Set in the San Fernando valley in the 1970s, Licorice Pizza (above) finds American director Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread, There Will Be Blood) in a playful mood, with a coming-of-age story of a teenage crush, as precocious high-schooler Gary Valentine develops feelings for a much older woman (she’s 25).
National treasure Stephen Graham is first among equals playing the head chef in a superbly-acted exercise in tension and claustrophobia set in a busy hotel restaurant kitchen. Filmed in one long take, this arresting debut firmly marks director Philip Barantini as a name to watch.
International intrigue ahoy, in a spy thriller employing the old “recover the world-destroying MacGuffin from the mercenaries” premise. Never mind that we all know how that one goes, The 355 appeals mainly because of its top-tier cast: who wouldn’t want to see Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o and Penélope Cruz team up to save the world?
Iranian film-maker Asghar Farhadi (A Separation, The Salesman) always relishes a zesty moral parable, and his latest is no different: in A Hero, a man imprisoned for debt must try to convince his creditor to withdraw his complaint, but as ever in Farhadi’s films, nothing is ever simple. Catherine Bray
11 to 15 January; starts Glasgow
American artist Moriah Pereira created Poppy (above) as a living avatar who satirised internet culture via a hugely popular YouTube channel. Over the course of four albums, however, the person beneath the android surface has started to emerge, with last year’s Flux utilising pop punk’s gonzo energy to winning effect. Michael Cragg
Lise Davidsen & Leif Ove Andsnes
Barbican, London, 13 January
Opera’s current favourite soprano teams up with pianist Andsnes for a recital centred on music by their fellow Norwegian, Edvard Grieg. Davidsen sings Grieg’s Six Songs Op 48 and his cycle The Mountain Maid, as well as Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder and a group of songs by Richard Strauss. Andrew Clements
11 to 20 January; starts Manchester
At the start of lockdown the silky-haired, big-voiced Ryder started covering his favourite songs on TikTok, a move that found him some famous fans (Justin Bieber, Sia) and more than 11 million followers. He’s now signed to Parlophone and is taking his windswept originals on a UK tour. MC
Calum Gourlay Big Band
Vortex Jazz Club, London, 12 January
The inspirational first mentor of Calum Gourlay, the Glasgow-raised bassist-bandleader, was Scottish jazz star Tommy Smith – an education in everything from driving bass-playing to directing a cutting-edge orchestra. Gourlay’s talent-packed big band continues its regular Vortex residency, and these gigs can be enjoyed both in person or as livestreams. Fordham
Hockney to Himid
Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, to 24 April
PPrint-making, as old as the printing press, had a revival in the 1960s and has never looked back. This survey of 60 years of British art starts with Hockney’s pop prints and Eduardo Paolozzi (above), and comes right up to date with Tracey Emin’s passionate lines, Lubaina Himid’s bold colour, Grayson Perry’s carnivals on paper, and many more.
V&A, London, to 8 May
Gorgeous and enigmatic images from medieval manuscripts, glowing with pink flower-like forms, bright blue classical columns and monks being dragged away by green devils. All these fantastic sheets were cut out of the books they originally decorated to be sold on the 19th-century art market. A cornucopia of clippings.
Camden Art Centre, London, 14 January to 13 March
This London-based Canadian artist has turned the gallery into a pink and red system of organic passages in which her paintings and posters hang. It is entitled Artery, to stress this theme of inner bloody space. She explores her personal history in a show conceived in lockdown.
Turner in January
Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, to 31 January
The swirling storms and icy Alpine abysses painted by JMW Turner suit winter days. This display of some of his greatest watercolours is a century-old tradition, suspended last year but now roaring back. Don’t let the term “watercolour” fool you: there’s nothing insipid about Turner’s mighty seas and skies. Jonathan Jones
Ipswich Regent theatre, 8 January; G Live, Guildford, 12 & 13 January; York Barbican, 14 & 15 January; touring to 8 October
On a standup tour mixing showbiz stories and salt-of-the-earth observations – as per the best camp comedy tradition – Carr is an expert at balancing glamour with relatable grottiness. Rachel Aroesti
Life of Pi
Wyndham’s theatre, London, to 29 May
Stunning puppets, clever magic tricks and crystal-clear storytelling bring this stage adaptation of Yann Martel’s philosophical tale – about a boy and Bengal tiger stranded at sea – roaring into life.
Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World
Chichester Festival theatre, 12 to 16 January
Chris Bush and Miranda Cooper’s musical version of Kate Pankhurst’s book about pioneering female figures, including Frida Kahlo, Rosa Parks and Emmeline Pankhurst, stars some of the original queens from the smash musical Six. Miriam Gillinson
London Coliseum, WC2, 13 to 23 January
Ballerina turned company director Tamara Rojo is on a mission to reinvent classical ballet in innovative ways. In her new production masterminded for English National Ballet, she turns a staid 1898 work set during the Crusades into a Crimean war drama with a strong female lead inspired by Florence Nightingale. Lyndsey Winship
Rules of the Game
BBC One, 12 January
Work is a total nightmare in this unsettling four-part drama (above), which follows a new HR boss at a Cheshire-based sportswear brand with a familial mindset and an incredibly problematic office culture. Maxine Peake plays the company’s hard-nosed COO – but yet another unexplained death threatens to unravel her, too.
Netflix, 18 January
The podcast adaptation goldrush continues apace with this time- and mind-bending horror, which follows an archivist reconstructing an unfinished documentary about a sinister cult. He’s soon convinced he can rescue the film’s director – despite the fact she’s been dead for 25 years.
Sky Atlantic, 10 January
Starting a moral panic isn’t easy nowadays, but the first season of this US high-school drama – featuring an Emmy-winning performance from Zendaya – came pretty close. Expect more drugs, sex, violence and unremitting bleakness as the show returns for another dose of bracingly grim teen despair.
Netflix, 14 January
This three-part stop-motion animation has a stellar cast – Helena Bonham Carter, Miranda Richardson, Will Sharpe, Mark Heap – yet the most important character is the building at its core. Occupants past, present and future try to reshape their new home, but the house has other ideas.
God of War
Out 14 January, PC
One of the greatest PlayStation games (above) is coming to PC this week. The tale of an exhausted single dad who also happens to be a Greek god in hiding in the mythological realms of Scandinavia, it mixes superb combat with a story that hits surprisingly hard.
Out 11 January, PC, PS4, Xbox
A western role-playing game with werewolves, witches and other supernatural strangeness that adds an interesting twist to the ol’ frontier storytellin’ and shootin’. If you miss 90s computer RPGs such as Planescape Torment, this is one to check out.
Yard Act – The Overload
With famous fans including Elton John and Tony Visconti, the Leeds post-punkers (above) head into a new year riding a wave of hype. This spit-flecked debut album, which pairs frontman James Smith’s barked lyrics skewering modern Britain with shards of angular guitar, just about lives up to it.
RuPaul – Mamaru
The Drag Race titan returns to music with his 14th album. In fact, Mamaru’s first two singles both take place within his increasingly ubiquitous show’s DayGlo world; Just What They Want offers advice for new Queens, while the catty trap anthem Blame It on the Edit calls out contestants criticising the show.
Twin Atlantic – Transparency
Now a duo following the departure of drummer Craig Kneale last September, the Scottish alt-rock exponents return with their sixth album. While recent single Dirty channels 80s-era Depeche Mode, the pulsating Get Famous is bang up to date with its on-the-nose lyrics raising an arched eyebrow at influencer culture.
The Wombats – Fix Yourself, Not the World
Recorded remotely between London, LA and Oslo, before being finished alongside producers Mike Crossey (the 1975) and Jacknife Lee (REM), indie pop stalwarts the Wombats’s fifth album continues their passion for big-chorused, off-kilter anthems. Ready for the High, for example, hints at an arms aloft singalong before sagging into 2021 malaise. MC
The Unfiltered History Tour
This fascinating alternative tour of the British Museum aims to better illustrate the origins of 10 looted objects in the museum’s collection, via expert testimony. Available as an augmented reality experience for museum visitors, as well as online.
Call Your Girlfriend
Long-distance relationships are often tricky but best friends Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman have been making an artform out of cross-country catch-ups since launching their podcast in 2014. This month sees its final episodes, covering current affairs with inimitable chat.
The Lady and the Dale
Sky Documentaries, 10 January
Amid the 1970s energy crisis, entrepreneur Elizabeth Carmichael rose to fame with “The Dale”, her fuel-efficient three-wheeled car invention. This three-part series explores the scam that ensued and how it intersected with her chaotic, criminal past. Ammar Kalia