Films of the Week: The Kids Are All Right; Mean Streets; Young Frankenstein; Kaboom; The Secret in Their Eyes; The Ladykillers; Singin' in the Rain

 

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The Independent Culture

Tuesday

The Kids Are All Right

10.15am & 8pm Sky Movies Indie

(Lisa Cholodenko, 2010) Julianne Moore and Annette Bening star as a well-off married couple whose teenage children establish contact with their sperm-donor father (Mark Ruffalo). On one level a very funny comedy of modern manners, skewering a particular LA way of speaking, this sharply written and revealing film is also about ordinary, everyday family life – and how full of surprises it can be. *****

Saturday

Mean Streets

10.30pm BBC2

(Martin Scorsese, 1973) Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro had each made films before, but it wasn't until their first collaboration that they announced their arrival as major talents – specifically, the moment when De Niro's small-time local hoodlum Johnny Boy swaggers into a bar in New York's Little Italy in slow motion. The whole of Mean Streets fizzes with a similar energy and cool. *****

Sunday

Young Frankenstein

11.25pm Film4

(Mel Brooks, 1974) It's pronounced "Fronkensteen", insists the grandson of the more famous Dr Frankenstein, in an effort to distance himself from his ancestor's crime against nature. Then he inherits the old castle in Transylvania and history repeats itself as riotous farce, stuffed with deliriously silly gags. Mel Brooks gets the look of the old Thirties Universal horrors he's spoofing exactly right. ****

Monday

Kaboom

11.30pm Film4

(Gregg Araki, 2010) Mixing the hip teenspeak of a Daniel Clowes comic or Diablo Cody script with the vibe of New Wave midnight movie fare such as Liquid Sky, Kaboom is about the bed-hopping antics of a bunch of stylish and beautiful college kids, the parties they go to, a murder they witness, a religious cult and lesbian voodoo sorcery. It's very cool. Too cool, even, to bother with making sense. ***

Wednesday

The Secret in Their Eyes

11.45pm Sky Movies Indie

(Juan José Campanella, 2009) This Best Foreign Language Oscar-winner runs along parallel timelines in the Argentina of 1974 and 2000. As well as a gripping police procedural about a retired investigator, it's a meditation on justice and corruption; a restrained love story about missed chances; a film about getting older and looking back, and about how memories can sustain a life, or sometimes consume one. ****

Thursday

The Ladykillers

1.20pm Channel 4

(Alexander Mackendrick, 1955) Ealing Studios' blackest comedy is a thoroughly delectable moral fable with a precision plot. Alec Guinness plays a criminal mastermind whose plans are inadvertently spoiled by his landlady, a terribly sweet and innocent old woman (Katie Johnson) whom he and his gang (including Peter Sellers and Herbert Lom) just don't seem able to bump off. *****

Friday

Singin' in the Rain

1.05pm Channel 4

(Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen, 1952) Gene Kelly stars in this clever insider comedy about Hollywood's awkward adjustment to the arrival of the talkies, as a Twenties matinee idol who falls for his co-star's vocal stand-in (Debbie Reynolds). It's the Technicolor MGM musical in which the song-and-dance routines are most ingeniously integrated into the narrative. And what sublime routines they are! *****

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