Freeview Flicks of the Week: The King’s Speech, Now is Good and A Lonely Place to Die

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In the Middle’s best weekly freeview flicks picks is here! This week we find that life is sweet, discover a lonely place to die and admire Colin Firth.

MONDAY – Life is Sweet (Film4 01:45)

Mike Leigh is the renowned king of kitchen sink realism in British cinema, something that was celebrated at the BAFTAs when he was given the Fellowship Award. A highlight of his career is the wonderful 1990s film Life Is Sweet, a simple film that is a charming and effective comedy drama. Following the lives of a working-class London family over a couple of days, it has a wonderful cast that includes Jim Broadbent and Alison Steadman. Touching with a message of optimism, it is certainly worth seeing.

TUESDAY – Gift Horse (Film4 15:20)

Often it can be good to venture into film history and explore the early British films from which modern cinema has sprung. On Tuesday afternoon, Film4 is showing 1952 classic, Gift Horse, a war film that follows the crew of a ship on a one-way mission to France to destroy a German held dry-dock. Starring the late Richard Attenborough, it is everything you would expect from an early British war film.

WEDNESDAY – The King’s Speech (Film4 21:00)

In 2010 one film stole the hearts of the British public and critics alike. The King’s Speech, directed by Tom Hooper, is based on the true story of King George VI and the speech therapist who made him into the monarch he was. Colin Firth is a revelation in the leading role, giving a very powerful performance that is at the same time subtle. An amazing and fascinating story that is told extremely well, you will laugh, cry and ultimately be left smiling.

THURSDAY – Control (Channel 4 00:55)

The idea of the tortured artist has been around for years, from Vincent Van Gogh to Amy Winehouse. The lives of these people are often fascinating, including that of Ian Curtis, the enigmatic singer of Joy Division whose epilepsy and depression drove him to suicide. Control tells the tragic story of Curtis, with a remarkable lead performance from the young Sam Riley. You will be left in floods of tears at the very end.

FRIDAY – A Lonely Place to Die (5* 21:00)

On a Friday night, sometimes all you want to do is relax on the sofa with a pizza, beer and a film that is enjoyable and entertaining. A Lonely Place to Die is an independent action thriller that would provide perfect entertainment for this Friday night in. Following a group of mountaineers in Scotland who discover a kidnapped girl and are pursued by her captors, expect thrills, guns, chase sequences and on-the-edge-of-your-seat drama.

SATURDAY – Now Is Good (BBC2 21:15)

Before The Fault in Our Stars stole our hearts, Now Is Good charmed its way into our hearts. Dakota Fanning is just wonderful in the lead role Tessa, who is dying from leukemia, providing a poignant performance that immediately engages with the audience. Jeremy Irvine is great as Adam, though Paddy Considine is the actor who really stands, as he portrays the role of Tessa’s struggling father. It is a beautiful film that begs to be seen and understood.

SUNDAY – The Producers (Film4 11:00)

The Producers is a story that has been told many times on stage, and twice on the big screen, with the 1967 film being the best. A classic musical comedy, it gets better every time you watch it, with its dazzling insanity that spirals and spirals. Altogether now – “Don’t be stupid, be a smartie, come and join the Nazi party”! Hilarious!

Emily Murray

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