Gran Torino, The Little Mermaid, The Deep: films on TV today

Old timer Clint is out of his depth, Disney's mermaid is out of her element, and a boozy Icelandic trawlerman is in big big trouble: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today




Gran Torino ★★★
9.00-11.25pm C5 

This is by no means the best film in Clint Eastwood’s impressive CV but it’s still well worth watching. Clint plays an elderly and recently widowed car worker, a war veteran, an ardent patriot and a racist, who looks upon the world around him and doesn’t like any of it, especially the South-East Asians who are his neighbours. His most prized possession is a 1972 Ford Gran Torino, which he had helped to build and which the shy teenage boy next door, Bee Vang, is bullied into stealing as his initiation into a gang. The kid is caught in the act by Eastwood, who is ready to shoot him but doesn’t. Instead this meeting turns out to be life-changing for both of them. Eastwood’s performance is excellent, both at the beginning when he exudes loathing and ill-concealed rage and later, as his developing relationship with the boy makes him realise that nobody is too old to change and become a better person.


The Little Mermaid ★★★★★

3.35-5.15pm C5 

Hans Christian Andersen’s fish-out-of-water fairy tale is delightfully reworked by Disney, who throw in a show-stopping score by Alan Menken.     

Sister Act ★★★★

5.25-7.15pm C4 

Whoopi Goldberg trades sequins and the spotlight for a wimple as her fugitive soul singer takes shelter in a convent in this exuberant musical comedy.    

The Cider House Rules ★★★★★

10.00pm-12 midnight BBC2 

An Oscar-winning Michael Caine stars alongside Tobey Maguire and Charlize Theron in this evocative adaptation of John Irving’s novel.    


The Deep ★★★★

9.00-10.30pm BBC4 

Dramatisation of the unbelievable yet true story of the Icelandic trawlerman forced to swim to shore through killingly freezing seas after his boat went down.  


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