WEEK IN MOVIES

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - NEWS - WITH LEIGH PAATSCH

SUN­DAY

THE SES­SIONS

10.30PM, TEN ★★★★

When it comes to The

Ses­sions, it is best to look past what some may ini­tially think is un­ap­peal­ing pack­ag­ing. Inside is a gift that keeps on giv­ing long af­ter­wards. This won­der­fully warm, funny and gen­uinely touch­ing film tells the true story of Mark O’Brien (played by John Hawkes), a renowned writer paral­ysed from the neck down. How­ever, his many re­mark­able ca­reer achieve­ments are not the fo­cus here. In­stead, it is his de­sire to lose his vir­gin­ity. A se­ries of con­sul­ta­tions with Ch­eryl (He­len Hunt), a “sex sur­ro­gate’’, guides O’Brien to­wards his first ex­pe­ri­ences of in­ti­macy. The film risks a lot with its bed­room scenes, which are both con­fronting and com­fort­ing in their ex­plicit de­pic­tion of this un­usual brand of ther­apy. The pay­off is never re­motely gra­tu­itous. The close­ness we wit­ness – though os­ten­si­bly clin­i­cal in na­ture – re­veals an in­spi­ra­tional bond be­tween two peo­ple that has noth­ing to do with sex. Beau­ti­fully writ­ten and per­formed. Highly rec­om­mended. Costars Wil­liam H. Macy.

MON­DAY

TOUCH­ING THE VOID

10.05PM, ABC2 ★★★★

This must-see doc­u­men­tary is an as­ton­ish­ing tale of sur­vival in the Peru­vian An­des. After break­ing a leg dur­ing a treach­er­ous moun­tain de­scent, a young Bri­tish climber is left for dead by his part­ner. Com­bin­ing present-day rec­ol­lec­tions with fright­en­ingly au­then­tic re-en­act­ments, both men come to ap­pre­ci­ate noth­ing heals, or hurts, like fac­ing up to re­al­ity. Di­rected by Os­car-win­ning film­maker Kevin Macdon­ald ( One Day in Septem­ber).

TUES­DAY

THE IS­LAND

9.30PM, GO! ★★

In 2019, the res­i­dents of an ex­clu­sive health re­sort dis­cover they are be­ing farmed for hu­man body parts. Two rebels (Ewan McGregor and Scar­lett Jo­hans­son) es­cape. The so-so sci-fi of the first half is quite watch­able, but the rest is stan­dard run-and-gun chase stuff. Di­rected by Michael Bay ( Ar­maged­don, The Rock).

WED­NES­DAY LET THE RIGHT ONE IN 10.35PM, SBS2 ★★★★

Spook­ily surreal bites-of-pas­sage drama. The great news is it’s su­pe­rior to Twi­light in just about ev­ery blood­suck­ing depart­ment. Based on the novel by John Aj­vide Lindqvist, it’s about a young out­cast who forms an un­com­fort­ably close friend­ship with the im­mor­tal girl next door. Plenty of sharp, sly shocks in store for dis­cern­ing hor­ror fans.

THURS­DAY SAVE THE LAST DANCE 9.30PM, ELEVEN ★★★

Though hardly a ground­break­ing film, Save the Last Dance is at least pre­pared to ac­knowl­edge the com­plex­i­ties of in­ter-racial love. The movie’s hero­ine, Sarah (Ju­lia Stiles), has just moved to Chicago to live with her es­tranged fa­ther after a per­sonal tragedy. Her mis­ery com­pounds into out­right lone­li­ness when she be­gins stud­ies at a pre­dom­i­nantly black high school. Step­ping in to save the day is Tony (Sean Pa­trick Thomas) who en­rolls Sarah in a per­sonal im­prove­ment pro­gram that al­lows the for­mer bal­le­rina to get hip to all things hip hop.

FRI­DAY ERIN BROCK­OVICH 8.30PM, TEN ★★★★

Ju­lia Roberts shines as a sin­gle mum who uses all charms at her dis­posal to get jus­tice for the vic­tims of a poi­soned wa­ter sup­ply. This smart and at­ti­tude-heavy film coasts along at a wel­come (and almost breezy) change of pace from the usual way-too-se­ri­ous true-story movies.

SATUR­DAY MICHAEL CLAYTON 10.45PM, NINE ★★★★

One of the best-writ­ten films of 2007 is also one of the bet­ter-acted. George Clooney an­chors a top­notch en­sem­ble cast in this pow­er­ful le­gal thriller, play­ing a shad­owy cor­po­rate lawyer who saves his best work for out­side the court­room.

Tak­ing a stand: Ju­lia Roberts won an Os­car for her per­for­mance as the epony­mous hero who fights for jus­tice in ErinBrock­ovich.

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