Film Highlights Monday
A Separation (2011)
Channel 4, 12.30am
This clever and complex drama from Iranian director Asghar Farhadi uses the marital problems of a Teheran couple as the starting point for a much wider debate.
Nader (Peyman Moaadi, above) and Simin (the excellent Leila Hatami) have come before a magistrate to air their marital differences. Sick of life in Iran, Simin wants to leave the country but Nader is having none of it. He cares for his elderly father, who suffers severely with Alzheimer's, but his wife feels that the strain of caring for the old man is ruining their teenage daughter's life.
Farhadi's film explores the position of women in Iran and the disastrous admixing of justice and religion, but is no mere civics lecture and is also full of real, rounded characters all of whom deserve our sympathy.
The First Wives Club (1996)
Channel 4, 12.10pm
The cast is strong and the comedy broad in this 90s satire about a group of divorced women who reunite after the death of an old friend and vow to take revenge on the husbands who abandoned them for younger women. Bette Midler, Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, Maggie Smith and Dan Hedaya star.
Miracle on 34 Street (1994)
Sky Movies Drama, 12.50pm
In this tolerable remake of the 1947 Hollywood classic, a six-year-old girl has begun to have doubts about whether or not Santa exists until she meets a charismatic department store Santa and suspects he might be the real thing. With Richard Attenborough.
Ocean's Eleven (2001)
Steven Soderbergh's slick remake of the Rat Pack caper stars George Clooney as Danny Ocean, a suave career criminal who assembles a crack team to target Las Vegas entrepreneur Terry Benedict by hitting three of his casinos in one night. With Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Julia Roberts.
City by the Sea (2002)
Robert De Niro leads a fine cast in this low-key thriller from Michael Caton-Jones. De Niro is a veteran cop haunted by the crimes of his father who faces a terrible moral dilemma when he finds out his own son has been implicated in a drug-related killing. James Franco and Eliza Dushku co-star.
Training Day (2001)
Excellent crime thriller starring Denzel Washington as Alonzo Harris, an LAPD narcotics detective who has gone so far undercover that he seems to have forgotten which way is up. Ethan Hawke is the unfortunate rookie who realises that Alonzo is out of control when he teams up with him, and Eva Mendes also stars.