WEEK IN MOVIES

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

SUN­DAY

ALONG CAME A SPI­DER 8.30PM, ONE ★★ Mor­gan Free­man reprises his pop­u­lar role as foren­sic psy­chol­o­gist Dr Alex Cross in this marginally su­pe­rior fol­low-up to the 1997 hit thriller Kiss the Girls.

MON­DAY

BE­GIN­NERS 10.05PM, SBS2 ★★★ A beau­ti­fully un­der­stated piece, gen­tly drift­ing along some­where be­tween light ro­man­tic drama and sub­tle ob­ser­va­tional com­edy. Ewan McGre­gor plays a soli­tary graphic artist, yet to make sense of his life as he nears 40. Well worth a look.

TUES­DAY

THE IM­MI­GRANT 6.30PM, FOX­TEL MAS­TER­PIECE

★★★ Heart­break is al­ways but a breath away in The Im­mi­grant, an in­tense pe­riod drama that is as beau­ti­ful as it is bleak. The year is 1921, and two Pol­ish sis­ters have ar­rived in New York to start a new life. Magda (An­gela Sarafyan) is im­me­di­ately thrown in quar­an­tine, and could be de­ported pend­ing a fi­nal rul­ing by author­i­ties. This leaves the older Ewa (Mar­ion Cotil­lard) stranded in more ways than one. A well-dressed stranger of­fers his as­sis­tance. Ewa has no choice but to ac­cept. Bruno (Joaquin Phoenix) runs a bur­lesque show on the Lower East Side. It is ac­tu­ally a front for a pros­ti­tu­tion ring, but Ewa won’t find that out un­til it is far too late. Though there is a dis­tinct un­ease to the re­la­tion­ship of Ewa and Bruno as it slowly de­vel­ops, there is a clear con­nec­tion as well. Each sees a lit­tle of who they might have been in the other, had life dealt them a bet­ter hand.

WED­NES­DAY

HU­MAN TRAF­FIC 8.30PM, SBS2 ★ Five Welsh bud­dies hit the Cardiff nightlife and take some ec­stasy. Whoo-hoo. For a film so des­per­ate to be seen as hip, Hu­man Traf­fic is cu­ri­ously old-fash­ioned in that it can’t get over how naughty it thinks it’s be­ing. The film’s one sav­ing grace (be­yond its sound­track) is Justin Ker­ri­gan’s di­rec­tion of his own script. Oth­er­wise, too many down­ers, not enough highs.

THURS­DAY

TO­MOR­ROW, WHEN THE WAR BE­GAN 9PM, ELEVEN ★★ As the open­ing in­stal­ment of what later be­came a best-selling se­ries, au­thor John Mars­den’s 1993 novel To­mor­row, When the War Be­gan has been a prized read for an en­tire gen­er­a­tion of young Aus­tralians. Done well – or even just mod­er­ately ef­fec­tively – this teen-skew­ing ac­tion flick could pave the way for an un­prece­dented home-grown fran­chise. Un­for­tu­nately, mod­er­ately ef­fec­tive is as good as it gets here, de­spite the best ef­forts of some tal­ented new­com­ers among its cast, and a smat­ter­ing of im­pres­sive stand-alone scenes. A loopy, hard-toac­cept story fol­lows a group of teens fight­ing for their lives af­ter Aus­tralia has been in­vaded and con­quered by for­eign ag­gres­sors. Stars Caitlin Stasey.

FRI­DAY

THE TRIP TO ITALY 4.35PM, FOX­TEL PRE­MIERE

★★★★ Bri­tish comics Steve Coogan and Rob Bry­don re­turn with another won­der­ful combo of stun­ning scenery, fine food and im­pec­ca­bly im­pro­vised con­ver­sa­tion. The re­fined ver­bal spar­ring of the leads is even more inspired and amus­ing than be­fore. Frac­tional shifts in tone and the oc­ca­sional melan­choly beat are placed very pre­cisely to keep view­ers on their toes. More, please ( TheTripto Aus­tralia, maybe?).

SATUR­DAY

THE CON­STANT GAR­DENER 8.30PM, SBS ★★★ A meek Bri­tish diplo­mat (Ralph Fi­ennes) comes out of his shell when he be­gins in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mys­te­ri­ous death of his wife (Rachel Weisz) in Africa. Poised, in­tel­li­gent thriller which also points an ac­cus­ing fin­ger at drug com­pa­nies that dump ob­so­lete prod­ucts on third­world coun­tries. Based on the novel by John le Carre.

Revved up: Caitlin Stasey stars in To­mor­row,When­theWarBe­gan, adapted from John Mars­den’s novel.

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