FILMS OF THE WEEK

The Irish Times Magazine - - TV & RADIO -

Ladies in Laven­der Satur­day, BBC Two, 7.20pm Be­ing shown to tie in with the doc­u­men­tary Noth­ing Like a Dame, which airs im­me­di­ately after­wards at 9pm, this charm­ing pe­riod tale marked the writ­ing and di­rect­ing de­but of Charles Dance, who adapted it from a short story by Wil­liam J Locke. Mag­gie Smith and Judi Dench ( both above) de­liver mag­i­cal per­for­mances as age­ing spin­ster sib­lings Janet and Ur­sula Wid­ding­ton, whose quiet lives in a pic­turesque sea­side Corn­wall vil­lage are turned up­side down for­ever by a young Pol­ish vi­o­lin­ist they find washed up on a beach near their home. Daniel Brühl plays the newcomer, while the sup­port­ing cast fea­tures such vet­er­ans as Fred­die Jones ( with his son Toby) and David Warner.

Once Upon a Time in Amer­ica Monday, TG4, 9.30pm Ser­gio Leone’s clas­sic crime drama is set in New York dur­ing the 1930s and 1960s. Robert De Niro heads the cast as Noo­dles, an age­ing gang­ster look­ing back on his life and vi­o­lent ca­reer dur­ing a visit to his old Man­hat­tan haunts. At well over three hours, this is an epic tale by any stan­dards, but thanks to Leone’s mas­ter­ful di­rec­tion, it never out­stays its wel­come. James Woods, El­iz­a­beth McGovern and Joe Pesci of­fer sup­port.

Mer­maids Fri­day, RTÉ One, 11.30pm Cher ( be­low) stars as Mrs Flax, a sin­gle mother of two daugh­ters who, when­ever a re­la­tion­ship col­lapses, leaves town and sets up home else­where. Her el­dest child finds love with a hand­some chap, which means she’d like to stay in their lat­est des­ti­na­tion longer than usual – but will Mrs Flax’s ro­mance with a lo­cal man last the dis­tance? Bob Hoskins, Christina Ricci and Wi­nona Ry­der co- star, while Cher’s record The Shoop Shoop Song ( It’s in His Kiss) is on the sound­track.

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