Films of the Week: George Clooney finds his perfect life cut down to size

 

Sunday

Up in the Air

9pm BBC2

(Jason Reitman, 2009) George Clooney (below, with Anna Kendrick) stars as a corporate "downsizer", paid to do the unpleasant business of firing people, whose neatly ordered life unravels once he learns his own job is at risk. A comedy about the depersonalisation of modern life, and thus also the importance of making human connections, Up in the Air lightens its satirical and cynical mood with just the right amount of romanticism. ****

Saturday

Australia

6.50pm Channel 4

(Baz Luhrmann, 2008) It's set in a real time and place – Australia's northern territory before the outbreak of war, and then during the post-Pearl Harbor Japanese invasion – but Baz Luhrmann's kitsch, mock-epic romantic adventure story is an impressive work of pure filmic artifice; the country's landscapes made to look as vivid and pretty as a painted studio backdrop. Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman star.  ****

Monday

Coco Before Chanel

6.50pm Film4

(Anne Fontaine, 2009) Focusing on the period in Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel's life before she was famous, and eschewing the triumphalist narrative favoured by most rags-to-riches biopics, this film also stops just short of reclaiming the elegant Chanel (Audrey Tautou, above) as a feminist figure. It instead shows us the compromises which this most uncompromising of women was forced to make in patriarchal Belle Epoque France. ***

Tuesday

The French Connection

1.30pm & 12 midnight Sky Movies Modern Greats

(William Friedkin, 1971) William Friedkin brought a near neo-realist sensibility and aesthetic to bear in the making of this gritty policier, so that Gene Hackman's (above) hardman cop "Popeye" Doyle, and the streets of Seventies New York that he swaggers down, still feel tough, raw and real. Meanwhile, the famous car chase set the standard against which others measure themselves to this day. ****

Wednesday

Frankenstein

8.30pm Sky Movies Classics

(James Whale, 1931) Boris Karloff (above), with the help of the make-up artist Jack Pierce, defined forever the way that Frankenstein's monster looks and acts in the popular imagination, and made him a more sympathetic and tragic beast than he is in Mary Shelley's novel. The film is the greatest of Universal's Thirties and Forties horrors: a haunting, melancholy work of gothic beauty. *****

Thursday

Total Recall

10pm ITV2

(Paul Verhoeven, 1990) The biggest-budget action film of its day, this sci-fi mind-bender adapted from a Philip K Dick story stars Arnie Schwarzenegger (above, with Sharon Stone) as an interplanetary superspy who thinks he's a construction worker. Or is it the other way round? Violent, somewhat ludicrous and now badly dated, it is still terrific fun. See it before the remake with Colin Farrell is released in August. ****

Friday

We Need to Talk about Kevin

10.15pm Sky Movies Premiere

(Lynne Ramsay, 2011) Tilda Swinton stars as Eva, a woman whose life has been shattered by an act of violence committed by her son Kevin – a malevolent teenager with whom she's had a fractious relationship his whole life. Lynne Ramsay's expressionistic, uncomfortably up-close adaptation of the Lionel Shriver novel is haunted by Eva's fear that she didn't give birth to a monster, but created one. ****

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Hewer, Lord Alan Sugar, Karren Brady are returning for The Apprentice series 10

TV
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder star in 'Girl, Interrupted'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Ed Stoppard as Brian Epstein, Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Elliott Cowan as George Martin in 'Cilla'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Thomas Pynchon in 1955, left, and Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix in Paul Thomas Anderson's adaptation of his novel, Inherent Vice

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Nicole Scherzinger will join the cast of Cats

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Fans were left surprised by the death on Sunday night's season 26 premiere

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal

film
Arts and Entertainment
Lady Mary goes hunting with suitor Lord Gillingham

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Dunne, played by Ben Affleck, finds himself at the centre of a media storm when his wife is reported missing and assumed dead

film
Arts and Entertainment
Lindsay Lohan made her West End debut earlier this week in 'Speed-the-Plow'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Artist Nathan Sawaya stands with his sculpture 'Yellow' at the Art of Brick Exhibition

art
Arts and Entertainment
'Strictly Come Dancing' attracted 6.53 million viewers on Friday
tv
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant plays Detective Emmett Carver in the US version on Broadchurch

tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor goes undercover at Coal Hill School in 'The Caretaker'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Ni , Rock of Rah, Vanuatu: The Ni live on one of the smallest islands of Vanuatu; Nelson flew five hours from Sydney to capture the 'isolation forged by their remoteness'
photographyJimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style
Arts and Entertainment
David Byrne
musicDavid Byrne describes how the notorious First Lady's high life dazzled him out of a career low
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

    Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

    A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
    An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

    An app for the amorous

    Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

    Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
    She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

    She's having a laugh

    Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

    Let there be light

    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
    Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

    Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

    Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
    Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

    A look to the future

    It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
    The 10 best bedspreads

    The 10 best bedspreads

    Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
    Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

    Arsenal vs Galatasaray

    Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
    Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
    Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

    The children orphaned by Ebola...

    ... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
    Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
    The magic of roundabouts

    Lords of the rings

    Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?