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The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television - Ed­die Cock­rell

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My Best Friend’s Wed­ding (PG)

Satur­day, 7pm, 7Two

The Dal­las Buy­ers Club (MA15+)

Satur­day, 8.30pm, SBS

The Sev­enth Vic­tim (M) Wed­nes­day, 1.56am, ABC

A devil-wor­ship­ping cult un­der­neath New York’s sto­ried Green­wich Vil­lage — why not? Cana­di­an­born di­rec­tor Mark Rob­son be­gan his Hol­ly­wood ca­reer as an un­cred­ited editor’s as­sis­tant on Or­son Welles’s Citizen Kane. Af­ter cut­ting a num­ber of RKO Pic­tures’ res­i­dent hor­ror guru Val Lew­ton’s films, he grad­u­ated to di­rect­ing with the ex­cel­lent film noir hor­ror drama The

Sev­enth Vic­tim (Wed­nes­day, 1.56am, ABC). When young Kim Hunter, in her first screen role, dis­cov­ers her sis­ter has gone miss­ing from her posh board­ing school, it’s off to the Big Ap­ple to find out what hap­pened.

More great at­mo­spheric pho­tog­ra­phy from the great Ni­cholas Musuraca is a high­light.

Per­haps co­in­ci­den­tally, com­pletists can add another Rob­son ti­tle to their bucket lists with

Bed­lam (Tues­day, 2.20am, ABC). Lew­ton’s last film as pro­ducer, again shot by Musuraca, stars Boris Karloff as a despotic staffer at a fic­tion­alised ver­sion of Lon­don’s Beth­lem Royal Hos­pi­tal for the in­sane. Can’t find the film on the TV sched­ule? Bed­lam is pre­ceded by Par­lia­ment

Ques­tion Time. Co­in­ci­dence? You be the judge. As this is Oc­to­ber and Hal­loween has cap­tured Aus­tralia’s fancy, hor­ror films abound. Few are as sub­tle and pro­foundly creepy as first-time di­rec­tor JA Bay­ona’s Guillermo del Toro­pro­duced The Or­phan­age (Wed­nes­day, 10.25pm, SBSTwo). An or­phan re­turns to her child­hood home as a mar­ried adult with an adopted son, hop­ing to turn the fa­cil­ity into a haven for dis­abled chil­dren. When the boy dis­ap­pears, the past surges for­ward in everun­set­tling ways.

Set­ting the hor­ror genre aside, Matthew McConaughey won a much-de­served best ac­tor Os­car for his por­trayal of a Texas cow­boy who bucks his AIDS di­ag­no­sis in cre­ative but illegal ways in di­rec­tor Jean-Marc Vallee’s ac­claimed 2013 drama The Dal­las Buy­ers Club (Satur­day, 8.30pm, SBS). Jared Leto won the best sup­port­ing ac­tor Os­car as the trans­gen­der char­ac­ter who be­comes the flam­boy­ant bigot’s busi­ness part­ner and friend.

Con­tin­u­ing on the theme, Den­zel Washington earned the first of his two Os­cars to date in 1989 for his per­for­mance as the heroic and pi­o­neer­ing Civil War soldier Pri­vate Trip in di­rec­tor Ed­ward Zwick’s ac­claimed Glory (Sun­day, 1am, ABC). Washington’s per­sona as a good bloke was in ev­i­dence even then.

Bris­bane’s own PJ Ho­gan made quite the splash with his Muriel’s Wed­ding fol­low-up and Hol­ly­wood de­but, the 1997 ro­man­tic com­edy My

Best Friend’s Wed­ding (Satur­day, 7pm, 7Two). Ju­lia Roberts plays the New York “big-haired food critic” on a mis­sion to dis­rupt the wed­ding of long-time friend Der­mot Mul­roney (re­mem­ber him?). One of Roberts’s best out­ings, the film has a light touch that many have em­u­lated but few have cap­tured with such verve.


The Bride Wore Black (M) Sun­day, 5.10pm, World Movies

Nightcrawler (MA15+) Wed­nes­day, 12.35pm, Mas­ter­piece

Felony (M) Tues­day, 11.05pm, Pre­miere

Cur­rently re­ceiv­ing rave re­views for his “Bah­ston” ac­cent in the Johnny Depp film Black Mass, Black­town’s own Joel Edger­ton wrote, co­pro­duced and starred in the crit­i­cally ac­claimed 2013 crime drama Felony (Tues­day, 11.05pm, Pre­miere). Un­der Matthew Sav­ille’s skilled, lowkey di­rec­tion, Edger­ton im­presses as the po­lice de­tec­tive who ac­ci­den­tally kills a young cy­clist late at night and is con­flicted by his im­pul­sive cover-up. Tom Wilkin­son and Jai Court­ney are fine in sup­port, but the real star is Edger­ton’s mul­ti­lay­ered script, which fo­cuses on hu­man im­per­fec­tion and im­pulse against a genre set­ting.

Co-pro­duced and di­rected by Michael Mann, the 2004 thriller Col­lat­eral (Satur­day, 8:30pm, Thriller) stands not only as a ground­break­ing em­brace of dig­i­tal cin­ema along­side tra­di­tional 35mm film­mak­ing but as the show­case for a rare bad-guy per­for­mance by a sil­ver-haired Tom Cruise as well. Jamie Foxx is the work­ing-class Los An­ge­les taxi driver re­luc­tantly re­cruited by Cruise’s icy hit man to em­bark on an all-night killing spree. The com­bi­na­tion of Stu­art Beat­tie’s sturdy script and Cruise’s atyp­i­cally nasty per­for­mance res­onate.

In 1974, James To­back wrote and di­rected a moody char­ac­ter piece called The Gam­bler, which starred James Caan as a univer­sity pro­fes­sor with the ti­tle ad­dic­tion. Last year, Mark Wahlberg de­liv­ered a cred­i­ble per­for­mance in di­rec­tor Ru­pert Wy­att’s tonally sim­i­lar and iden­ti­cally ti­tled The Gam­bler (Satur­day, 8.30pm, Pre­miere). Screen­writer Wil­liam Mon­a­han, who won an Os­car for writ­ing Martin Scors­ese’s The

De­parted, pays trib­ute to To­back’s orig­i­nal by keep­ing the ac­tion in­tense and low-key.

That same aura is cap­tured to chill­ing ef­fect by writer-di­rec­tor Dan Gil­roy in the con­tem­po­rary thriller Nightcrawler (Wed­nes­day, 12.35pm, Mas­ter­piece). Jake Gyl­len­haal plays an LA low-life who dis­cov­ers a new ca­reer path by driv­ing around at night and video­tap­ing dis­as­ters, selling his footage to Rene Russo’s lo­cal TV sta­tion. Gyl­len­haal lost a lot of weight for the role and never seems to blink, sum­mon­ing the spirit of the early Robert De Niro in his go-for-broke per­for­mance.

The great French di­rec­tor Fran­cois Truf­faut was never happy with his sixth film and that’s a pity, be­cause there is much to rec­om­mend the 1968 re­venge drama The Bride Wore Black (Sun­day, 5.10pm, World Movies). Jeanne Moreau plays the widow in­tent on killing the five men who mur­dered her hus­band on their wed­ding day. It was based on a novel writ­ten un­der a pseu­do­nym by Cor­nell Wool­rich and is a trib­ute to his hero Al­fred Hitch­cock.

The movie that nearly top­pled a stu­dio, the North Korea-set spoof The In­ter­view (Sun­day, 8:30pm, Pre­miere), is worth watch­ing, if only as an ex­am­ple of how silly con­tem­po­rary scan­dals have be­come.

Jake Gyl­len­haal stars in Nightcrawler

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