Nineteen films to enjoy on TV as we prepare to celebrate St Patrick's Day

Ronan O'Meara

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Ronan O'Meara

19 films on TV this week to help you ignore that darkening sky

Ronan O'Meara gives his picks of the week

Ronan O'Meara has been scouring the TV schedules to find films to watch over the next week as we look ahead to St Patrick's Day.

Here are his choices....enjoy!

Peterloo: Saturday, Channel 4 @ 10pm

Manchester. 1819.  A crowd peacefully assembles to demand voting rights for all. The British government decide to suppress the meeting and make sure future crowds don't get the same ideas. Director Mike Leigh proves once again he's lost none of his righteous anger at the way the common man will always be downtrodden by the people in charge. A tough and upsetting watch but an important one. Rory Kinnear and Maxine Peake do excellent work as the leads.

Whiplash: Saturday, BBC2 @ 11.20pm

A driven jazz musician is pushed to his very limits by his obsessive teacher. An Oscar winning film that really lives up to the hype. This is an intense study of how hard people will work on what they love. Powerful performances from Miles Teller and especially JK Simmons really sell the film. This is a tough watch and one that will genuinely leave you shattered but wowed as the credits roll. That last 10 minutes......whoa!

Jump: Saturday, TG4 @ 11.30pm

The lives of 4 people come crashing together on one dark New Year's Eve in Derry. Greta, is looking for a way out, Pearse is looking for a missing brother, Johnny is trapped and Marie's head is melting. Next year can only be better for them. A twisty, turny watch that will leave you guessing throughout, it's one that might upset but that's laced with dark humour and carried by a nice cast that includes Martin McCann, Nichola Burley and Richard Dormer.

Halal Daddy: Saturday, RTÉ One @ 11.45pm

In his small Sligo town Raghdan is trying to start a halal meat business and social differences, his love life and his Da are among the things making life difficult for him. This one is loads of craic, funny in the way only an Irish film can be and full of charming little touches about cultural confusion. Nikesh Patel leads a fine cast that includes Deirdre O'Kane (hilarious) , Colm Meany, Sarah Bolger and Mark O'Halloran.

Clouds Of Sils Maria: Sunday, BBC2 @ 2am

An actress revisits the play that made her career 20 years ago. But this time she's taking an older role and it forces her to re-evaluate things. Juliette Binoche is an actress that just makes it all look effortless and is sublime in the lead role here with some fantastic back up from Kirsten Stewart and Chloe Grace Moretz. A mature, emotional, beautiful looking psychological drama that was filmed on location in the Alps.

Red River: Sunday: ITV4 @ 2.10pm

Tom Dunston has 10000 cattle to bring to market and 1000 miles of open terrain to move them across. A task easier said than done when the men hired to work for him start turning on him. Howard Hawke's 1948 western is a true classic. An earthy and authentic look at the hardships of the era. There's an interesting subtext here too, one often present in westerns but rarely commented on. John Wayne, Montgomery Clift and Water Brennan all do splendid work.

I Got Life!: Sunday, BBC4 @ 10pm

Aurore isn't living her best life. The one two-blow of divorce and losing her job has her rattled and impending grandmotherhood (is that a word?) has really shaken her up. Then she runs into the man she loved in the days before marriage stole her youth. This French comedy drama from 2017 is a wry but convivial look at the aspects of womanhood that rarely if ever make it onscreen lead by a superb turn from Agnès Jaoui. 

Breaker Morant: Monday, Sony Movies @ 2.55am

During the Boer war of the very early 20th century 3 Australian officers are court martialled for a shooting in a case used to deflect attention away from the horrifying crimes being committed by the men in charge. This masterful anti war drama feels quite familiar to Kubrick's Paths Of glory but the shades of gray here go deeper. Bryan Brown's turn as Morant is a stunner and his final lines will stay with you for an age.

Fright Night: Monday, The Horror Channel @ 9pm

Charlie's new neighbour is a dodgy one, he's acting weird and bodies are popping up around town. No one will believe his suspicions but his friend Evil Ed. This is one of the most satisfying horror comedy's of the 80's. It's a little bit dated but it's still hilariously creepy, gory, gooey & thrilling. Chris Sarandon is on fire as the smooth as hell baddie but Stephen Geoffreys nabs the film as Ed in a bizarre and very memorable role.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: St Patrick's Day, Channel 4 @ 2.15am

Kim Baker, a New York news writer decides to take a job as a reporter in Afghanistan in 2003. She knows it's going to be a tough job but she doesn't realise just how messed up warzones are. This was enjoyable stuff, not as flat out comic as you'd expect of a film starring Tina Fey but there are plenty of funny moments here and there. There's a surprising depth here too. Margot Robbie and Martin Freeman are good value as her co-workers.

The Breadwinner: St Patrick's Day, RTÉ2 @ 2.45pm

Growing up under Taliban control in Afghanistan is an awful way to live as little Parvana finds out when her father is arrested. Now to support her family she must pretend to be a little boy and brave the outside world. Cartoon Saloon's third feature length animated film steps away from Ireland and into a warzone. It's a scary, stressful but beautiful and heartfelt look at the hardships of being a woman in a man's world. Saara Chaudry's adds amazing voicework to glorious animation.

The Wiremen: St Patrick's Day, RTÉ One @ 17.35

This one's a beauty. A 10 minute cartoon tale about the introduction of electricity to rural Ireland. For little Rosie it's a source of wonder and amazement. For other, more elderly folk, it's unwanted modernity barging it's way into their lives. We get fun, scares, mysticism and one of the most infamous moments ever to appear on Irish tv. The voices of Ruth McCabe and Alisha Weir bring this lovely modern fairytale to life.

Misery: St Patrick's Day, Film4 @ 9pm

Paul Sheldon is driving home from a writing trip when he crashes in the Rocky mountains and nearly dies. A woman living nearby saves him. A woman named Annie Wilkes. She claims to be his biggest fan. Rob Reiner's 1990 adaption of the Stephen King novel is heady stuff, hilarious, unsettling, brutal and unrelentingly tense. James Caan does first rate work as the banjaxed wordsmith but this film will always belong to Kathy Bates. 

Blue Is The Warmest Colour: Thursday, Channel 4 @ 12.55am

In Lille in northern France a girl called Adèle meets woman called Emma. They fall in love. We witness the relationship from beginning to end. This film is famous for some pretty explicit love scenes but there is far more to it than that. It's compelling, multilayered stuff filled with pitch perfect acting and spun all around a heartbreaking tale. Léa Seydoux & Adèle Exarchopoulos both give brave, brilliant performances.

Song Of The Sea (Amhrán na Mara): Thursday, TG4 @ 4.30pm

A brother and his little sister set off on a quest from the lighthouse island they live on with their father when sis falls ill. An animated Irish masterpiece. Imagine a Studio Ghibli film shot through with a huge dose of celtic mysticism and you'll have some idea of what this film is. An enchanting, magical and in places heartbreaking exploration of grief and love that will make you cry, laugh and drop your jaw with awe. This version is in Irish with English subtitles.

3 Godfathers: Thursday, TCM @ 6.45pm

Three cattle rustlers on the run across a desert come across a pregnant woman who dies in childbirth. They decide to do their best to bring her child to safety. This 1948 John Ford film is a western take on the tale of the three wise men and a satisfying one at that. John Wayne as Robert Marmaduke Sangster Hightower ( what a name ) gives his usual entertaining performance that suits this film to a tee. A heartwarming watch.

The Mountain Between Us: Friday 19/3   RTÉ One @ 9.35pm

A man and a woman in a rush hire a private plane that crashes smack bang in the middle of the Rocky mountains when the pilot has an ill timed stroke. No one knows where they are and they haven't a clue what to do. This is as melodramatic as movies get but there's a lot of fun to be had watching Kate Winslet and Idris Elba battling against everything mother nature can throw at them. Plus the scenery is absolutely magnificent.

Maps To The Stars: Friday, BBC2 @ 11.20pm

A trip into the slimy and sleazy underbelly of the rich and famous of Hollywood courtesy of David Cronenberg. The stories of a young tourist, a limo driver, a psychiatrist and two actors, one on the way up and one on the way down become intertwined. Great performances from Julianne Moore and John Cusack anchor an intriguingly queasy drama. The much missed Carrie Fisher makes a welcome appearance too.

Blade Of The Immortal: Friday, Film4 @ 11.25pm

Manji is a wandering samurai in medieval Japan who cannot be killed. He's tasked with protecting an orphan and with taking revenge on the men who made her so. Just because he can't die doesn't mean his task is easy. If you haven't seen a Takashi Miike film before you might be appalled at the carnage here but if you have you'll have a wicked time. Plus it (mostly) leaves out the nastier aspects of his earlier works thankfully. Takuya Kimura and Hana Sugisaki do well as ronin and ward.