to air Heart-warmers and horrors
BEFORE taking over as James Bond, Pierce Brosnan played a plantation owner in Mister Johnson, Bruce Beresford’s fine film about race relations in British colonial Africa. Fourteen years later, Brosnan teamed with Beresford again to make Evelyn (Wednesday, noon, Gem), based on a true story and arguably Beresford’s most accomplished heart-warmer. Brosnan plays Desmond Doyle, an Irish working man who fought a historic legal battle for custody of his children in 1953. The film has everything: a brave and determined hero, a plucky little girl, a bunch of over-the-hill eccentrics roped in to organise the court case and a great climactic trial scene.
Aeon Flux (Sunday, 8.30pm, 11) is that rarest of dystopian fantasies: a depiction of a future post-apocalyptic world where the survivors live in a state of perfect bliss, ruled by a benevolent dictator, Mr Goodchild. Aeon (Charlize Theron) is one of an ungrateful minority of dissidents plotting a revolution, and the slickest action-figure heroine since Lara Croft, tomb raider.
H. G. Wells imagined a much darker future in Things to Come (Thursday, 1.15am, ABC1), set in an urban metropolis known as Everytown, where war and disease are rampant. Directed in visionary style by Alexander Korda in 1936, the film starred Raymond Massey and Ralph Richardson and predicted, among other horrors, the aerial bombing of civilians during World War II.
At least in Ring (Friday, 12.40am, SBS Two), the horrors are reassuringly supernatural. This is Hideo Nakata’s classic about a mysterious videotape that brings death to anyone who watches it. Nakata made two sequels and Naomi Watts starred in a 2002 Hollywood remake. Dated it may be, but many a good fright is guaranteed.