BARRY NORMAN: FILM OF THE DAY
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas ★★★
This is a snapshot of evil, the Holocaust, seen through the eyes of 8-year-old Bruno (Asa Butterfield). When his Nazi commandant father (David Thewlis) is transferred from Berlin to the country, Bruno, his sister (Amber Beattie) and – somewhat less credibly – their mother (Vera Farmiga) believe they’re now living on a farm, though Bruno does wonder why all the workers wear striped pyjamas. In fact, it’s a concentration camp whose occupants are destined for the extermination chamber. Bruno gradually begins to realise what is going on because of a forbidden relationship, initially struck up through the barbed wire fence, with a Jewish boy (Jack Scanlon) of his own age. But then, unbeknown to his family, Bruno burrows under the fence and into the camp itself. Writer/director Mark Herman does a splendid job of adapting John Boyne’s young-adult novel. The tension builds up inexorably towards a melodramatic but still heart-rending conclusion and the performance by young Butterfield is excellent.
Pride and Prejudice ★★★★
MGM may have taken some liberties with the story in this 1940 adaptation of the Jane Austen classic, but with Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier as Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy this couldn’t really fail.
Con Air ★★★★
This was a turning point in Nicolas Cage’s career, playing one of a bunch of dangerous convicts who hijack a plane, in a mad caper that smashed the box office and a lot else, besides.
White House Down ★★★
Premiere 9.00-11.50pm ITV2
Chiselled Channing Tatum is upstaged by the spectacular stunts as he tries to save President Jamie Foxx. But he should expect that with Roland “disaster-movie“ Emmerich in the chair.
Endless Night ★★★
9.15-11.15pm Talking Pictures TV
Hayley Mills and Hywel Bennet are the young couple who set up home together in an idyllic house on a plot of land known as Gypsy’s Acre, despite the warnings of mysterious old crone. A bad move, literally, as they soon find out.