Films of the week: A brief encounter with love in the finer details

 

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Thursday

Weekend

11.10pm Film4

(Andrew Haigh, 2011) Its relaxed naturalism and the actors' performances lend this charming gay romance – set in Nottingham over the course of two days of drug-taking, partying and soul-baring – universal appeal. But what makes it special is not its universality but its specificity; its honestly drawn characters, and the attention it pays to the detail of modern encounters. Tom Cullen and Chris New, won several festival awards. ****

Saturday

Knight and Day

9pm Channel 4

(James Mangold, 2010) Very much playing to his strengths, but having fun with his persona at the same time, this $100m action caper keeps you guessing about Tom Cruise's character: is he an ultra-capable secret agent or just a self-interested killer? Either way, he's an out-and-out grinning lunatic. Cameron Diaz co-stars as the innocent he drags into trouble in various exotic locations. ***

Sunday

Wonderful Town

12.35am BBC2

(Aditya Assarat, 2007) In the ironically named Wonderful Town, an architect from the city falls in love with a girl from the tsunami-hit rural south of Thailand, where he is overseeing a rebuilding project. It is a beautifully photographed, lovely and gentle film – right until the point when prejudice and violence rear their ugly heads among some of her neighbours. Anchalee Saisoontorn stars. ****

Monday

Love and Other Drugs

12.40pm & 10pm Sky Movies Drama and Romance

(Edward Zwick, 2010) A slick, womanising Pfizer sales-rep (Jake Gyllenhaal) and a spiky artist with early-onset Parkinson's (Anne Hathaway, above left) meet in a GP's office, and become lovers. Which makes for highly engaging entertainment, even if the film this ends up as (a generic romantic-comedy) is different from the one it begins as (a cynical exposé of big-pharma practices). ***

Tuesday

Tyrannosaur

11.05pm Film4

(Paddy Considine, 2011) Paddy Considine's directorial debut is part of a British tradition of realist drama about social deprivation and violence. Its performances make it extraordinary. Peter Mullan makes the muttering drunk whom people would cross the street to avoid, into a complex character with an appealing dignity. Olivia Coleman plays a woman with unexpected depths, in whom he finds solace. ****

Wednesday

Deep End

1.15am Film4

(Jerzy Skolimowski, 1970) Previously obscure but recently restored and re-appraised, this is a most peculiar and discomfiting British psychological sex comedy about a teenage boy's obsessive infatuation with his liberated colleague (Jane Asher). Imagine Confessions of a Swimming Pool Attendant directed by Nicolas Roeg, with an eye-popping cameo by Diana Dors and a soundtrack by the krautrock group Can. ****

Friday

Serpico

9pm & 2.25am Sky Movies Classics

(Sidney Lumet, 1973) Sporting an impressive array of facial hair, Al Pacino plays Frank Serpico, a (real life) New York City cop from 1960 to 1972 who alarmed his colleagues by being in tune with the counter-culture, and refusing to accept the culture of bribery and corruption endemic to his department. More of a character study than a thriller, Serpico is still wholly gripping. *****

Comments