WEEK IN MOVIES

WITH LEIGH PAATSCH

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - WEEK IN MOVIES -

SUN­DAY

THE IN­VEN­TION OF LY­ING 10PM, SEVEN In­flu­en­tial Bri­tish comic Ricky Ger­vais ( The Of­fice, Ex­tras) comes a crop­per in this at­tempt to con­quer Hol­ly­wood. In a world where the truth is al­ways told, Ger­vais plays the first man to ever tell a lie. What starts out as an in­trigu­ing idea for a film – think an in­verse ver­sion of Jim Car­rey’s Liar Liar – soon be­comes a grat­ing gim­mick. Ger­vais’ comic radar is not work­ing well here. As a lead­ing man, he just can’t cut it when the pres­sure is on. Should stick to his home turf from now on. Co-stars Jen­nifer Gar­ner.

★★

MON­DAY

THE TREE OF LIFE 10.15PM, SBS2 This am­bi­tious at­tempt to ex­plain the un­ex­plain­able na­ture of life is one of the most unique films of the past decade. A sin­gle soundbite heard early on per­haps best con­nects view­ers to the ex­tra­or­di­nary ex­pe­ri­ence ahead: “There are two ways through life: the way of na­ture, or the way of grace. You have to choose which one you will fol­low.” The phys­i­cal em­bod­i­ment of this thought is a typ­i­cal Amer­i­can fam­ily of the 1950: a tough, no-non­sense fa­ther (played by Brad Pitt), a free-spir­ited mother (Jes­sica Chas­tain), and their three young sons. With one of the boys fated to die in his teens, the film be­gins a

★★★★★

cos­mi­cally scenic jour­ney to a de­pic­tion of the af­ter­life as gen­uinely mov­ing as any mind could ever con­jure. Peo­ple will ei­ther be to­tally be­witched or be­wil­dered by what hap­pens here. Like Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, if you fall un­der its spell, a master­piece ap­pears be­fore you.

TUES­DAY

GOS­FORD PARK 12.40PM, FOX­TEL MASTER­PIECE

★★★★

Mul­ti­ple mys­ter­ies and mal­ad­justed may­hem abound amid the deca­dent op­u­lence of a week­end shoot­ing party at an English coun­try house in the 1930s. This su­perb pe­riod melo­drama from vet­eran direc­tor Robert Alt­man ( The Player) play­fully skews its Agatha Christielike plot­ting with an acid tongue and a con­niv­ing sneer. A star-stud­ded cast of top-flight English act­ing tal­ent – in­clud­ing Kristin Scott Thomas, Jeremy Northam and He­len Mir­ren – fur­ther strength­ens the magic.

WED­NES­DAY

DREDD 8.30PM, SBS2 Fu­tur­is­tic ac­tion pulp of sur­pris­ingly con­sis­tent qual­ity, good enough to oblit­er­ate mem­o­ries of Sylvester Stal­lone’s dread­ful Judge Dredd (adapted from the same comic-book source). Karl Ur­ban plays the ti­tle char­ac­ter, a hard­line, no-frills cop spoil­ing for a fight when a killer nar­cotic nick­named Slo-mo hits Mega-City One. Clever set-piece chases and skir­mishes, and a sly sense of hu­mour round out a very solid ef­fort.

★★★

THURS­DAY

THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB 1PM, NINE A strag­gly ball of feel­good fluff con­cern­ing five women and a to­ken bloke meet­ing monthly to dis­cuss the col­lected works of Jane Austen. A lot of in­cred­i­bly ba­nal blab about how life is of­ten like an Austen novel, a lit­tle lame re­la­tion­ship angst and that’s about it. Stars Emily Blunt, Mario Bello.

FRI­DAY

BABY MAMA 11.15PM, SEVEN An in­fer­tile sin­gle busi­ness­woman (Tina Fey) em­ploys a shifty, not-soshrewd slob (Amy Poehler) to bear a sur­ro­gate child. What fol­lows is a mildly en­gag­ing, all-fe­male ver­sion of The Odd Cou­ple. Or an older-skew­ing ver­sion of Juno, but with safer jokes. The best work in this slight com­edy can be found in the sup­port­ing ranks, cour­tesy of Sigour­ney Weaver, Steve Martin and Greg Kin­n­ear.

★★

SATUR­DAY

APOCA­LYPSE NOW REDUX 8.30PM, SBS1 Fran­cis Ford Cop­pola re­leases the ul­ti­mate direc­tor’s cut ver­sion of his Viet­nam war opus. Doesn’t soar to any greater heights be­cause of the ex­tra 50 min­utes, but still a clas­sic of chaotic cinema bravura. Stars Martin Sheen and Mar­lon Brando.

★★★★

All-Amer­i­can: Brad Pitt plays a 1950s dad in TheTree­ofLife.

Slob­bish sur­ro­gate: Amy Poehler stars in Baby Mama.

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