Films of the week
Alice in Wonderland Saturday, RTÉ One, 6.35pm Anybody who has ever seen a film directed by Tim Burton knows that he rarely tackles a story in a straightforward fashion. Instead, he goes for the least obvious option, preferring to keep an audience on its toes. He certainly did that when he opted to make a version of Lewis Carroll’s oft-filmed tale. Here, Alice is 19 years of age and has been to the magical land through the rabbit hole before, but has no memory of it. She returns to find that the Red Queen is wreaking havoc and can only be stopped if the terrifying Jabberwocky is killed – but is Alice the right person for the task? Mia Wasikowska ( above) takes the lead role, ably supported by Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. Wah- Wah Saturday, TG4, 9.30pm Richard E Grant is best known for his acting roles in such movies as Withnail and I, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Gosford Park and Logan, but he proved himself to be a gifted writer and director when he took charge of this drama, a semiautobiographical tale inspired by his own youth in 1960s Swaziland. Nicholas Hoult stars as Ralph Compton, who is horrified when his mother deserts her family, leaving him to be raised by his alcoholic father and a stepmother he despises – until he realises she could be a kindred spirit. Gabriel Byrne, Emily Watson and Miranda Richardson are among the impressive supporting cast. The Commitments Friday, TV3, 9pm Acclaimed director Alan Parker’s timeless comedy, based on Roddy Doyle’s novel, focuses on a would- be music promoter’s efforts to break into the business by managing an all- Irish soul band. Robert Arkins, Andrew Strong ( below) and Angeline Ball head the cast.