There’s always a wide selection of great films available on Freeview. And seeing as staying in is the new going out, TV presents the ideal opportunity to catch up on what you might have missed in the cinema. Plus, it saves you spending your student loan on DVDs and rentals. Sometimes the choice can be quite overwhelming, so here at Leeds Student we’ve decided to compile a weekly list of the best films on TV. This week we feature a couple of cockney rebels, fashion journalism at its most extreme, and we say hello to our little friend.
Monday – Great Expectations (Film4 16:35)
Dickens’ famous novel about the young orphan Pip who becomes a gentleman with the help of a mysterious benefactor has been adapted an ungodly amount of times, but David Lean’s 1946 film still stands out as the definitive edition. One of the best parts of the book remains the settings, which are beautifully described throughout. Thankfully Lean has studied these descriptions to make a visually stunning film. From the very start you are drawn in, becoming attached to the characters and hooked on the story. It is a timeless take on the timeless novel. Return to Film4 at 23:35 and make sure to watch Spirited Away.
Tuesday – Scarface (ITV4 22:00)
With Al Pacino in the lead role, Brian De Palma directing and Oliver Stone writing, Scarface has a close to perfect team behind it, so of course it was going to become a classic. This crime drama set in Miami may be most famous for the fabulous line ‘Say hello to my little friend’ but it is much more than this. Al Pacino is unforgettable as the operatic Tony Montana who steals the show in this real and raw film.
Wednesday – The Devil Wears Prada (E4 20:00)
Many of you may be thinking why this silly rom-com drama is on this list. Well let me tell you, this is no lightweight. Light hearted, sure, but this is no dud. The Devil Wears Prada fits the bill perfectly as a feel good film with fantastic performances from all the cast but particularly its two leads, Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep. It’s a great story that will entertain throughout. Starting at the same time on ITV4 is Cool Hand Luke, a prison drama featuring lots of eggs.
Thursday – Public Enemies (ITV4 21:00)
On last week’s list we featured an early film from director Michael Mann (Manhunter). Therefore it seems only right to explore more of his work by watching a much later film of his, Public Enemies, which tells the true story of how the Feds hunted for criminal John Dillinger in the 1930s. Depp proves he is not a one trick pony, playing a completely different type of character with style and panache. The cat and mouse story is thrilling and combined with fun action and great performances it is one to watch.
Friday – Shut Up and Play the Hits (Film4 22:55)
Shut Up and Play the Hits is a documentary about the band LCD Soundsystem, intimately exploring the life of James Murphy, who founded the band, and showcasing their last ever gig. The footage from the concert is spectacular, easily making it the best gig you’ve never been to. The interviews with Murphy also give an interesting insight into the music industry. Look out for Parks and Recreation star Aziz Ansari crowd surfing. However, if music documentaries aren’t your thing then head to More4 at 11:10 for a classic Hitchcock film, Rear Window.
Saturday – The Krays (ITV4 22:15)
The Kray twins are perhaps the most infamous British criminals of all time. This film about their lives is not only a drama that thrills, but also a psychological study of criminal minds. The Kemp brothers, yes the people form Spandau Ballet, are in fact perfectly cast being violent, menacing and terrifying in this intriguing film.
Sunday – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Channel 4 21:00)
If you are going to watch one film this week make sure it is the phenomenal Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, which I’m convinced will blow you away like it did almost everybody else upon its cinematic release last year. Based on the classic novel by John le Carré, Gary Oldman is flawless and deserving of all the acclaim he got. The rest of the cast also give stunning performances in this modern cinematic masterpiece. It has a really chilling atmosphere and, although a slow burner, it is true edge-of-your-seat drama.