BARRY NORMAN: FILM OF THE DAY
From Hell ★★★★
Another take on the dastardly doings of Jack the Ripper. (Where would the movies be without old Jack?) Johnny Depp, sporting a decent cockney accent, stars as an opium-addicted police inspector with psychic powers and Robbie Coltrane as his loyal assistant. Plus Ian Holm as the Queen’s surgeon and Heather Graham as a toothsome tart. The setting: a dark, dangerous, exciting London where the gap between rich and poor is nearly as wide as it is today, and there’s a debauched, rotten core at the heart of the strait-laced Victorian Establishment. Practically everyone, from the Royal Family to the Freemasons, comes under suspicion as Jack does his stuff and Depp tries to peer into his mind. An enjoyable, well-acted romp.
Bridget Jones: the Edge of Reason ★★★
Renee Zellweger’s hapless singleton finds herself back on the market after falling out with Colin Firth’s Mark Darcy. Enter caddish Hugh Grant, cue romantic shenanigans and pratfalls.
Two sets of seemingly sensible parents come together to resolve a dispute between their kids, only for them to descend into their own childish brawl, in this impeccably played piece.
The American President ★★★★
Aaron Sorkin (creator of The West Wing wrote the smart, witty script for this fine romantic comedy starring Michael Douglas.
Janis: Little Girl Blue ★★★★
10.30pm-12 midnight BBC4
A harrowing documentary about one of the most revered singers in all of music history which offers an intimate look at the turbulent life of Janis Joplin.
Order your copy of the Radio Times Guide to Films 2017