FILMS OF THE WEEK
Saturday, RTÉ2, 8.30pm
Clint Eastwood and rugby union. Now there’s two things you would never have put together – until the release of this film, that is. Despite being a minority sport in America, Eastwood brings it to the screen with some skill, although admittedly, there’s far more to the story than tries and penalty kicks. The tale focuses on newly elected President Nelson Mandela’s efforts to unite South Africa, using his nation’s hosting of the 1995 rugby world cup to do so. Morgan Freeman delivers a marvellous performance as Mandela, while Matt Damon ( above, with Freeman) is effective as Springboks captain Francois Pienaar.
Monday, Virgin Three, 8pm
Another Clint Eastwood directorial effort inspired by a true story, this time starring Angelina Jolie and set in 1920s LA. She plays a single mother who is distraught when her son goes missing. After months of searching, the police claim to have found him, but she insists the boy is an imposter. As she resolves to prove the police are trying to bury the case, they respond by slandering her as a hysterical and unfit mother, leading to her confinement in a mental hospital.
The Usual Suspects
Friday, RTÉ One, 11.55pm
The term “modern classic” is rather overused and not always deserved, but in the case, it’s very fitting indeed. It tells the gripping story of a heist that has gone very wrong indeed. Told in flashback, it reveals how the criminals involved met and the influence of the mysterious Keyser Söze. To say more threatens to give away too much information that may spoil your enjoyment. Gabriel Byrne, Kevin Spacey ( below right, in an Oscar- winning role) and Benicio Del Toro head the cast.