BARRY NORMAN: FILM OF THE DAY
Love Actually ★★★
This is a modern fairy tale, something that escaped the dim critics who tore it to shreds on first release. It’s a series of vaguely interwoven love stories, some happy, some not. Prime Minister Hugh Grant, for instance, falls in love with the Downing Street tea lady, writer Colin Firth with his Portuguese house cleaner and so on. Mostly it takes place in London, a London that, the critics complained, was quite unlike the one they knew. Well, of course it was, you fools – the writer and director were Richard Curtis and like all his romantic comedies the film is firmly set in Curtisland, a place where nobody has money troubles and it always snows at Christmas. OK, it doesn’t all work; there are some weak spots. But the message that, if you only look, you’ll find love all around you is a cheery one. And there’s a glorious performance by Bill Nighy as a drug-riddled old pop star.
Knight and Day ★★★
9.00-11.10pm Film Four
It’s just another day at the office for Tom Cruise, dodging explosions and swapping loaded banter with blonde bombshell Cameron Diaz. Smokin’.
Will Smith saves the planet again, only this time he does it a bit grudgingly in this offbeat story of a world-weary superhero.
Liam Neeson cements his rep as a middle-aged action hero who wakes up after an accident in Berlin to find that nobody remembers him. You’ll want to know more.
2001: a Space Odyssey ★★★★★
Stanley Kubrick’s science-fiction epic might be a profound and psychedelic masterpiece OR a grand self-indulgence with a baffling ending. Either way, you need to see it.
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