WEEK IN MOVIES
SUNDAY BRIDGE OF SPIES 8.30PM, FOXTEL PREMIERE ★★★★
Tom Hanks stars as an American lawyer defending a Russian spy on treason charges as US-Soviet relations escalate towards the Cold War’s no-go zone. A highly immersive drama that resonates strongly on both an intimately personal level — thanks to the potent screen chemistry of Hanks and co-star Mark Rylance as his despised client — and on a wider, political-historical scale. Yet another classy history lesson from master filmmaker Steven Spielberg.
MONDAY SALT 8.30PM, TDT ★★★
So what if Tom Cruise famously walked from this bigbudget spy thriller? What Salt does have working in its favour – and boy, does she work hard throughout – is Angelina Jolie (above). Deploying both sheer grit and considerable physicality, the star of the show takes Salt to a level that Cruise would not have been capable of. Jolie plays Evelyn Salt, a longserving CIA agent who comes under suspicion of being a Russian operative. This is an exciting run-gun-and-stun affair that does what a post-Bourne espionage outing should: with a minimum of fuss and a maximum dose of adrenalin.
WEDNESDAY GONE GIRL 9PM, WIN ★★★★
An entertainingly provocative film, bound to set tongues wagging and minds racing for some time to come. Nick (Ben Affleck) arrives home to discover that his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) has disappeared. Oddly, Nick doesn’t seem all that flustered. Nevertheless, he calls the cops. His measured responses to the ensuing investigation (and the fingerpointing fury of a baying US media) form one half of the narrative voice of Gone Girl. The other half comes from Amy herself, via a diary she had been keeping.
THURSDAY DOLPHIN TALE 7.30PM , FOXTEL FAMILY ★★★
Wholesome family picture starring Harry Connick Jr, saved from blandness by the fascinating true story it shares. After becoming
caught in a fishing trap, a dolphin named Winter loses its tailfin. Enter 11-year-old Sawyer (Nathan Gamble), who comes up with an idea that will save Winter from a life of captivity. A nice little outing for young nature enthusiasts, even if the performances are stilted. Verdict: Who’s up for a little game of Pin the Tail on the Dolphin?
FRIDAY ZERO DARK THIRTY 9.25PM, SBS ★★★★★
From the makers of The Hurt Locker, a searing, challenging factual drama all about looking for a needle in a haystack. The US government is in possession of every last detail worth knowing about the needle: Osama bin Laden, the most effective terrorist in history. The problem is that no one knows where the haystack might be. It will take the CIA the best part of a decade to work it out. And then exactly 25 minutes to eliminate their target once they do. As a blast from our recent past – reported quite clinically and decidedly powerfully in the present tense – Zero Dark Thirty does not undercharge the explosive nature of its subject matter. Stars Jessica Chastain.
SATURDAY HOTEL RWANDA 8.30PM, SBS ★★★★
During the horrific Rwandan genocide of 1994, a resourceful hotel manager shelters more than 1000 refugees from murderous political extremists. What follows in this confronting true-life drama is a steep descent into “How could this have happened?” hell. A conscience-pricking, complacency-kicking experience. Stars Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo. Failed to pick up the three Oscars it was nominated for, including Best Actor for Cheadle.