BARRY NORMAN: FILM OF THE DAY
This is Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece, probably the most influential thriller of them all. Scores of film-makers have tried to recapture the nail-biting shock/horror of what goes on in the Bates Motel(prop. Norman Bates, played by Anthony Perkins) and none has succeeded. From the moment Hitchcock kills off his heroine (Janet Leigh) a third of the way through, the audience is simply the orchestra, with Hitch the conductor coaxing them into what to think and expect, and then leading them in an entirely different direction. Paramount refused to release the film, saying it was “too repulsive”; The Observer’s critic CA Lejeune agreed and quit her job in disgust after seeing it. They were both wrong – this is a great movie.
Jagged Edge ★★★★
Did Jeff Bridges kill his wife? He says he didn’t. And defence lawyer Glenn Close believes him. But maybe that’s because she fancies him. Less whodunnit and more did-he-do-it, this thriller will have you gripped until the final reveal.
Dante’s Peak ★★★
Lava moves slowly, but it gets everywhere. The same could be said for Pierce Brosnan in the late 1990s, but he’s still a likeable hero in this unpretentious disaster flick.
Warm Bodies ★★★
Premiere 9.00-10.55pm Film4
There are difficult relationships and really difficult relationships, but when Teresa Palmer’s new beau (Nicholas Hoult) turns out to be a flesh-eating zombie, she thinks twice before taking him home to meet mum.
Cate Blanchett scored a Bafta win for her breakthrough performance here as the carefree princess who became one of Britain’s most formidable monarchs. Set against the backdrop of a nation divided by religion and threatened on its borders, this lavish, all-star drama is brimming with royal scandal and courtly intrigue.
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