BARRY NORMAN: FILM OF THE DAY A Man for All Seasons★★★★ 3.15-5.15pm BBC2
The Vatican has listed this among the greatest movies of all time. Hardly surprising. Robert Bolt’s play and screenplay make the Catholic Sir Thomas More (Paul Scofield) the tragic hero of the story. Henry VIII (Robert Shaw), who broke away from Rome, is very much the bad guy. The action revolves around More’s refusal both to ask the Pope to annul Henry’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon and to acknowledge the king as the Supreme Head of the Church in England. This was highly perilous because, as More discovered to his cost, you really didn’t want Henry as your enemy. It’s tense, articulate, absorbing stuff, which won six Oscars including awards for Bolt, Scofield and the director Fred Zinnemann.
Panned by critics at the time, this ambitious epic about the American War of Independence from the director of Chariots of Fire is still worth a look. OK, Al Pacino’s dodgily accented dad out to save his boy might raise a smile, but never mind the Method, check out those battle scenes.
Felicity Jones’s star was in the ascendent when she took the lead in this Alpine-set romantic tale. She plays the working-class gal who finds herself mixing with a bunch of posh society types on the ski slopes, but not all of them are won over by her down-to-earth charms.
Breaking pretty much every box-office record set by his own Titanic, James Cameron’s sci-fi fantasy is film-making on the most epic scale. And if blue is your favourite colour, you’re in for a real treat.
Anthony Hopkins tries to hold his family together in the shadow of history-shaping world events in this old-school epic. His boys are played by Aidan Quinn (best remembered as Dez from Desperately Seeking Susan), Henry Thomas (Elliott from ET) and Brad Pitt (umm… sorry, drawn a blank there).
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