Films of the week

The Irish Times Magazine - - TV & RADIO -

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.

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