August: Osage County, Khumba, Moonlight Mile, The Day After Tomorrow, The English Patient: films on TV today

Meryl and Julia have a fight, zebra crossing, Jake is a difficult houseguest, and chills are multiplying for Dennis: the RadioTimes team’s pick of free-to-air films on TV today


August: Osage County ★★★
 9.00-11.25pm C4 


There are no prizes for spotting that this compelling housebound family drama is based on a stage play. The Broadway production earned plenty of awards, including five Tonys and a Pulitzer, and it’s been adapted for the screen by actor/playwright Tracy Letts (you may have seen him in this year’s The Big Short or Channel 4’s Homeland). Director John Wells does a decent job of getting everybody in and out of the right door at the right time, as an Oklahoma clan trade neuroses, home truths and secrets when they assemble for a family funeral during the hottest month of the year. A terrific ensemble boasts Sam Shepard as a boozy poet, Oscar-nominated Meryl Streep playing his combative, drug-addicted, cancer-stricken wife and Julia Roberts (also Oscar-nominated) as their equally frank daughter. There’s also the splendid Margo Martindale (The Good Wife, The Americans), Chris Cooper, Juliette Lewis, Dermot Mulroney, Ewan McGregor and Benedict Cumberbatch – who does just fine with an American accent. A minimal, twangy score by Brokeback Mountain’s Gustavo Santaolalla soothes between the around-the-table outbursts.

Khumba ★★★
Premiere  2.10-3.45pm C5

A young zebra born with only half his stripes goes in search of a mystical water hole in this entertaining animated yarn with a voice cast that includes Liam Neeson and Catherine Tate.

Moonlight Mile ★★★
11.15pm-1.05am BBC1 

Jake Gyllenhaal tugs the heartstrings, grieving his girlfriend’s death while still living under her parents’ roof. Dustin Hoffman and Susan Sarandon are on great form, too.

The Day after Tomorrow ★★★★
6.25-8.50pm Film4

If you the weather in Britain is changeable now, this disaster epic might put your grumbles in perspective. Scientist Dennis Quaid battles across a frozen Manhattan after global warming causes a new ice age.

The English Patient ★★★★★
10.35-1.45am ITV3 

Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche star in Anthony Minghella’s epic wartime drama, which took home an impressive nine Oscars.


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