WEEK IN MOVIES
SUNDAY ARTHUR CHRISTMAS 6.30PM, 7FLIX ★★★
Ever wondered how Santa can deliver gifts to every kid in the world in 24 hours? Turns out the jovial gent is commander-in-chief of a rigorously planned military exercise every December 25. This cute and chipper affair is the work of Aardman Studios, something of a UK Pixar renowned for classic works starring the great Wallace and Gromit. Stars the voices of James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent and Hugh Laurie.
MONDAY THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL 8.30PM, ELEVEN ★★★★
From great US filmmaker Wes Anderson, this is a sprawling, lavish and highly enjoyable escape from reality. The year is 1932, and the setting is a fictional five-star crash-pad in an equally fictional corner of Eastern Europe. Here we find the mysterious M. Gustave (a hilarious Ralph Fiennes) at the peak of his powers as the Grand Budapest’s celebrated chief concierge. What follows is a majestically madcap adventure caper, with Gustave and his loyal offsider fighting to keep some formidable enemies at bay.
TUESDAY A TIME TO KILL 8.30PM, ONE ★★★
Another one-size-fits-all slab of legal eaglery from the platinum paperback pen of John Grisham. The setting is America’s deep south, where the necks are red, the right are white, and a black steel worker (Samuel L. Jackson) is unlikely to get a fair trial for killing the two thugs who raped his young daughter.
WEDNESDAY THE WHITE RIBBON 1.25AM, SBS ★★★
A doctor falls from a horse after galloping over a tripwire. A woman falls through a hole to her death. A child is strung up and badly beaten. Yes, the bad times are rolling for Austrian writerdirector Michael Haneke in this enigmatic meditation upon human cruelty and its ability to thrive inside and outside social norms.
THURSDAY THE FAMILY MAN 9.30PM, 9GO! ★★
It’s “what if ?” time again, when someone will learn the error of their ways by copping a glimpse at what could have been. In The Family Man, the unwilling recipient of this temporary erase-and-rewind exercise is Wall St executive Jack Campbell (Nicolas Cage). Thirteen years ago, he promised his then-girlfriend Kate (Tea Leoni) that a year spent in London would not tear them apart. But instead of returning to walk down the aisle, Jack married his job.
FRIDAY RED DOG 8.30PM, NINE ★★★★
This superb, all-ages picture is based on a true story, irresistibly embellished by the Outback myth that grew around it. There’s a fair bit of the popular book by British writer Louis de Bernieres in it, too. The title character, a copper-hued kelpie, which became a living legend in WA’s Pilbara region in the ’70s, was played by a remarkably expressive pooch named Koko. Stars Josh Lucas, Rachael Taylor and Noah Taylor.
SATURDAY WISH YOU WERE HERE 9.30PM, 7TWO ★★★
This torrid contemporary drama marks a promising feature directorial debut from Sydney filmmaker Kieran Darcy-Smith. The compelling tale centres on a quartet of thirtysomething Australians, of whom only three have returned from a recent Cambodian holiday. With the truth surrounding the disappearance of their friend yet to be determined, each character faces a crisis from which they may never recover. Stars Joel Edgerton and Teresa Palmer.
Hilarious: Ralph Fiennes stars in TheGrandBudapestHotel.