The Falling ★★★★
PREMIERE 9.45-11.25pm BBC2
Carol Morley has been making films since graduating from St Martins art school in 1993, mostly shorts, often personal. (The Alcohol Years was a daring autobiographical investigation into the youth she lost to drink-induced oblivion.) After her acclaimed docudrama Dreams of a Life came this, her second dramatic feature and finest hour. Made for a BFI-assisted £750,000, it’s a substantial technical leap forward. Part kitchen-sink story, part psychedelic fantasia, it tells with modest lyricism the tale of a mysterious fainting epidemic at an all-girls school in the late 60s; its closest antecedent the cult 70s drama Picnic at Hanging Rock. Maisie Williams (Arya Stark in Game of Thrones) compels as a sexually explorative pupil obsessed with a dead girl, whereupon darker secrets are unlocked. Maxine Peake brings star power as her agoraphobic mother and Joe Cole (Peaky Blinders) is brave as her brother. The results are both artistic and captivating.
For more of today’s free-to-air films, see our TV listings