BARRY NORMAN: FILM OF THE DAY
The Railway Man ★★★
American critics thought this story, based on fact, about a British army officer’s torture, suffering and later attempt to face his demons was too “understated”. Understatement, like irony, is something Americans don’t understand but this time they were right. The film is understated and all the better for it. It’s the story, told partly in flashback, of Eric Lomax (Colin Firth on fine form), who was captured by the Japanese in 1942, forced to work on the notorious Burma Railway and so savagely tortured that he is haunted by the memories for decades. In middle age he meets and marries Nicole Kidman. They’re happy enough but he is still plagued by depression and nightmares until he learns that his chief tormentor (Tanroh Ishida) is still alive, and determines to confront him and try finally to end the bitterness and hatred he feels. It’s a well-told tale that shuns gung-ho heroics and builds up to a moving and perhaps unexpected denouement.
A British disaster movie shot against a backdrop of political aggro in apartheid-era South Africa and starring Roger Moore as the only man fighting to stop the impending collapse of a gold mine.
6.15-9.00pm Movie Mix
John Schlesinger’s nostalgic paean to the “overpaid, oversexed and over here” GIs who arrived in wartime Britain, to find a warm welcome, in some quarters at least. Richard Gere and Vanessa Redgrave head a distinguished ensemble cast.
Age of Heroes ★★★
This tale of wartime derring-do is given a bit of extra zip when you discover that it’s based on the real-life exploits of 007 creator Ian Fleming. James D’Arcy plays Fleming, who sets Sean Bean and Danny Dyer off on a sabotage mission in Norway.
Basic Instinct ★★★
This unrestrained erotic thriller, famous for the interrogation-room leg-crossing scene, turned Sharon Stone – as the ultra-seductive predatory novelist – into a 1990s sex symbol.
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