52. A bit too close to home?
With a dreadful topicality, new movie Vivarium – available on most digital platforms – is about a young couple trapped in a suburban house that they literally cannot escape. Whatever Tom (Jesse Eisenberg) and Gemma (Imogen Poots) do, they always end up back at No 9. A little derivative, but nicely visualised. 53. Arriving so soon?
Universal reacted with impressive speed to the sudden closure of most British cinemas, moving three of their most recent releases – The Invisible Man, The Hunt and Emma – on to digital platforms within days, where they will soon be joined by the family-friendly Trolls World Tour. Download prices are £15.99, which sounds steep until you remember that you’d probably be buying two to four tickets at the cinema. Emma is the pick of the bunch.
Anita Ekberg in La Dolce Vita. Desperate to watch an old favourite but not sure where to find it? Type in the title at FindAnyFilm and it will track down the Blu-ray, DVD, or download
54. Three sparkling Netflix gems
Remember when we all groaned at the prospect of watching Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, all three-and-a-half hours of it? Well, we’re not groaning quite so loudly now. It’s still on Netflix, where you might also want to catch up with Dolemite Is My Name, starring Eddie Murphy. The Two Popes – the brilliant picture that won Oscar nods for Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce – is there too. 55. The deadly virus story it’s ok to enjoy
Social media is full of appropriate films to watch while we’re all self-isolating. Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion, from 2011, is the all-too-realistic story of a deadly virus that suddenly sweeps the world. Digital downloads widely available. , 56. The search for your favourite movie is over
Desperate to watch an old favourite but not sure where to find it? Type in the title at FindAnyFilm and it will track down the Blu-ray, DVD, or download. 57. Lights, Camera… Inaction!
Always wanted to sound a bit more knowledgeable about film? The BBC has Mark Kermode’s three-part series Secrets Of Cinema running on BBC4 and BBC iPlayer, while on BBC Sounds there’s Matthew Sweet’s exploration of existential angst in cinema – Lights, Camera, Inaction. 58. Going for a song
For what the distributors describe as ‘a limited time’, Military Wives with Kristin Scott Thomas and Sharon Horgan is being made available on all the main premium on-demand sites. The funny, moving but ultimately uplifting tale of Army wives who form a choir while their husbands are away in Afghanistan is pretty much perfect for these difficult times.
59. And now for something completely different
For those in search of something a little different, MUBI and BFI Player are worth a look. The former is a curated subscription streaming service with current highlights Steven Shainberg’s Secretary and Park Chan-wook’s Vengeance trilogy. BFI Player combines recent new releases with art-house classics, such as Betty Blue, Maurice and La Dolce Vita. 60. Enjoy this joker with your eyes closed
Last month, Hildur Guonadottir deservedly won the Oscar for Best Original Score for Joker. If you’ve forgotten what that haunting, mournful music sounded like, remind yourself with the original soundtrack. 61. Is it as good as the book?
Always wanted to be the person who grandly opines, ‘Of course, it’s not as good as the book’? Now is the time to get ahead of the game. Agatha Christie’s Death On The Nile, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden, A J Finn’s The Woman In The Window, Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl and Frank Herbert’s Dune will stand you in good stead over coming months, in preparation for when the forthcoming adaptations finally hit the cinemas. 62. She’ll put a spell on you
A new adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches is currently due out in October. If that’s too long to wait, downloads of the 1990 version starring Anjelica Huston are available. Better still, track down the audiobook version read by Simon Callow. Sheer joy. 63. How they cornered Hollywood’s predator
Still wondering how Harvey Weinstein is now beginning a 23-year sentence for rape and sexual assault? Two powerful books help provide the horrifying answers – Ronan Farrow’s Catch And Kill and She Said by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey.
Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver. In an age of digital streaming, the lockdown doesn’t have to be an obstacle to viewing your favourite movies
64. Leaving the house? Don’t be a donkey, says Arnie
One of the unexpected joys of this period has been the sight of film stars popping up on social media to share brief tidings of quarantined joy. Personal favourites to date include Arnold Schwarzenegger telling us to stay at home, with the help of a pet donkey and pony, and Dame situs judi slot online gampang menang Dench telling us to ‘keep on laughing’ while playing with some very silly pop-up dog-ears. 65. Oh, brother, now that’s a Hollywood memoir
Diane Keaton was never going to write a conventional Hollywood memoir. Brother & Sister tells the moving story of her relationship with her troubled younger brother, Randy, who battled drink, divorce and mental illness, and is now suffering from dementia. Matthew Bond
A user’s guide to the body and a family mystery in these brilliant books
66. For the love of literature…
When Lucy Mangan was little, she devoured Enid Blyton, C S Lewis, Francine Pascal and many others, and this memoir about her early excursions into literature is a love letter to those books. An enchanting, nostalgic, comfort read about the stories that stay with you for a lifetime.
67. Exploring the world beneath our feet
Hamish Hamilton £20
If the past few weeks have felt a little like a metaphorical journey into the underworld, nature writer Robert Macfarlane can tell you what going underground is really like. In this lyrical exploration of what lies beneath, he ventures into subterranean facilities and cave systems all over the world.
68. How an an old shoebox told an extraordinary tale
House Of Glass
Fourth Estate £16.99
The discovery of a shoebox full of old family photographs and mementoes sent Hadley Freeman on a journey of discovery about the extraordinary experiences of her grandmother Sala and Sala’s three brothers during the most turbulent years of the 20th century. It’s a captivating story of human resilience.
A Claxton Diary by Mark Cocker. If you’re stuck in the house for days on end, immerse yourself in the natural world with Mark Cocker who, every day, walks from his Norfolk cottage down to the river, and then records what he has seen and heard: barn owls, grasshoppers, moths, shrews… his writing transports you there
69. Ribald revelations
Lady In Waiting
Hodder & Stoughton £20
Friend of the Royal Family and lady in waiting to Princess Margaret, Lady Glenconner displays resilience of a different kind in her memoir about the astonishing ups and downs of her aristocratic life. We visit palaces and brothels, cock fights and coronations.
70. A philosophical take on staying in
Lessons In Stoicism
Allen Lane £9.99
Tough times are nothing new. This brief book is a wonderfully clear, crisp introduction to the ancient philosophy of stoicism, espoused by, among others, Epictetus, a former Roman slave, and emperor Marcus Aurelius. Stoicism is currently enjoying a revival and research suggests that following its tenets could have mental health benefits.
71. Can’t get out to enjoy spring? try this…
A Claxton Diary
Jonathan Cape £16.99
If you’re stuck in the house for days on end, immerse yourself in the natural world with Mark Cocker who, every day, walks from his Norfolk cottage down to the river, and then records what he has seen and heard: barn owls, grasshoppers, moths, shrews… his writing transports you there.
72. Bryson’s body politic
It might occasionally be vulnerable to nasty new viruses but the human body is a truly incredible thing. Bill Bryson’s ‘owner’s manual’ examines every amazing inch of it from the head – 1.2 billion copies of this book could be stored in a piece of brain the size of a grain of salt – to the feet, which contain 52 of the body’s 206 bones.
73. Learn science in solitude
The World According To Physics
Princeton University Press £12.99
OK, you’ve done biology, what about another key science? Particle physics – how hard can it really be? Broadcaster and quantum physicist Jim Al-Khalili is a superb guide to the fundamental principles of quantum theory, relativity and thermodynamics.
74. Make a clean sweep
Hinch Yourself Happy
Michael Joseph £12.99
Cleaning can be soothing, claims Mrs Hinch, the Instagram influencer with over three million followers. This seems a good time to put that to the test. The book promises ‘step-by-step guides to hinching (cleaning) your home’.
75. The finale of mantel’s Tudor trilogy
The Mirror And The Light
Fourth Estate £25
Time to catch up with the book that everybody’s talking about: the final instalment of Hilary Mantel’s majestic trilogy about Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s fixer. Weighing in at 900 pages, it covers – spoiler alert – the final four years of Cromwell’s life and opens just moments after Anne Boleyn’s has been prematurely ended.
Tour the finest galleries and other treats for art lovers
76. How to explore the V&A when the doors are closed
The museum may be shut, but a fascinating six-part BBC series, The Victoria And Albert TV Show, takes us behind the V&A’s closed doors, introducing us to many of the curators and conservators. 77. Browse the Beardsley catalogue
For some exhibitions, perusing the catalogue in the gift shop is actually a richer experience than seeing the show. As is the case with the publication for Tate Britain’s current Aubrey Beardsley exhibition – which you can order online at most bookshops. 78. Take in a virtual show
The Google Arts and Culture app offers virtual tours of 1,200 institutions worldwide. The Metropolitan Museum in New York, Uffizi Gallery in Florence and British Museum in London are just a few of the great spaces to roam.
For some exhibitions, perusing the catalogue in the gift shop is actually a richer experience than seeing the show. As is the case with the publication for Tate Britain’s current Aubrey Beardsley exhibition – which you can order online at most bookshops
79. Moving pictures!
The National Gallery’s YouTube channel has hours’ worth of content, including a host of lectures and talks, curator guides to different masterpieces and films of Old Master paintings being restored. 80. Tour the Vatican
The Vatican Museums offer the highest concentration of artistic riches on Earth – and you can take a 360-degree tour online. Go see the Sistine Chapel today and you won’t even have to queue. Alastair Smart
Elton’s centre stage for the best audiobooks
81. This is your story
Elton John 11hrs 47mins
Funny, outrageous, moving, Elton John’s brilliantly entertaining autobiography, Me, has everything you want in a rock ‘n’ roll story. That he’s still standing is little short of a miracle.
Funny, outrageous, moving, Elton John’s brilliantly entertaining autobiography, Me, has everything you want in a rock ‘n’ roll story
82. A timely reminder of life in lockdown
A vigorous reminder that we have faced fearsome foes before – and overcome them. Britain’s War: A New World 1942-1947 is fantastically detailed but its driving narrative thrust never flags. A stunning achievement.
83. You know you want to…
Leo Tolstoy 61hrs 6mins
You’ve been planning to read War And Peace for years. If not now, when?
84. Tales from the front line
David Nott 10hrs 55mins
Nott is a British surgeon who has worked in some of the world’s most dangerous war zones, from Sarajevo to Syria. In War Doctor he tells his extraordinary story. After you’ve listened to his book, go to Desert Island Discs.
85. A cracking tale of family affairs
Marian Keyes 17hrs 3mins
The Caseys of Dublin are a glamorous, successful bunch, or so it seems. But scratch beneath the surface and it’s a different story, and when one of the clan starts telling a few home truths, everything starts to unravel. Grown Ups is an escapist family saga, narrated by the author.
All available on Audible
Games that beat crosswords hands down
86. Charming word play
Word Stacks is a strange hybrid of Tetris and Scrabble. The charming puzzle game sees you swiping to find words in a stack of blocks.
87. Design your own railway
Now most of us are no longer commuting, puzzle game Mini Metro, about designing a suburban rail system is perfect escapism. Beautiful both to look at and to listen to.
88. Fun escapist fantasy
Zen sandboarding game Alto’s Odyssey sees you surfing over beautiful two-dimensional deserts. A great way to get away from it all.
89. How to rule the world
World-building simulation game Tropico is a well-loved classic. Expect lots of road-building and political satire.
90. Enter, pursued by a bear
Word-search game Alphabear 2 sees you tapping on tiles to complete words as large bears grow in the middle of the grid.
All iOS and Android, free
For theatre fans when there is no theatre…
91. The west end comes to your living room
Listen to Johnny Flynn and Kit Harington blazing away in the recent West End hit True West, Sam Shepard’s brilliant, funny play about two brothers and a Hollywood producer. 92. Burton at his best
Sit back and let the music of narrator Richard Burton’s voice wash over you, in Dylan Thomas’s gorgeous Welsh radio play Under Milk Wood set in a fictional town by the ‘fishing-boat bobbing sea’. Available to order on CD at
Sit back and let the music of narrator Richard Burton’s voice wash over you, in Dylan Thomas’s gorgeous Welsh radio play Under Milk Wood
93. Much ado about lockdown…
Catherine Tate and David Tennant played Beatrice and Benedick, the bickering couple whose dislike turns to love, in a lovely West End version of the Shakespeare comedy Much Ado About Nothing. Watch it – along with The Crucible and Hamlet – online at Digital Theatre. 94. Watch the bard online
In The Show Must Go Online, on YouTube, casts are reading a new Shakespeare play each week, in the order they were thought to have been written. So the series kicks off with The Two Gentlemen Of Verona, with the cast performing via video link. 95. The play’s the thing… to read
Read Tom Stoppard’s latest West End play, Leopoldstadt, which was doing roaring business until the theatres shut. It’s about a Jewish family in Vienna seen across several decades. If you liked The Hare With Amber Eyes you’ll love it. Published by Faber & Faber, Robert Gore-Langton
A symphony on your sofa or these classical greats at home
96. Spotify’s classic collection
Spotify’s classical section has a host of top-notch performances: for instance, Tasmin Little performing Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending with the BBC Philharmonic, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. Elsewhere new streaming service Primephonic is specifically skewed towards classical music and there you can find the likes of Anne-Sophie Mutter as the soloist in Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, accompanied by the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Herbert von Karajan.
New streaming service Primephonic is specifically skewed towards classical music and there you can find the likes of Anne-Sophie Mutter as the soloist in Beethoven’s Violin Concerto
97. find the orchestra online
The London Symphony Orchestra has cancelled concerts at London’s Barbican but every Thursday and Sunday will be showing concerts from its archive on its YouTube channel. Similarly, the Royal Opera House is doing online broadcasts.
98. Glyndebourne revisited
Between 1972 and 1980, Southern TV filmed a range of Glyndebourne operas, when the opera house was in its prime. These Glyndebourne Classics are available on DVD, enabling you to see great opera as the composers intended. 99. Roll over to Beethoven
Why not get to know the man whose 250th birthday it is this year? Naxos, Warner Classics and Deutsche Grammophon have all recently issued complete sets of his works, which can be ordered. And John Suchet has a new book: .
100. Tune in for a classic fix
You can hear yours truly on Classic FM between 5pm and 7pm on Sundays. Why not also sample the music encyclopaedia that is Rob Cowan on Saturdays (7pm-9pm)? And Andrew Collins’s movie music in the slot just before him? A great introduction to serious music.