Tuesday 21 January 2020

Film Highlights Saturday

Frost/Nixon (2008)

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BBC2, 11.00pm

In the late 1970s Richard Nixon launched a media charm offensive aimed at erasing public memories of Watergate and winning him the only prize he really craved and that had always eluded him – the love of the American people.

In 1977 he agreed to do a series of interviews with English talk show host David Frost, whom Nixon wrongly assumed was a lightweight.

This fine Ron Howard film, based on a play by Peter Morgan and shown to mark Frost's recent passing, tells the story of those interviews, as the wily Nixion initially ran rings around Frost, then made the crucial error of underestimating the Englishman. Frank Langella and Michael Sheen (both above) are superb in the leading roles, and a fine supporting cast includes Kevin Bacon, Sam Rockwell, Matthew Macfadyen and Oliver Platt.

Harper (1966)

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TCM, 2.45pm

Los Angeles private eye Lew Harper ends up uncovering a human trafficking ring after a woman hires him to look for her missing husband. Paul Newman stars in this stylish thriller inspired by the films of the 1940s. With Lauren Bacall and Janet Leigh.

How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

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RTE One, 6.35pm

Likeable Dreamworks animation set in a small Viking town that's beset by constant dragon attacks. When an ostracised young boy called Hiccup shoots down a dragon with a cannon he's invented, he finds he cannot kill the creature and forms a bond with it. With the voice of Jay Baruchel.

Die Hard (1988)

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Channel 4, 9.00pm

In John McTiernan's hugely enjoyable action thriller, a group of German terrorists led by Alan Rickman get more than they bargained for when they take over an LA skyscraper only to find New York cop John McClane becoming a constant hindrance to their grandiose plans. Bruce Willis stars.

The Way Back (2010)

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Channel 4, 11.40pm

Peter Weir's wartime drama stars Ed Harris and Colin Farrell as members of a group of prisoners who escape from a brutal Russian gulag in 1940 and embark on a terrible journey through the height of a Siberian winter as they attempt to walk to freedom. With Saoirse Ronan, Dragos Bucur, Gustaf Skarsgard and Alexandru Potocean.

The Good Night (2007)

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RTE Two, 12.00am

Comedy directed by Jake Paltrow and starring Martin Freeman as a former pop star now reduced to jingle-writing who becomes obsessed with a beautiful woman he begins dreaming about and who turns out to be real. With Penelope Cruz and Simon Pegg.

Irish Independent

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