one hand, xenophobia and religious intolerance on the other – The Hater is a dark and at times deeply troubling snapshot of a modern Europe beset by fear, paranoia and self-doubt.