BARRY NORMAN: FILM OF THE DAY
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel ★★★★
A romantic comedy for senior citizens, the film which, with its starry cast of much-loved veterans, lured wrinklies and crumblies back to the cinema. John Madden’s film, based on Deborah Moggach’s novel, follows the mixed adventures of a bunch of elderly Brits from different walks of life who, for various reasons mostly to do with restricted funds, have elected to spend their declining years in Jaipur as permanent residents of the eponymous hotel, run with more ambition than competence by Dev Patel (of Slumdog Millionaire fame). How each of them adapts to these new circumstances and, in some cases, unexpected romance is very nicely portrayed. Ol Parker’s screenplay is sharp and funny but the cast is the main attraction — and what a cast. Practically every British actor with a bus pass is in there from Judi Dench, who acts as narrator, and Maggie Smith, as an acerbic retired nanny, to Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Celia Imrie and several more.
Con Air ★★★★
It 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.
AI: Artificial Intelligence ★★★★
Started by Stanley Kubrick, finished by Steven Spielberg, this ambitious sci-fi take on the Pinocchio story has equal helpings of darkness and schmaltz.
The Bourne Identity ★★★★
The great spy trilogy starts here with Matt Damon waking up with no knowledge of who he is, where he is, and what he’s capable of. Light blue touch paper and stand well back.
A Kind of Loving ★★★★
11.00pm-1.00am True Entertainment
Alan Bates feels rushed into marriage with a pregnant June Ritchie in a classic bit of kitchen-sink drama, but it’s not all bad news for the young lovers.
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