Sunday 13th December
Aladdin 5:20pm on Channel 4
Aladdin remains one of the jewels in Disney’s illustrious crown, largely due to Robin Williams’ hilarious performance as the Genie. One of the classics of the ‘Disney Renaissance’, it’s good old fashioned family fun. ‘A Whole New World’ never fails to inspire automatic sing-alongs even in the hardest of hearts. Give Frozen a break, just this once.
Monday 14th December
Mona Lisa Smile 6:35pm on MovieMix
If you’re looking for something a bit more classic to watch, look no further. In one of her strongest roles, Julia Roberts stars as a liberal history of art professor in the 1950s who finds herself increasingly frustrated by the conservatism of the girls she teaches. Robert’s character opens them up to resisting gender roles and following their own desires instead. Julia Stiles, Kristen Dunst and Maggie Gyllenhaal provide strong support in this emotional, but life-affirming movie.
Tuesday 15th December
Snow White and the Huntsman 9pm on Film 4
Live action fairy-tales are very popular at the moment, and this retelling of the classic tale is grittier, gruesome and more action packed than the original.
An all-star cast including Charlize Theron as the menacing evil Queen, Chris Hemsworth as the heroic huntsman and Kristen Stewart as the beautiful Snow White, and some truly stunning cinematography and visual effects make this film worth a watch.
Wednesday 16th December
Love Actually 9pm on ITV2
If by some unlikely event you don’t have the DVD lying around or stashed in your mum’s DVD collection – worry not, ITV has your annual Love Actually fix covered. Featuring one of the strongest performances by an ensemble cast, every interconnected storyline has moments of hilarity as well as some real tear-jerk worthy moments too. Emma Thompson’s performance gets me weeping every single time, no matter how much I watch it. A Christmas staple.
Thursday 17th December
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off 6:55pm on Film 4
John Hughes was an eighties film-making icon, and along with likes of The Breakfast Club and Pretty In Pink, Ferris Bueller stands as another cult favourite. Written by Hughes himself, the script is crammed full of quotable lines and hilarious moments. Determined to have a day off school, Ferris takes off around the city with his friends, each lie bigger than the last as he tries to avoid being caught. But it wouldn’t be a Hughes film without some hard teenage truth underneath the frivolity either, and the two meld to make it a timeless classic.
Friday 18th December
The Bourne Identity 9pm on ITV2
On the face of it, The Bourne Identity sounds like a stereotypical action film and that could put some people off, but there’s an element of realism to its stunts and plot, different to the ostentatiousness and glamour of other action movies, like James Bond for example. Matt Damon is amazing as James Bourne, a man who discovers he cannot remember anything of his previous life, before going on the run from a team of assassins to try and regain his identity. With an intelligent plot and well-developed characters, the film stands out in its genre.
Saturday 19th December
Star Trek 8pm on Channel 4
Rebooting Star Trek could have been a risk, but J. J Abrams’ direction pulls the 2009 film through. There’s an obvious respect to the original all the way through to appease the hard-core fans, but everything in Abram’s world is bolder and bigger. The cast, including Chris Pine as Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock, are particularly strong and their acting really carries the film past space battles that could become silly if given too much screen time. Star Trek shows us how reboots should be done.