Locke, Hot Fuzz, Clueless: films on TV today

Tom Hardy is on the road, Simon Pegg is on a case, Alicia Silverstone is on a mission: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today

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ANDREW COLLINS:  FILM OF THE DAY 
Locke ★★★★
9.00-10.40pm Film4 Premiere 

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Gangster saga Peaky Blinders returns to our TV screens in May, and fans may want to catch up with this contemporary chamber piece from creator Steven Knight – who writes and directs. Here, series two villain Tom Hardy is a taciturn Welsh concrete executive driving from Birmingham to London and sorting his fraught life out in a series of hands-free phone conversations. It doesn’t sound action-packed but, totally confined to the interior of his BMW, Hardy makes you believe in his predicament, which combines work with marital and extra-marital snags. Ruth Wilson, Olivia Colman and Andrew Scott join the voice cast of callers, and it’s an acting masterclass all round.


Hot Fuzz ★★★★ 
9.00-11.25pm ITV2 

After making an impact with Shaun of the Dead, Simon Pegg and director Edgar Wright set their sights on new genres to pastiche and combine in the follow-up. Hot Fuzz is a heavenly mix of Hollywood action flick and English murder mystery and sees mismatched policemen Pegg and Nick Frost (one an over-achieving city cop, the other a laisser faire local bobby) trying to solve a string of grisly deaths in a formerly crime-free country idyll. The nerdy references are liberally scattered, the action is suitably overblown and the comedy deliciously dark. 


Clueless ★★★★
7.05-9.00pm Film4 

Jane Austen has been a source of inspiration for film-makers since, well, at least since Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier starred in Pride and Prejudice in 1940. But it was this hit 1995 comedy that broke new ground with a much looser update of Austen’s classic tales of love and manners. Writer/director Amy Heckerling took her memories of Austen’s Emma, sat in on real Beverly Hills high-school classes and picked the right girl in Alicia Silverstone, and came up with a hit movie that spawned a TV series and paved the way for other modern takes (Bridget Jones’s Diary) and parodies (the recent Pride and Prejudice and Zombies).


Only You ★★★★
4.10-6.25pm Movie Mix 

Reliable director Norman Jewison (In the Heat of the Night, Moonstruck) is behind this reassuringly old-fashioned romance that sees Marisa Tomei running out on her own wedding and heading off to Italy to fulfil a romantic prediction. Most of the criticism of the movie revolves around the fact that it’s not Moonstruck (which admittedly won three Oscars), but Tomei and Robert Downey Jr are just fine not being Cher and Nic Cage, while Bonnie Hunt is brilliant as Tomei’s best friend and Positano is a location to make anyone’s dreams come true.  


The Machine ★★★
11.15pm-1.05am Movie Mix 

Is AI the next step for humanity, or its nemesis? Caradog James’s good-looking sci-fi thriller has depth, too, as MoD boffins Toby Stephens and Caity Lotz discover that their work in researching life-changing tech for wounded soldiers is being looked at with a different emphasis by their shady boss Dennis Lawson. The story heads into the long grass towards the end, as the thriller elements take control, but James has some interesting thoughts about the merging of human and machine that joins a sci-fi thread leading all the way back to Mary Shelley.


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