A Trifecta of Sunday's Best Films on the Box
For Sunday 24 April 2016
For French-speakers or English subtitle-readers who seek engagement, not distraction, from movies, the BEST FILM OF THE DAY is undoubtedly Two Days, One Night (4.20pm Max). For the diehards and/or the ones with DVR options, several Game of Thrones marathons start, some before daybreak, on HBO channels – check individual listings. The excellent opening episode of the British Black Mirror, which is not really TV, but near-feature length short film, is listed as starting on ISat at 7pm and repeating twice before the Black Mirror White Christmas special at 9pm but, with the vagaries of early programming listing, it might turn out to be a season two marathon; in any case, it will be spellbinding. As usual, the DirecTV Channel leads on live concert and music documentary, with George Michael Live at Palais Garnier Paris (11am), Ringo Starr: A Lifetime of Peace and Love (12 midday) and the Change Begins Within Concert (1pm)
Today’s number one film:
The Descendants (Alexander Payne/ 2011/ USA/ Drama/ 115 mins / R for language including some sexual references), 1.55pm Fox Family. Watch this if you liked Another Year, The Kids Are All Right or Please Give. The Sideways director delivers a powerful, touching drama giving George Clooney his best role since O Brother Where Art Thou? Apart from the possibly intermittently intrusive score, this is a nearly perfectly made film about loss, forgiveness and redemption. The last frame, in which the cast watch the audience, recalls The 400 Blows and approaches genius. Named by BC on TV as the third-best DVD release of 2013, it is an unmitigated delight for all but the moronic. Do not be fooled by the programming cockup of this film screening on a channel with the word “family” in its actual name: this is not a film for children; in a perfect world, or a at least a world less shallow than ours, it would not screen before 9pm.
Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring (aka Lord of the Rings 1) (Peter Jackson/ 2001/ New Zealand-USA/ Adventure-Fantasy / 178 mins/ Rated PG-13 for epic battle sequences and some scary images), 4.45pm HBO Caribbean. Watch this if you liked King Kong, The Dark Knight or either of the two other The Lord of the Rings films. Peter Jackson’s magnificent interpretation of the JRR Tolkien fantasy world of hobbits, orcs, wizards, elves and magic is as exciting as adventure comes. Even if you never read the books while you were supposed to be doing your Sociology 101 paper, Peter Jackson’s alternative universe is so well-made, anyone giving it undivided attention will reap greater dividends than a Coca-Cola shareholder. It shows often and is usually a contender for the best film of the night but, amazingly, neither this film or its equally good second and third instalments have been picked by the current incarnation of BC on TV.
Before Sunset (Richard Linklater/ 2004/ USA/ Drama-Romance/ 80 mins/ Rated R for some language and sexual references),
1.30pm ISat. Watch this if you liked Boyhood, Once or The Sunset Limited. The sequel to the Boyhood director’s 1997 sleeper hit Before Sunrise has Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy pairing up nine years later, but to wander around Paris instead of Vienna, this time with the resignation of adulthood about them instead of the boundless optimism of youth. The whole film is one long conversation. Those who loved the first film ought to love the second and those who love Linklater will not be disappointed; but, for most folk, saying it’s a lot faster than The English Patient doesn’t mean it’s XXX; or even as action-packed as Girl with a Pearl Earring.
JUST NOSED OUT:
Selma (Biography), 12.15 midday Max; Grease (Musical), 4.05pm FoxFam; The Neverending Story (Children-Fantasy), 2pm TCM; E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (Sci-fi-Adventure-Family), 3.45pm TCM; **Kingsman: The Secret Service (Action-Comedy-Fantasy), 5.10pm FoxAct; My Beautiful Laundrette (LGBT), 9pm DTV
Action/Adventure: Oldboy (American version), 1.40pm F+1; Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, 7.40pm MaxP
Art House/Independent: Beautiful Creatures, 5.24pm Max
Biography: Alive, 10.55am FoxClas
Children/Family: Night at the Museum, 11am FoxMov
Classic: Clash of the Titans (Laurence Olivier), 2.45pm HBOC; Any Which Way You Can (Comedy), 10.15am MaxP
Comedy: Meet the Parents 3, 1.20pm FoxMov; The Naked Gun, 10.30am TCM
Rom-Com: Dirty Dancing, 9pm FoxClas; You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, 9pm MaxU
Documentary: *Parkland (Docudrama), 4.10pm Max
Drama: Whiplash, 8pm approx. HBOS; Any Given Sunday (Sports), 4.25pm MaxP
Horror: Cloverfield (Creature feature), 1.30pm FoxAct
Sci-Fi/Fantasy: Transformers: Dark of the Moon, 6,39pm FoxMov; V for Vendetta, 12.48 midday Spac
War: Black Hawk Down, 3.50pm Prmt
Western: Young Guns II, approx. 3.15pm FoxClas
*Starred films have been chosen in the last two years. ** Double-starred films have been chosen in the last three months.
Scheduled Internet times often vary on the day, particularly around month-end.