Film | Freeview Flicks of the Week (9-15/09)

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 two people who really did not want a baby, James McAvoy as a fresher and a man on the moon.

Monday – Knocked Up (ITV2 21:00)

Judd Apatow is a man who will get his films either really right or disastrously wrong, never in the middle. This is unsurprising as comedy is a difficult genre to get right. However, his entertaining Knocked Up is one of his best. Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl play two very different people who end up pregnant after a one night stand in this well made film that will make you laugh but not disgust you with excessive crudity like other comedies. With clever and witty dialogue, a great cast and a light hearted tone, it is perfect for a Monday night.

Tuesday – Neds (Film4 22:55)

Actor Peter Mullan is best known for his fantastic performances in War Horse, Tyrannosaur and other British films, meaning his directorial ventures are often forgotten about. In 2010 he directed the excellent Neds which tells the story of a boy who makes the wrong decision to become part of a gang. It is an original coming-of-age tale that avoids all the clichés and is brutal and touching at the same time. Conor McCarron steals the show and your heart in the lead role.

Going, going, gone: Sliding Doors
Going, going, gone: Sliding Doors

Wednesday – Sliding Doors (BBC1 23:20)

At the centre of Sliding Doors is the intriguing idea of how one small life decision sets the path your life will take. Gwyneth Paltrow’s lead character Helen has just been fired and misses her train, but the film cleverly alternates between parallel universes – one where she catches the train and one where she does not. With such a strong idea at the centre, the film could have been better. However it is still very enjoyable, unique and thought provoking. If you are a fan of animation though, then the excellent Ratatouille is on BBC3 20.20.

Thursday – A Matter Of Life and Death (Film4 14:55)

This 1946 film is a true classic telling the story of a British airman who cheats death in the war and must fight for his right to remain on Earth where he will be with his love. David Niven and Kim Hunter play the central characters stylishly with charm and ease. It is unique, clever and deceptive making you wonder what is real and imaginary throughout. This is one to see before you die.

David Niven in A Matter of Life and Death
David Niven in A Matter of Life and Death

Friday – The Wrestler (Film4 23:25)

Darren Aronofsky is an extremely talented director with an intriguing film history that includes Black Swan and Requiem For A Dream. Always over-the-top, dramatic and powerful, Aronofsky films are thrilling to watch. His film The Wrestler fits this description perfectly following a retired wrestler, Mickey Rourke who gives the performance of his career, as he struggles to find a life outside the ring. It is a powerful character study that will blow you away.

Image: BlackBoxBlue
Image: BlackBoxBlue

Saturday – Starter For Ten (BBC2 23:10)

James McAvoy’s latest film Filth is coming out soon so now is the perfect time to look back through his career and enjoy the wonderful Starter For Ten. Set in 1985 McAvoy plays a working class fresher at Bristol University in this charming British film that is romantic, light-hearted and entertaining. It provides the perfect opportunity to play ‘spot the star’ with Benedict Cumberbatch, Catherine Tate, James Corden, Alice Eve and more making appearances in the early part of their careers.

Fingers on the buzzers: Starter for 10
Fingers on the buzzers: Starter for 10

Sunday – Moon (BBC2 22:45)

This week, Sunday presents you with many great films appearing on Freeview television. On BBC3 at 20.35 we have the classic animation Shrek that will never get old and on Film4 at 22.55 David Cronenberg thrills us with A History of Violence. But it is Duncan Jones’ (AKA David Bowie’s son) Moon that is the one to watch. Sam Rockwell is breathtaking in this beautifully shot, modern science-fiction thriller that will dazzle you with its clever story and unanticipated twists and turns.

Emily Murray

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