Films of the week: Rapper and actor Plan B’s first foray into film hits hard

 

Friday

Ill Manors

10pm Sky Movies Premiere

(Ben Drew, 2012) The directorial debut of Ben Drew, also known as Plan B, is a brutalist urban melodrama with hip-hop interludes, set in east London's council estates and crack dens, shabby pubs and late-night kebab shops. No ordinary pop star vanity project, it is accomplished, surprisingly moral, and a forceful howl of despair on behalf of the poorly raised and socially excluded. Keith Coggins and Nick Sagar star. ****

Saturday

Badlands

12.20am BBC2

(Terrence Malick, 1973) Based on a true story, but with a poetic and dreamlike sensibility all of its own, Terrence Malick's debut is the non plus ultra of young-lovers-on-the-run films. Martin Sheen stars as a binman with pretensions to being James Dean; Spacek plays the affectless, impressionable teenage girl who tags along during his killing spree in Fifties South Dakota and Montana. *****

Sunday

Don't Look Now

11.25pm Film4

(Nicolas Roeg, 1973) With its associative editing, temporal dislocations and ominous atmosphere, Nicolas Roeg's masterful Du Maurier adaptation gets under the skin in a way few other films can, and is all the more haunting for the fact that its supernatural element is secondary to its investigations of love and loss. Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie star as a grieving couple staying in off-season Venice. *****

Monday

Taxi Driver

9.45pm Sky Movies Modern Greats

(Martin Scorsese, 1976) Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro is an insomniac, solipsistic Vietnam veteran who has a violent psychotic episode in response to the moral degeneracy he perceives while working nights as a New York City cab driver. He's one of US cinema's most complex and iconic anti-heroes, and Martin Scorsese's vivid and expressionistic depiction of his emotional state is one its true masterpieces. *****

Tuesday

Breakfast at Tiffany's

12.50pm Film4

(Blake Edwards, 1961) There are things in Truman Capote's novella that the film dared not say, George Peppard is a slightly weak leading man, and Mickey Rooney's buck-toothed Japanese stereotype is just awful. But Audrey Hepburn is radiant, so this is still a pretty wonderful movie, about a secretly fragile and somewhat damaged good-time girl, having to learn how to love. *****

Wednesday

The Remains of the Day

4.10pm Film4

(James Ivory, 1993) Merchant-Ivory's adaptation of the Kazuo Ishiguro novel is supremely controlled, and Anthony Hopkins gives perhaps his finest performance as the emotionally repressed lifelong butler to James Fox, a pro-German member of the landed gentry in late-Thirties England. Thompson plays the housekeeper who'd like to melt the butler's barriers of professional reserve. *****

Thursday

Seconds

11.35pm Sky Movies Classics

(John Frankenheimer, 1966) A secret organisation offers the wealthy a chance to begin life again, by surgically altering them to look like other people whom it has recently bumped off. Thus, a middle-aged banker gets to look like Rock Hudson and slip into his life as a bohemian artist. What could possibly go wrong? Another terrific paranoid thriller from the director of The Manchurian Candidate. ****

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