Film4 Highlights

So this is the second week of the new feature, picking a film for each day of the week that I recommend watching (or recording if you’re not much of a night owl), or that I, myself just really want to see, and one film for the whole week that should be “Avoided At All Costs”. So let’s get the negative out the way so I can show you how many great films there are this week.

tinker tailor.jpgAvoid At All Costs – Friday Night – 11:10 – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

This one may sound drastic as it’s not inherently known as a bad film but that’s the issue, it’s fairly good rating and impressive cast will tempt and draw you in; what it draws you in for however, is two and a half hours that will feel like five. It’s just simply made poorly, it’s slow, boring and has no excitement whatsoever from a film that should be all about mystery and intrigue, so despite its decent reputation, I recommend avoiding this one.

Friday Evening – 18:40 – Water For Elephantswater for elephants.jpg

This is going to sound the complete opposite, a film without that much of a reputation but it’s based on a best selling book, which is also an enjoyable read, it’s extremely moving and an unlikely romance with a villainous Christoph Waltz that will make you despise him. Following the story of Jacob (Robert Pattinson) who runs away from veterinary school after his parents death and joins the circus, only to fall for the tyrannical ringmaster’s wife (Reese Witherspoon). Also starring: Paul Schneider, Jim Norton, Hal Holbrook, Mark Povinelli and Steven Monroe Taylor.

fever pitch.jpgSaturday Late Night – 02:00 – Fever Pitch

Based on the book by Nick Hornby, Colin Firth is Paul, who falls for Sarah (Ruth Gemmell) only for things to get complicated when he struggles to be in a relationship with Sarah and with Arsenal. Consequently was remade into The Perfect Catch starring Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore (but probably the less said about that the better, it’s a guilty pleasure film for sure).


Sunday Morning – 11:00 – The Producersthe producers.jpg

This one doesn’t need much explanation with the sad passing of Gene Wilder recently, it’s just an excuse to watch him at his best, written and directed by his long time friend Mel Brooks. The story of two producers making money by producing a sure-fire flop of a production, the film is nearly 50 years old being originally released in 1967 and it’s still beloved to this day, there’s even currently a theatre production touring the UK.

(Technically I said one pick per day but this is one I saw on Film4 a while back and it’s really worth checking out)

two-faces-of-januarySunday Night – 19:05 – The Two Faces of January

Before Oscar Isaac became Poe Dameron in the Star Wars universe, first he was making a name for himself within the world of indie film, this is a particularly good example. Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst star as a con-artist and his wife on a trip to Italy, fleeing the consequences of his actions and by chance meet Rydal (Isaac) who becomes their tour guide but gets slightly too involved when the three of them get caught up in the death of a private detective. It’s stylish and intriguing but at the same time sinister and even slightly strange at moments but it’s a very interesting watch.

Monday Late Night – 01:25 – Martha Marcy May Marlenemartha.jpg

This film however is less so about its overall quality and more so about its star, Elizabeth Olsen, this was her second feature but definitively the moment where audiences could realise that this actress was going places. It’s a fairly uncomfortable and unsettling film that will keep you on edge and not in the most pleasant way, it crawls under your skin, you may love it or hate it but it is worth a watch to see where Olsen’s career really began and she is much more than just Scarlet Witch. Also starring: John Hawkes, Sarah Paulson, Christopher Abbott, Brady Corbet, Hugh Dancy, Maria Dizzia, Julia Garner and Louisa Krause.

before i go to sleep.jpgTuesday Night – 21:00 – Before I Go To Sleep

Yet another book adaptation, although realistically what film isn’t an adaptation these days? Starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong and Anne-Marie Duff, following one woman who wakes up every morning with no recollection because of a traumatic incident and struggles to piece everything together. You could probably consider this one slightly predictable but it creates good suspense, does have a decent story behind it, and Kidman gives a great performance. It isn’t the highlight of the entire week but getting through the week, it’s a perfect Tuesday night viewing.

Wednesday Late Night – 01:45 – Hitchcockhitchcock.jpg

A film that got mixed reviews but for those Hitchcock fans out there, this is an interesting one, Anthony Hopkins does a wonderful portrayal of the man himself and is joined by Helen Mirren as his wife Alma Reville, giving a recreation of behind the scenes while the famed director tried to get Psycho on the big screen. Also starring: Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel, Danny Huston, Michael Stuhlbarg and James D’Arcy.

hitchcock truffaut.jpgThursday Night – 11:10 – Hitchcock/Truffaut

A look at how the book “Cinema According to Hitchcock” written by Francois Truffaut influenced filmmakers, including: Wes Anderson, Olivier Assayas, Peter Bogdanovich, David Fincher, Richard Linklater, Martin Scorsese and more. This one is for the film-lovers out there and yet another look at the legend that is Alfred Hitchcock.

(Again I had to pick two because this is another very interesting one)

the master.jpegThursday Late Night – 00:50 – The Master

One of Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s most interesting performances as Lancaster Dodd, leader of The Cause, a religious movement, who attracts the lost, drunk naval veteran Freddie (Joaquin Phoenix) and immediately attempts to become a part of the group, following every rule. Amy Adams also plays Hoffman’s wife in a very different and sharp role, that isn’t her typical choice, as well as starring: Rami Malek, Jesse Plemons and Laura Dern. Written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.

And that wraps things up for this week! Hope there’s something for everyone to enjoy!

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