Movie Guru Ronan O'Meara gives his picks of the week
Ronan O'Meara has been scouring the TV schedules (free-to-air channels only) to find films to watch over the next week – here are 16 to choose from.
Hopefully you'll find something to hit the spot and maybe you'll even be introduced to a future favourite.
Rachel Getting Married: Saturday, TG4 @ 9.50pm
Kym is home from rehab once again and this time it's for her sister Rachel's wedding. Sobriety is hard enough as it is but when everyone is watching and waiting for you to fail it starts feeling even harder. A fine portrayal of broken family dynamics that may/will strike a chord for a lot of people. It's not an entertaining watch by any means but it's strong acting from Anne Hathaway, Rosemarie DeWitt, Debra Winger and Bill Irwin will keep you stuck to it.
The Dead Zone: Saturday, The Horror Channel @ 10.45pm
Five years ago Johnny Smith had a crash car that left him in a coma. When he awoke he had a special new skill. He can see the future and when he meets a presidental candidate he glimpses a horrifying look at the years ahead. David Cronenberg's adaption of the Stephen King novel isn't as gooey as his usual work but it's still a hell of a creepy watch powered by a mighty turn from Christopher Walken and a hammy one from Martin Sheen.
Lynn & Lucy: Saturday, BBC2 @ 11.55pm
Lynn and Lucy have been friends forever. It's an intense friendship amplified by the fact they're also neighbours. They do everything together until the day something happens that puts a serious strain on all they know. This depiction of small town anger is a genuinely unsettling watch about how the bonds that bind us all together are as fragile as a cobweb. Roxanne Scrimshaw and Nichola Burley brilliantly lead a mostly unknown cast.
Eddie The Eagle: Saturday, RTÉ2 @ 11.55pm
Calgary. 1988. The Winter Olympics. A young and inexperienced English man called Michael Edwards is taking part in the ski jump. Slowly he becomes a very unlikely sporting hero. Based on a true story this is absolute fluff but it's very enjoyable fluff and the perfect thing for a lazy Saturday night. Taron Egerton is fun in the lead but Hugh Jackman (in a very fictional role) as his coach Bronson is great craic.
The Apartment: Sunday, BBC2 @ 3.10pm
C.C. Baxter has a cunning plan to get ahead in his job. He lets his apartment out to the executives at his work as a place where they can have their affairs safely. He's hoping he can get ahead but lately he's starting to feel used. Billy Wilder's 1960 comedy drama is a stunner, a comedic, believable and upsetting look at a man's realisation that's he's nothing more than a cog in a machine. Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine and Fred MacMurray are all on fire here.
Triangle: Sunday, The Horror Channel @ 9pm
The yacht Jess and her friends are on has been damaged in a storm and now they are floating aimlessly. Eventually they come across a deserted ship and climb aboard. Before long they realise floating aimlessly had it's good points. This is a well made psychological thriller that will scare you and confuse you in equal measure but the pay off is worth it. Melissa George does well as a woman very out of her depth.
Free State Of Jones: Sunday, BBC2 @ 11.10pm
Alienated by the confederation, a soldier deserts his post during the American civil war and together with farmers and freed slaves creates a new state. Things do not go smoothly. Gary Ross's 2016 film is a solid recreation of a era of American history that rarely gets mentioned. It's as brutal and ugly as you'd expect but superb acting from Matthew McConnaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw & Mahershala Ali eases the pain.
Call Me By Your Name: Sunday, Channel 4 @ Midnight
Elio, a teenager lives a carefree life in the early 80's Italy. Until he meets Oliver, an American man hired to work with his father and his life gets rather complicated when he starts to feel attracted to him. Lead Timothée Chalamet does his drippy thing as usual but here it suits the film. It's a heartfelt look at the pain and angst and discovery of your formative years. Armie Hammer and Michael Stuhlbarg do excellent work.
Hanna: Monday, TG4 @ 9.30pm
A young woman has been trained by her father for her entire life to do one thing and she's very very adept at it. Finally her day has come. Saoirse Ronan nails the lead role of Hanna, a young woman with no experience of the outside world who finds herself having to adapt to it all very fast. Eric Bana as her Da & Cate Blanchett as the woman looking for her add a nice heft to the film too. An action packed, well acted and slightly surreal watch.
The Fog: Monday, SYFY @ 9pm
Director John Carpenter is on mighty form in this properly spooky and scary tale of ghostly pirates taking their revenge on a seaside town that let them down many years before. This film has a lovely old fashioned feel as violence and gore is kept to a minimum and atmosphere and creepiness rules the roost. Genre legends Jamie Lee Curtis, Adrienne Barbeau, Janet Leigh and Tom Atkins all hit their mark in this horror classic.
A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence: Tuesday, Film4 @ 1.50am
Two travelling salesmen are living their worst life, their accommodation is dreadful and their attempts to sell their products are a disaster. We learn all about them in a sequence of short, bizarre, flat out odd stories. Some people are going to hate Roy Andersson's 2014 comedy drama but some will find it a unique enchanting experience. Nils Westblom and Holger Andersson lead the strangest film you'll see this week/month/year.
'71: Tuesday, Film4 @ 11.10pm
A squaddie finds himself alone and on the run after he gets split from his unit in the war torn Belfast of 1971. This one is a strange beast in that it's a view of troubled Belfast from a side you never see but that doesn't take away from it, it's still powerful viewing. Prepare for 99 minutes of terror, stress, disorientation, palpitations and revulsion with a fantastic performance from Jack O'Connell motoring the story along.
Fish Tank: Wednesday, BBC4 @ 11pm
Mia lives with her mam and her little sister in a housing estate in Essex. She's an angry teen, prone to lashing out and it's cost her her friends. Her mam's new Irish boyfriend intrigues her though, but she's only 15. Andrea Arnold's drama is a harsh, gritty slice of life drama ignited by a fiery showing from Katie Jervis who stuns in her debut role. Our own Michael Fassbender will make you want to kick your TV over.
Get Low: Thursday, Sony Movies @ 4.50pm
When a hermit dies and receives an outpouring of good will at his funeral, another hermit decides he wants in on the lovefest so decides to stage his own funeral, while he's still alive enough to hear the compliments. A warm, funny and moving watch about the need for human contact even when you spend your life denying it. Robert Duvall and Sissy Spacek give us a pair of charming performances that remind us of why they've been around for so long.
Brief Encounter: Thursday, BBC4 @ 8.30pm
A man and a woman fall in love with each other over a series of meetings in and around their railway station. The only problem is she's married and they live in an era where this just would not do. David Lean's 1945 drama is a masterpiece. One which will actually break your heart and maybe even ruin you day but it's so worth watching. Beautiful acting from Celia Johnson & Trevor Howard and a clever narrative twist make it one you'll remember for an age.
Patti Cake$: Friday (November 27), Channel 4 @ Midnight
Patricia Dombrowski, a.k.a. Killa P, a.k.a. Patti Cake$ is trying to become a rapper. She's a white girl from New Jersey and no one will take her seriously. So she knuckles down. This is a deadly film, one of the best of 2017, that on the surface looks silly and cringeworthy but a fiercely committed turn from Danielle MacDonald will have you begging for her to find the success she needs. Cathy Moriarty as her gran adds loads of fun.
Read more at hamsandwichcinema.blogspot.com/