Saturday 25 November 2017

Film Highlights Tuesday

Hunger (2008)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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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