Film Highlights Monday
J Edgar (2011)
Sky Movies Drama, 10.10pm
Clint Eastwood's problematic but absorbing account of the life and times of the FBI director J Edgar Hoover is made more than watchable by Leonardo DiCaprio's intelligent portrayal of the much-vilified public official.
Hoover swept to power in the rowdy 1920s and soon got to grips with left-wing revolutionaries and bootlegging gangsters. He did so by initiating modern policing tools such as forensics and a national criminal database, but as Hoover gained a permanent foothold in Washington his scheming and paranoia became a menace to successive administrations.
Eastwood's film also investigates claims that Hoover was a secret homosexual, and Arnie Hammer plays the FBI aide who may or may not have been his lover. The film gets lost at times in a blizzard of detail, but DiCaprio is excellent as the devious Hoover.
Heaven Can Wait (1943)
Don Ameche plays a charming cad called Henry Van Cleve who reviews his life at the gates of hell in this classic Ernst Lubitsch comedy. Gene Tierney plays his put upon wife, but Charles Coburn steals the show as the oily but not unsympathetic Satan, who alone will decide whether the poor man will be allowed up to heaven.
The Mechanic (2011)
Film Four, 9.00pm
Jason Statham heads the cast of this competent remake of Michael Winner's 1972 action thriller, playing Arthur Bishop, a notorious hitman who agrees to teach his trade to an apprentice who has a strong connection with one of Bishop's previous victims.
Two Family House (2000)
Diverting melodrama starring Michael Rispoli as Buddy, a young Italian man who buys an old house on Staten Island intending to transform it into a bar. But his wife has no faith in him, and when an Irish tenant in the house gives birth to a child, Buddy's life is changed forever.
RTE Two, 11.50pm
In Clark Gregg's darkly comic thriller based on a novel by Chuck Palahniuk, Sam Rockwell plays Victor Mancini, a disturbed sex addict who fakes choking incidents in restaurants in order to scam money to pay for the care of his invalid mother. With Kelly Macdonald and Anjelica Huston.
Channel 4, 12.30am
In this misguided modern take on the story of Doctor Faustus, Brendan Fraser plays a depressed geek called Elliot Richardson who makes a deal with the devil, who grants him seven wishes to help him snare the girl of his dreams in exchange for his soul. Elizabeth Hurley and Francis O'Connor co-star.