Beasts of the Southern Wild, Footloose, Drag Me to Hell, W.E.: films on TV today

A magical bayou fable, Kevin Bacon dances up a storm, and Madonna's take on Edward and Mrs Simpson: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today




Beasts of the Southern Wild ★★★★
9.00-10.55pm Film Four 

First-time director Benh Zeitlin has yet to follow up on this fabulous, reality-blurring bayou fable — which earned two Oscar nominations — and it remains one of a kind, despite cinematic precedents in The Wizard of Oz and David Gordon Green’s George Washington (2000). Set at the edge of so-called ”civilisation” on the Louisiana levee, it revolves around the relationship between big-hearted but stoic six-year-old Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis) and her gruff father Wink (New Orleans baker Dwight Henry, making his acting debut). In their shanty-like community liquor flows, crayfish is feasted upon and self-sufficiency abides. But storm clouds are gathering: literally, in the shape of an encroaching hurricane, and symbolically, with Hushpuppy’s imagined prehistoric beasts. It conjures a living eco-system that pulses, grips and ultimately enchants.

Footloose ★★★
8.00-10.10pm E4 

Toe-tapping musical drama that sees Kevin Bacon’s free-spirited teenager come up against a “strictly no dancing” rule after moving to small rural town. Sarah Jessica Parker and Chris Penn (before they were stars) are just two of the kids who can’t resist the groove.

Drag Me to Hell ★★★★
9.00-11.00pm 5★ 

Director Sam Raimi returns to his Evil Dead roots with this fearsome fright flick about an inescapable curse. Alison Lohman plays the unfortunate loan officer who shouldn’t have evicted that old crone from her home.

W.E. ★★★
9.00-11.25pm Movie Mix 

Don’t let the fact Madonna is in the director’s chair deter you. The pop diva’s second film behind the camera is an intriguing exploration of the love affair between Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, and an American woman’s obsession with their romance in the present day. Andrea Riseborough (as Simpson) is excellent as usual.

sex, lies, and videotape ★★★★
11.25pm-1.40am Movie Mix 


Steven Soderbergh gave notice of his directorial smarts with this candid indie drama about a quartet of people who are forced to re-examine their sexual motives and desires. James Spader stars as the long-lost friend in search of carnal knowledge.