Celebrating International DAY of Happiness

Big Picture Show Recommends is your lockdown guide to great films that you can stream for free on platforms like BBC iPlayer, BFI, Channel 4 and of course films on the TV. We have also added in a couple that are available to rent or stream on subscription services. In celebration of International Day of Happiness on 20th March we’re sharing our pick of feel-good, happy and funny films to lift your spirits, warm your hearts and make you chuckle.

TOP PICK – This Beautiful Fantastic

PG | 1h 26min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

When Bella Brown, a reclusive young woman, is threatened with eviction unless she gives her garden a makeover, she sets to work, watched by her scornful and curmudgeonly next-door neighbour, Alfie. 

“A charming, beautifully photographed modern fairy tale about love and gardening”
“it’s different, gorgeous to look at, and you go away feeling good about life and lilacs.” The Observer

Director: Simon Aboud
Stars: Mia Farkasovska, Jessica Brown Findlay, Anna Chancellor

Available on BBC iPlayer until the end of March


There is always plenty of free-to-watch on our BPS Recommends list. Some family favourites, classics and films you may not have heard of. All, this time, with a feel-good theme.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019)

TV-PG | 1h 53min | Biography, Drama, History

William Kamkwamba is a 13-year-old living with his family in rural Malawi. After a famine forces him to leave school, William sets his exceptional mind to coming up with a solution.

“a genuinely life-affirming tale that displays a refreshingly unpatronising view of the challenges facing communities in 21st-century Africa”

★★★★ Radio Times

Director: Chiwetel Ejiofor
Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Maxwell Simba, Felix Lemburo

Watch on BBC Two on Sunday 21st, March 10pm and on iPlayer afterwards

While We’re Young (2014)

 15 | 1h 37min | Comedy, Drama, Mystery 

A middle-aged couple find their career and marriage upturned when a disarming young couple enters their lives. 

“a very funny film” 
★★★★★ The Guardian 
★★★★ Mark Kermode 

Director: Noah Baumbach
Stars: Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver

Available until October on My 5 


PG | 1h 53min | Drama, Family

Attending school for the first time, home-schooled ten-year-old August, who has an extensive facial deformity, gets to grips with the outside world.

★★★★ Radio Times 

An inspiring and heartwarming story starring Julia Roberts and Jacob Tremblay, based on the bestselling novel of the same name by R. J. Palacio.

“Auggie, the little boy in this smart and warmhearted family film, is inspirational in his differences.” NY Times 

Director: Stephen Chbosky
Stars: Jacob Tremblay, Owen Wilson, Izabela Vidovic

Watch on Sunday 21st March at 3.20pm on Channel 4 

The Face of Love

12 | 1h 32min | Drama, Mystery, Romance | 2013

A dramatic tale of love, humour and a heart-warming twist of fate. ‘The Face of Love’ boasts a stellar cast, including a performance from the late, legendary Robin Williams.
★★★★ Culture Fix

Director: Arie Posin
Stars: Annette Bening, Ed Harris, Robin Williams

Available until 20 May on My 5 

Happy Feet

PG | 1h 48min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy | 2006

A fun family favourite. In the world of the Emperor Penguins, who find their soul mates through song, a penguin is born who cannot sing. But he sure knows how to tap dance!

Directors: George Miller, Warren Coleman
Stars: Elijah Wood, Brittany Murphy, Hugh Jackman

ITV 2,
20 March


Passed | 1h 53min | Comedy, Drama, Family | 1944

Judy Garland stars in Vincente Minnelli’s colourful musical about the everyday adventures and romantic entanglements of the Smith family in St. Louis.
★★★★★ Radio Times 

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Judy Garland, Margaret O’Brien, Mary Astor

20 March 1:15pm 

Subscription & To Rent


12 | 2h 3min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

At the age of 21, Tim is told by his father (Bill Nighy) that the men in their family can travel back in time and change what happens and has happened in their lives. Tim’s decision to make his world a better place by getting a girlfriend turns out not to be as easy as he first thought.

“Smart and sweet, funny and genuinely moving” ★★★★ EMPIRE

Director: Richard Curtis
Stars: Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy

Available on Netflix

Mamma Mia! (2008)

PG | 1h 48min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

On an idylic Greek island, a bride-to-be goes in search of her real father ahead of her wedding day, without telling her mother. A truly feel-good musical featuring ABBA’s top pop hits.

Director: Phyllida Lloyd
Stars: Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried

Available on Netflix

Matilda (1996)

PG | 1h 42min | Comedy, Family,

A whimsical and magic-filled film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s story of Matilda Wormwood, a gifted girl forced to put up with a crude, distant father and mother, who finds a friend in Miss Honey, her teacher.

Director: Danny DeVito
Stars: Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Mara Wilson

Available on Netflix


As part of their digital offering this Spring, our friends at Rural Touring Dance Initiative (RTDI), have worked with RTDI Alumni Alleyne Dance to present their heart-warming short interactive dance film ‘(Re)United’.

Highlighting the strength of family bonds; watch the anticipation, joy, fear and excitement leading up to the moment siblings reunite after being separated for over half of their lives. Witness how connectivity is not limited to the physical but can be held together through love and hope.

Directed by award-winning filmmaker, Antoine Marc Performed by award-winning dancers Kristina and Sadé Alleyne. Please note that this film contains FULL nudity.

* please be aware this film contains full nudity in the final scenes.


Big Picture Show Online is our new monthly event that lets you enjoy newly-released films from the comfort of your own home. Tickets are going quickly for our next, and third, virtual screening of historical comedy-drama ‘Misbehaviour’ on Friday 26th March, 7:30pm.

1h 46min | Comedy Drama | 2020 | 12A

The true-life story of how the Women’s Liberation Movement disrupted the Miss World competition of 1970, the most-watched TV show in the world.

Directed by Philippa Lowthorpe (The Crown, Call The Midwife) and staring Keira Knightley, Gugu Mbatha-Raw & Jessie Buckley, this British comedy drama looks at issues of feminism, race and class while maintaining an element of humour about what was a ridiculous event.  

WOW FILM FESTIVAL 11th – 21st March

WOW Film Festival is celebrating its 20th year by bringing you outstanding, handpicked cinema from across the globe, entirely for free and online! The festival wraps up this weekend on 21st March, so be sure to take a look around while you still can. Find their feel-good selection here.

Tickets are limited and available to book at http://www.wowfilmfestival.com

Can’t get enough of film?

We’re partnering with YourScreen to bring a fantastic programme of world cinema – most of it new to the UK and not available on other streaming platforms – into your living room.

By choosing to get your world cinema fix via YourScreen, you will also be supporting Live & Local as we get a share of every ticket sold using our promo code LAL25

As a thankyou for supporting us, you will get 25% off each ticket purchase. Just enter LAL25 at checkout.

Get started:

• Go to the YourScreen streaming platform, here:  https://watch.yourscreen.net/

• Scroll down the homepage through the current season to the film you want to view and click on the image. This will take you to the individual film page.

• Click the ‘Watch £9.99’ button. The first time you do this you’ll be asked to set up an account – very quick and easy, just name, email address and password.

• Once you have created your account, or signed in to your existing account, you’ll be returned to the payment window. Please note what it says here: “48 hour playback window. Once rented, your film will be available in your account for 28 days. Once you press play, the watch window begins and you have 48 hours to watch the film as many times as you like.”

• Tick the ‘I have a promo code’ box. This will open a new pane.

• Enter the YourScreen access code in this pane and click ‘Apply’. This will reduce the rental price to £7.49.

• Enter your card details and click ‘Watch’.

• Enjoy the film!

• Nb – any film that you start watching will be placed in your ‘Library’, which you can access via the ‘Signed in as…’ drop down menu, top right. Accessing your films here, you can pick up where you left off at any time during the 48 hour watch window.

Start watching

With so many great films, it’s about time we start watching, if we want to get through the list. Follow Live & Local Film Schemes on Facebook and Twitter for regular film recommendations and be sure to subscribe to the Live & Local blog for updates across the organisation.

Let us know which films you’ll be watching in the comments and don’t forget to tell us what you think of them.

Streaming Films Online

Many of the films on BBC iPlayer and 4oD offer subtitles and audio description.
For a handy guide on getting setting up and using BBC iPlayer on your smart TV click here.

A guide to film certificate age ratings can be found here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s