Saturday 25 November 2017

Film Highlights Tuesday

Hunger (2008)


Film4, 10.55pm

When a piece of art is good enough, it somehow transcends the most terrible scenarios and makes the unwatchable bearable, and that's certainly true of Steve McQueen's 'Hunger'.

The London-born director was only 11-years-old when Bobby Sands died, and perhaps that distance helped him to approach the Maze hunger strikes with an entirely fresh eye.

A more obvious film would have surrounded Sands with ogres and made him a saint, but McQueen shows the unfolding horror from all perspectives in a film of startling visual inventiveness. And Michael Fassbender (above) summons extraordinary intensity in his portrayal of Sands, most notably in a compelling encounter with Liam Cunningham's priest.

Hunger doesn't flinch from depicting the horrific conditions inside the Maze, but is paradoxically a beautiful film to look at.

Tootsie (1984)


Sky Movies Drama, 12.35pm

Dustin Hoffman is perfectly cast in this classic 80s comedy as a notoriously difficult New York character actor who disguises himself as a woman in order to land a lucrative part on a daytime soap opera. Jessica Lange, Teri Garr and Bill Murray co-star.

Decision at Sundown (1957)


TCM, 3.00pm

Randolph Scott made more than 60 Westerns during his career, and in this one he plays Bart Allison, a mysterious cowboy who arrives in the sleepy town of Sundown with the sole intention of killing local boss Tate Kimbrough because of a long-standing and very personal grudge.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)


Sky Movies Action, 7.00pm

In the first part of Peter Jackson's ambitious trilogy based on the stories of J.R.R. Tolkien, Ian McKellen stars as Gandalf the Grey, a powerful wizard who bestows on Frodo Baggins and Sam Gamgee the onerous task of taking a powerful ring to the heart of Mordor and destroying it. Viggo Mortensen and Elijah Wood co-star.

Insomnia (2002)


BBC1, 11.15pm

Al Pacino and Robin Williams star in this stylish drama from director Christopher Nolan about a veteran LAPD detective who travels to Alaska to investigate the murder of a 17-year-old girl, but loses sleep as a result of the state's perpetual daylight and makes a terrible mistake. With Hilary Swank and Martin Donovan.

No Reservations (2007)


ITV2, 12.40am

Catherine Zeta-Jones stars in this tolerably entertaining romantic comedy as a famous chef with a heart of stone whose life is transformed when a brash but talented sous chef joins her team and she becomes the guardian of her orphaned niece. With Aaron Eckhart and Abigail Breslin.

Irish Independent

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