WEEK IN MOVIES

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

SUN­DAY ALONG CAME POLLY

8.30PM, ELEVEN ★★★ Ben Stiller stars as Reuben Fef­fer, an overly con­ser­va­tive in­sur­ance com­pany risk as­ses­sor whose scrupu­lously pre­dictable ex­is­tence is blown to smithereens when he dis­cov­ers his new bride in bed with a French scuba in­struc­tor on the first day of their hon­ey­moon. While try­ing to piece his life back to­gether, Reuben falls un­der the spell of Polly (Jen­nifer Anis­ton), a no­madic and dis­or­gan­ised free spirit who soon sets about lur­ing her new beau into all man­ner of com­pro­mis­ing sit­u­a­tions. Egging Reuben on is his buddy Sandy Lyle (Philip Sey­mour Hoff­man), a washed-up teen movie icon.

MON­DAY LEGALLY BLONDE

7.30PM, FOX­TEL DRAMA/ RO­MANCE ★★ An air­head shopa­holic ex­pe­ri­ences a shock in­crease to her brain power when she en­rols at a pres­tige law school to win back her ex-boyfriend. Flimsy feel­good froth el­e­vated to some­thing much more like­able thanks to Reese Witherspoon in the lead role.

TUES­DAY THE TOWN

9.30PM, GO! ★★★★ Ben Af­fleck stars as the leader of a smash ’n’ grab gang who be­gins a re­la­tion­ship with a woman held hostage dur­ing a heist. But if you as­sume The Town is go­ing to sud­denly shrivel down into a reg­u­lar doomed love-story sce­nario, you’re mis­taken. The wild card here is Af­fleck’s ex­em­plary work as di­rec­tor and co-writer, which can be likened to Martin Scors­ese’s award-win­ning ef­forts on The De­parted.

WED­NES­DAY THE CU­RI­OUS CASE OF BEN­JAMIN BUT­TON

8.40PM, GEM ★★★★ Ev­ery­thing old gets younger by the day for the ti­tle char­ac­ter in this re­mark­able drama based on a story by F. Scott Fitzger­ald. Though per­for­mances are ex­em­plary and the use of make-up and spe­cial ef­fects tech­nol­ogy is of­ten as­ton­ish­ing, the most mem­o­rable char­ac­ter­is­tic of The Cu­ri­ous Case is un­doubt­edly its bizarre plot. Brad Pitt (in ca­reer-best form) plays a man born in 1918 with a strange dis­or­der that causes him to age back­wards through­out his life. This strange premise (and a long run­ning time) de­mands a huge leap of faith from view­ers. For those up to mak­ing the jump, a mov­ing and rather mind-bend­ing ex­pe­ri­ence awaits. Costars Cate Blanchett, Ja­son Fle­myng and Ju­lia Or­mond.

THURS­DAY LIT­TLE WOMEN

9.15PM FOX­TEL DRAMA/ RO­MANCE ★★★ The most re­cent (and most ac­ces­si­ble) adap­ta­tion of the an­cient ro­man­tic best-seller by Louisa May Al­cott. With her hus­band off be­ing a hero in the Civil War, a de­ter­mined mother (Su­san Saran­don) must not only make ends meet, but also ed­u­cate her four daugh­ters (Wi­nona Ry­der, Trini Al­varado, Claire Danes and Kirsten Dunst) in the ways of the world. Some good work in the male ro­man­tic-in­ter­est depart­ment from Gabriel Byrne, Chris­tian Bale and Eric Stoltz.

FRI­DAY THE IDES OF MARCH

8.40PM, GEM ★★★★ The Ides of March is a sharp, in­tel­li­gent af­fair, a gilt­edged guess­ing game that knows how to keep the mind in­quir­ing through­out. Ge­orge Clooney (also di­rec­tor and co-writer) plays Mike Mor­ris, a state gov­er­nor near­ing the end of a cam­paign that could see him be­come the next Demo­crat can­di­date for pres­i­dent. The ris­ing star in the Mor­ris team is Stephen Mey­ers (Ryan Gosling), a me­dia strate­gist with all the an­swers. And most of the ques­tions in ad­vance as well. A fine ex­am­ple of top­i­cal, in­tel­li­gent and com­pelling main­stream cinema.

SATUR­DAY VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA

8.30PM, SBS ONE ★★★★ A lively com­edy of man­ners, morals and mis­chief from film­maker Woody Allen. Scar­lett Jo­hans­son and Re­becca Hall star as two young Amer­i­can tourists who fall un­der the spell of a se­duc­tive artist ( No Coun­try for Old Men’s Javier Bar­dem) dur­ing sum­mer hol­i­days in Spain. This is Allen’s most laid­back movie in mem­ory, but the re­laxed, care­free vibe does not blunt the edge of the hu­mour. The city of Barcelona is a de­light to gaze at through­out, too. Fine sum­mer view­ing.

Love tri­an­gle: Pene­lope Cruz, Javier Bar­dem and Scar­lett Jo­hans­son star in Vick­yCristi­naBarcelona.

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