BARRY NORMAN: FILM OF THE DAY
The Artist ★★★★★
Fortune favours the bold – and how. It was brave of French director Michel Hazanavicius to make a black-and-white silent movie in 2011 but it certainly paid off. The film won five Oscars including best picture, director and actor, Jean Dujardin (Johnny in the Garden?) and deserved them all. It’s a beautifully played comedy/drama, a vague remake of A Star Is Born. Dujardin is the great silent star who gives a break to a young dancer (Bérénice Bejo) and then, when talking pictures are introduced, sees her career flourish while his goes into sharp decline because he believes that talkies are only a passing fad and will have nothing to do with them. But unlike previous films with a similar theme, this one has a decidedly feel-good ending. It serves as delightful entertainment in itself and also as a loving tribute to movies generally. Incidentally, the only other silent picture to win the Oscar was Wings at the first Academy Awards in 1929.
Night Will Fall ★★★★
PREMIERE 9.00-10.20pm C4
Last week saw the premiere of BBC2’s affecting and powerful drama The Eichmann Show. In the run-up to Holocaust Memorial Day, here is a first showing of this compelling documentary, which reveals how Allied film-makers were called upon to shoot footage of concentration camps to show the true horror of the atrocities.
In Fear ★★★★
10.50pm-12.30am Film Four
A romantic drive in the country turns into a bloody nightmare for Iain de Caestecker and Alice Englert, in Jeremy Lovering’s innovative chiller. The psychological horror mounts as the couple get increasingly lost, and the petrol gauge gets ever lower. But does the real danger lie outside the car, or inside?
Director Tony Scott is in his element in his final film, a nail-biting adventure starring Denzel Washington, Chris Pine and a huge runaway train heading for kaboomville.
Eagle Eye ★★★★
Hitchcockian suspense and 1970s-style paranoia abound as Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan are framed as terrorists by a mysterious phone-caller.