BARRY NORMAN: FILM OF THE DAY Gangs of New York ★★★
This was the first collaboration between director Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio, and might be seen as the film in which the latter fully came of age as a grown-up movie star. It’s a violent tale, based on fact, about gang warfare between native-born Americans and Irish immigrants in 19th-century New York. Beginning in 1846 with a battle between the Americans, led by Daniel Day-Lewis, and Liam Neeson’s Irish Catholics, it sees Neeson killed. Years later his son, DiCaprio, released from reform school, seeks vengeance. What develops is a sweeping, absorbing story of savage turmoil and corrupt politics. Splendid performances from Day-Lewis and a very impressive DiCaprio with fine support from the likes of Jim Broadbent and Cameron Diaz.
10.40pm-12.35am Film Four This very loose portrait of cult indie musician Frank Sidebottom through the eyes of a newcomer to his band (Domhnall Gleeson) is a strange and delightful ode to artistic expression.