BARRY NORMAN: FILM OF THE DAY
Gangs of New York ★★★
This was the first collaboration between director Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio, and might be seen as the film in which the latter fully came of age as a grown-up movie star. It’s a violent tale, based on fact, about gang warfare between native-born Americans and Irish immigrants in 19th-century New York. Beginning in 1846 with a battle between the Americans, led by Daniel Day-Lewis, and Liam Neeson’s Irish Catholics, it sees Neeson killed. Years later his son, DiCaprio, released from reform school, seeks vengeance. What develops is a sweeping, absorbing story of savage turmoil and corrupt politics. Splendid performances from Day-Lewis and a very impressive DiCaprio with fine support from the likes of Jim Broadbent and Cameron Diaz.
A cracking update of the classic 1940s film noir, with Dennis Quaid on great form as the man accused of murder and on a countdown to find the real culprit.
The Full Monty ★★★★★
9.00-10.55pm Movie Mix
Awards were thrown in appreciation of the stripping steelworkers who populate this surprisingly tender and funny social drama.
10.40pm-12.35am Film Four
This very loose portrait of cult indie musician Frank Sidebottom through the eyes of a newcomer to his band (Domhnall Gleeson) is a strange and delightful ode to artistic expression.
Universal Soldier ★★★
Dolph Lundgren and Jean-Claude Van Damme go mano a mano in this sci-fi action that’s part Terminator, part RoboCop. You want action – you got it.