Films of the week: Tender take on the ups and downs of communal life

 

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The Independent Culture

Tuesday

Together

10.55pm Film4

(Lukas Moodysson, 2000) Together is a brilliant and touching period comedy about the successes and failures of an idealistic experiment in communal living in Seventies Stockholm, as seen through the eyes of two children. It is deft and generous enough to accommodate the adults' left-wing politics and the children's weary pragmatism; it also features excellent jumpers and makes good use of Abba. Lisa Lindgren and Michael Nyqvist star. *****

Saturday

Moneyball

12.15pm & 10pm Sky Movies Premiere

(Bennett Miller, 2011) Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill make an unexpectedly successful comedy double act in this slick drama about smart, fast-talking, dedicated professionals with unconventional methods – co-scripted by Aaron Sorkin, naturally, who was adapting a non-fiction book by Michael Lewis. Prior knowledge of the film's ostensible subjects – baseball and economics – is not required. ****

Sunday

Short Cuts

12.05am Sky Movies Indie

(Robert Altman, 1993) Freely adapting and then deftly weaving together 10 of Raymond Carver's minimalist, quietly poetic short stories about emotionally inarticulate characters, relocating them to contemporary suburban California, injecting a little humour, and having an all-star cast, Robert Altman's tragicomic account of life's rich tapestry was one of the very best US films of the Nineties. *****

Monday

Lethal Weapon

10pm Channel 5

(Richard Donner, 1987) The LAPD's Murtaugh and Riggs – one domesticated and approaching retirement; the other a wild-eyed loner on the brink of self-destruction – are the quintessential mismatched cop buddies. And Danny Glover and Mel Gibson, who play them, lend this violent, high-concept action thriller charm, credibility and even poignancy. More so, now that we're less sure of the extent to which Gibson is acting. ***

Wednesday

One Day in September

11.20pm BBC2

(Kevin Macdonald, 1999) This Oscar-winning film is an intelligent political thriller-style documentary about that day during the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich when a worldwide television audience witnessed the tragic, chaotic – and, the film argues, avoidable – outcome of the events that began when members of the Palestinian terrorist group Black September took nine Israeli athletes hostage. ****

Thursday

The Wrestler

11.10pm Film4

(Darren Aronofsky, 2008) Mickey Rourke gives a career-best performance as an ageing and battered pro-wrestler, sporting a peroxide mullet and a hearing aid, still going through the same old violent pantomime in New Jersey's fleapit theatres and school gymnasiums. What makes this such a touching and truthful film is that we understand how it continues to seem like the only choice he has. ****

Friday

Jane Eyre

10am & 9.45pm Sky Movies Premiere

(Cary Fukunaga, 2011) For a story with a 20-year sweep, this version of Charlotte Brontë’s romance seems strangely like an intimate chamber piece, and has a fresh, almost modern tone. It uses only natural available light, the Yorkshire moors’ rugged looks aren’t gilded, and its overtly gothic elements are de-emphasised. Mia Wasikowska is a touch passionless as Jane but Michael Fassbender’s Rochester is appealing, even playful. ***

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