The Descendants, Warm Bodies, Tightrope: films on TV today

Dad George Clooney is on a voyage of self-discovery, zombie Nicholas Hoult is falling for a human, and kinky cop Clint Eastwood is hunting a serial killer: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today

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ANDREW COLLINS:  FILM OF THE DAY 

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The Descendants ★★★★
9.00-11.15pm More4 

George Clooney was fine in Gravity, but wasn’t the star, and The Monuments Men was a rare dud, so it is with great pleasure that we scroll back to 2011 for some prime Clooney real estate. Working with director/co-writer Alexander Payne (Sideways, About Schmidt), who is a master of finding pathos in older men coping with stasis, he plays a Honolulu lawyer whose unfaithful wife is in a coma after a boating accident. Clooney is atypically baggy and uncool in tucked-in shirts and pumps as he tracks down his wife’s lover while stoically processing his own grief – his awkward running style seems to typify the film’s sense of absurd tragedy. With its aura of melancholy enhanced by the soundtrack of traditional Hawaiian music, Payne’s skilfully rationed moments of humorous relief play out against a surprisingly precipitous but verdant landscape, gorgeously shot by Sideways cinematographer Phedon Papamichael. Warm, subtle and gentle, The Descendants demonstrates what can happen when indie talent is nurtured to mainstream success. 


Awakenings ★★★★

 4.35-7.05pm Movie Mix 

The true story of a neurologist who managed to rouse coma patients after decades in deep sleep. Robin Williams plays doctor to Robert De Niro and if the film is a bit melodramatic, it doesn’t make the events any less remarkable.   


Warm Bodies ★★★

9.00-10.50pm Film Four 

There are difficult relationships and really difficult relationships, but when Teresa Palmer’s new beau (Nicholas Hoult) turns out to be a flesh-eating zombie she thinks twice before taking him home to meet mum.    


Tightrope ★★★★

9.00-11.20pm ITV4 

Clint Eastwood takes a walk on the wild side as a New Orleans detective on the trail of a serial killer with whom he shares the same sexual proclivities.     


The Liability ★★★

9.00-10.50pm Movie Mix 

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Rising star Jack O’Connell takes the lead here as an unruly teenager in need of some cash who takes a job driving an ageing hitman (Tim Roth).    


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