Hugo, Love & Other Drugs, The Book of Eli - best films on TV tonight

Hugo, Love & Other Drugs, The Book of Eli - best films on TV tonight

By Radio Times staff

Sunday 20 July 2014 at 12:01AM

Hugo - 5:40pm, C4

Here are two firsts for director Martin Scorsese: a family film where the family in question isn't the Mafia, and his first use of 3D. In this adaptation of Brian Selznick's children's book, Asa Butterfield plays 12-year-old orphan Hugo Cabret, who lives within the walls of the Paris railway station in 1931. Chloë Grace Moretz is Isabelle, the girl he befriends in his bid to find bits and bobs for a mechanical man his late father has left him. But it's Isabelle's grandfather Georges Méliès (Ben Kingsley) who takes centre stage as the film mutates, oddly but endearingly, into a tribute to a pioneer of early cinema. It's a subject close to cinephile Scorsese's heart, though it can feel a little indulgent and heavy for kids, with Sacha Baron Cohen's silly-voiced station inspector a jarring attempt to bridge the gap. But, as a crazy mix of Cinema Paradiso,Cronos and David Copperfield it's unusually stimulating family fare.


Love & Other Drugs - 10pm, C4

This ribald, challenging and funny romance from Edward Zwick stars Jake Gyllenhaal as pharmaceutical salesman Jamie Randall, who's riding high in the mid-1990s boom, peddling a new pill called Viagra. He meets and immediately falls into bed with Maggie Murdock (Anne Hathaway), a beautiful, mysterious girl who seemingly only wants sex with no strings attached. But when the two become closer, Maggie is forced to make a painful revelation. Adult themes and jokes joyfully abound in a film that finds The Last Samuraidirector returning to territory more associated with his feature debut About Last Night.... And while the film isn't entirely free of stereotypes, it does says something real about what happens when love is threatened by illness - with the copious amounts of nudity from the leads actually adding to its telling. It isn't quite Love Story, but comes close.


The Book of Eli - 10pm, C5

In a scorched post-apocalypse America, a lone adventurer fights to keep possession of a book he believes carries sacred powers. With his shades and grey-flecked beard, co-producer/star Denzel Washington certainly cuts an iconic figure in his odyssey through desert landscapes dotted with dangerous marauders. We seem set for a comic-strip amalgam of The Road and Mad Max 2, yet directors the Hughes Brothers (Dead PresidentsFrom Hell) apply their own distinctive stamp to this curious blend of futuristic western and sombre meditation on the uses and abuses of faith. As the deliberately paced story sets Washington and ruthless Gary Oldman in bloody conflict over the eponymous tome, it's not too hard to guess the identity of the good book in question. In a world of anonymous production-line action flicks, a nod of respect is due to the Hughes boys for sticking to their own idiosyncratic path (watch for jaunty cameos from Michael Gambon and Frances de la Tour as cranky survivalists), even if - the credibility-shredding final-reel twist's a particular howler - it's undoubtedly a wayward one.

Want more great TV recommendations for tonight from the Radio Times experts? Download our free iPad app

We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here