free to air

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Cover Story - Evan Wil­liams

OF the many non-English-speak­ing ac­tors who have made ca­reers in Hol­ly­wood, none has had a more spec­tac­u­lar rise than Span­ish-born Javier Bar­dem. I first saw him as a would-be bull­fighter in the 1992 black com­edy Ja­mon, Ja­mon, op­po­site a teenage Pene­lope Cruz. In Hol­ly­wood he was the smooth se­ducer in Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona, again ap­pear­ing with Cruz (whom he mar­ried in 2010). But he will be best re­mem­bered play­ing charis­matic vil­lains — the drug lord in the Tom Cruise thriller Col­lat­eral and the creepi­est of bad guys in the last Bond film, Sky­fall. In Joel and Ethan Coen’s No Coun­try for Old Men (Satur­day, 9.30pm, SBS One) he won an Os­car as psy­cho­pathic as­sas­sin An­ton Chiguhr, whose pur­suit of his vic­tims pro­vides some the most chill­ing scenes in a re­cent movie. This cool, ironic and oc­ca­sion­ally shock­ing adap­ta­tion of Cor­mac McCarthy’s novel won the best pic­ture Os­car in 2008.

Oliver Stone has spe­cialised in find­ing top­i­cal sub­ject mat­ter for his films, of­ten with mem­o­rable re­sults. His cor­po­rate drama Wall Street, deal­ing with in­sider trad­ing scan­dals in New York in the early 1980s, was fol­lowed by Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (Satur­day, 8.30pm, Ten), nicely timed to ex­ploit the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis in 2008. Once again Michael Dou­glas plays the high-rolling Gor­don Gekko, who is re­leased from prison at the start of the film af­ter an eight-year sen­tence for shady deals por­trayed in the first in­stal­ment. It’s not long be­fore he’s up to his old tricks, work­ing with an am­bi­tious young trader (Shia LaBeouf) to bring down a ri­val.

Joseph Losey’s Th­ese are the Damned (Sun­day, 2.30am, ABC1) was ti­tled The Damned for Bri­tish au­di­ences and should not be con­fused with Luchino Vis­conti’s great film of that name about a fam­ily of Ger­man in­dus­tri­al­ists in the 1930s. Losey gives us a weird science fic­tion yarn about an Amer­i­can tourist (Mac­don­ald Carey) who tan­gles with a teddy boy mo­tor­cy­cle gang in the English town of Wey­mouth. Also from the 60s is El­liot Sil­ver­stein’s spoof western Cat Bal­lou (Mon­day, 2pm, 7Two), whose char­ac­ters in­clude two gun-shy young cat­tle rustlers, a girl who turns train rob­ber (Jane Fonda) and a lovable wreck of a gun­fighter (Lee Marvin). Fam­ily Plot (Tues­day, 12.30am, ABC1) was Al­fred Hitch­cock’s last film, and there could have been no finer vale­dic­tory sum­ma­tion of the mas­ter’s skills than this beau­ti­fully con­structed mys­tery thriller scripted by Ernest Lehman (who wrote North by North­west). We get a phony medium (Bar­bara Har­ris), her fraud­ster boyfriend (Bruce Dern) and a kid­nap­ping plot with a ran­som to be paid in di­a­monds. Plenty of twists and a tone of mis­chievous irony. Hitch makes his usual cameo in the fi­nal mo­ments to de­liver a know­ing wink at the au­di­ence. Best on show No Coun­try for Old Men (MA15+) ★★★★✩ Satur­day, 9.30pm, SBS One Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (M) ★★★✩✩ Satur­day, 8.30pm, Ten Fam­ily Plot (PG) ★★★★✩ Tues­day, 12.30am, ABC1

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.