Moonrise Kingdom, Stand by Me, Blackthorn, Love Is All, Mystery Road: films on TV today

Wes Anderson's cute campfire tale, River Phoenix on a woodland trek and Sam Shepard south of the border: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today

Moonrise Kingdom ★★★
Premiere 11.05pm-12.50am C4


The Grand Budapest Hotel has finally placed Wes Anderson in the firmament of Oscar-nominated directors, a relief for those of us who’ve long been enamoured of his precisely arranged, symmetrical storybook-style narratives. As well as a nomination for best animated film for Fantastic Mr Fox, he’d previously received screenplay nods for The Royal Tenenbaums (still my favourite) and Moonrise Kingdom, a coming-of-age love story set in a gorgeous New England island wilderness in 1965. It’s a sensual comic delight, with the central relationship between Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward’s 12-year-old runaways always lovingly and innocently depicted while a search party of responsible adults act like big kids, among them Edward Norton’s incompetent scoutmaster, Bruce Willis’s brusque police captain and the girl’s eccentric parents, Bill Murray and Frances McDormand. Easier to get into than the more wilfully remote The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, this would be a nice place to start for Anderson newcomers. The Benjamin Britten tunes are lovely, too.

Stand by Me ★★★★★
3.20-4.55pm C5 

Another tale of kids coming of age in the American backwoods, this time with River Phoenix and Wil Wheaton leading the way. But being an adaptation of a Stephen King novel, there’s a touch of menace as well. A beloved ’80s classic.

Blackthorn ★★★
Premiere 10.50pm-12.30am BBC2 

If you ever wondered what Butch Cassidy might have done had he escaped that famous shoot-out, then here’s your answer. Sam Shepard is on top form as an ageing version of the notorious outlaw in this wistful modern western. 

Love Is All ★★★
Premiere 9.00-10.15pm BBC4 

A documentary to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Director Kim Longinotto has rolled a hundred-years’ worth of lovey-dovey moments into 75 minutes of heart-tugging and occasionally thought-provoking montage.

Mystery Road ★★★
Premiere 10.15pm-12.10am BBC4 

Hugo Weaving and True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten feature in a dark ramble through the Aussie outback, where an Aboriginal girl is found murdered. The film was largely overlooked at the cinema, but this one is definitely worth investigating. 


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