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A Trifecta of What’s Best on the Box for Sunday 20 May 2018

Any of the first four films in the “Also Ran” could have been named the BEST FILM OF THE DAY.


Today’s Number One Film:

*Paddington, 2.47pm Cinemax BEST FILM OF THE DAY. Watch this if you liked Babe, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, or The Adventures of Milo and Otis. There are pure-kiddie movies – such as Finding Nemo, Up and The Incredibles – that are so good, grownups might like them; and there are other “kiddie” films that are really grown up films kids can also enjoy, like the Shrek and Toy Story films. Paddington may be the best of the latter lot so far made, at least for West Indians who have left home: with frequent soundtrack appearances by a live calypso band (featuring lead vocals by Tobago Crusoe) singing kaisos by Lord Kitchener – London is the Place for Me, most aptly – Paddington is a comedy about a stuffed toy bear that is also a director-acknowledged allegorical indictment of English post-colonial immigration practice. It is also a first-rate action film in the vein of Indiana Jones and, often, a top-notch tip of the hat to Charlie Chaplin’s slapstick. This is a film that does what cinema ought to: transport the viewer to a flawless, credible and enthralling other-world, from which he or she emerges with great reluctance but even more greatly lifted spirits. Borrow a child, if you have to, just make sure you see it. Directed by Paul King/ 2014/ UK-France/ Family-Comedy-Adventure-Animated/ 95 mins/ PG for mild action and rude humour.

Also watch:

The Man Who Wasn’t There, 9.45am Cinemax. Watch this if you liked Blood Simple, A History of Violence orFargo. A contender for the Best Coen Brothers Film Ever for many of their fans, The Man Who Wasn’t There features extremely strong performances from Billy Bob Thornton, Frances McDormand, James Gandolfini, Michael Badalucco and everyone else involved, all shot in quite stunning black-and-white. The film’s only Oscar nomination was for regular Coen Bros cinematographer Roger Deakins, but the brooding mood won Best Direction for Joel Coen at Cannes, as well as a Palme D’Or nomination.Directed by the Coen Bros/ 2001/ UK-USA/ Crime-Drama-Film Noir/ 116 mins/ Rated R/ B&W.

The Road, 3.45pm MaxPrime. Watch this if you liked Children of Men, Into the Wild or No Country for Old Men. The heartbreaking, hugely bleak, massively depressing but still, ultimately, optimistic Cormac McCarthy novel brought to life in all its post-Apocalyptic dreariness; like the book, the real success of the film is the love between father and son, though, thankfully, the movie is not nearly as devastating as the book. American critics, in their idiocy, compared this great film to the dreadful Book of Eli. It is far, far better, although the director softened the most awful part of the book, as anyone who’s both read it and seen it will attest. Directed by John Hillcoat/ 2009/ USA/ Drama-Sci-fi/111 mins/ R for some violence, disturbing images and language.

Just Nosed Out:

**Arrival, 9pm MaxP; **Inception (action-fantasy-sci-fi-thriller), 11.10am MaxP; **Shutter Island, 8.21am FoxAct; Schindler’s List, 9pm Stun; *Colossal (drama-creature horror), 9pm FoxCom; The Cabin in the Woods, 1.47pm FoxMov; 6.10pm HBO; Doctor Strange (superhero), 7.00pm HBOP; Nevada Smith (classic Western), 9pm FoxClas; Into the Wild, 3.35pm Stun; Dancer (Billy Elliot) 9.45am ISat; Snatched, 10.53am FoxMov; A Perfect Murder, 6pm LMN.

Also Ran:

Action/Adventure: King Kong, 7.25am HBOP

Animated/Family: RV (comedy), 2.2pm CnCl.

Arthouse/Independent/Cult: 2 Days in New York (drama), 9.15pm ISat.

Classic: Catch-22, 9.55am FoxClas.

Comedy: Horrible Bosses (stoner), 1.10pm HBO2.

Documentary/Biography:

Drama: The Talented Mr Ripley (mystery-thriller), 12.06 midday FoxCin.

Horror: Poltergeist, 7.15pm Prmt.

Sci-fi/Fantasy: Avatar, 9pm FoxFam.

Thriller: Die Hard (action), 7.32pm FxMv; Baby Driver, 9.25am HBO.

War: Atonement (period drama), 1.56pm HBOS; Hacksaw Ridge, 4.45pm HBOC.

Western: Meek’s Cutoff (indy), 1.05pm Sund.

*Starred films have been picked in the last year.**Double-starred films have been picked in the last two months.***Triple-starred films were picked last week.

Particularly strong Also Ran films are bolded.

Please verify times.Advance Internet scheduled times can be wrong, especially at month-end.