Beasts of the Southern Wild, Gone Baby Gone, Casper, The Matrix Revolutions, Welcome to the Jungle: films on TV today

Bayou blues, a child vanishes, a ghost appears and gangsters go weed-whacking: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today

ANDREW COLLINS: FILM OF THE DAY 
Beasts of the Southern Wild ★★★★
12.40-2.15am C4 

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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.


Gone Baby Gone ★★★★
11.35pm-1.25am BBC1 

Ben Affleck is currently adapting Dennis Lehane’s Live by Night for the big screen, but he made his impressive directorial debut with this, based on an earlier Lehane book, with baby brother Casey investigating an abduction. 


Casper ★★★★
12.50-2.50pm Film4 

Christina Ricci; remember her? And Bill Pullman… This film is full of ghosts, but only one of them gets top billing — the CGI spook from the old cartoon series.   


The Matrix Revolutions ★★★
9.00-11.30pm ITV2 

Keanu Reeves dons his shades and saves the world from supercomputers in super slow-motion. Because just pressing Ctrl+Alt-Delete would make a really dull film.


Welcome to the Jungle ★★★
10.00pm-12 midnight 5★ 

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The Brazilian rainforest provides the backdrop for a fertile buddy comedy starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Seann William Scott as reluctant mobsters. As the bad guy, Christopher Walken goes a little wild as well.


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