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A trifecta of the best films on Cable & DIRECTV

Either of the first two films could take the BEST FILM OF THE DAY title; you decide!

Today’s Number One Film:

The Artist, 7.15pm HBO Signature. Watch this if you liked Slumdog Millionaire, Intouchables or The Descendants. The silent French film (with English subtitles discernible even with the Spanish ones on DirecTV) that won the Best Director, Best Picture and Best Actor Oscars, BAFTAs, Golden Globes (nominated Best Picture) and Césars, deserves every bit of the recognition it got. Using sound as effectively as Pleasantville used colour, this is a masterpiece that no one should miss; no one who can read, and likes to do it, at any rate. Most parents would probably find the PG-13 rating unwarranted. Directed by Michel Hazanaicius/ 2011/ France-Belgium-USA/ Comedy-Drama-Romance/ 100 mins/ PG-13 for a disturbing image and a crude gesture/ Black & white.

Slumdog Millionaire, 2.20pm Paramount. Watch this if you liked any of Bride & Prejudice, Monsoon Wedding, Mississippi Masala AND Life is Beautiful, American Beauty or The Departed. Danny Boyle’s exuberant direction makes the stark poverty of inner-city India bearable long enough for his deeply compassionate and sympathetic story of young love to take hold; worth it just for the clever flashing back from the “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” game show premise to explain why a presumptively ignorant slumdog could answer the difficult questions posed. A real treat, subject to the warning that it contains gruesome images that are not for children at all-at all. (Danny Boyle/ 2008/ UK/ Drama-Romance/ 120 mins/ Rated R for some violence, disturbing images and language).

Also watch:

Before Sunset, 11.30am HBO Signature. Watch this if you liked Boyhood, Once or The Sunset Limited. The sequel to the Boyhood director’s 1997 sleeper hit Before Sunrise has Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy pairing up nine years later, but to wander around Paris instead of Vienna, this time with the resignation of adulthood about them instead of the boundless optimism of youth. The whole film is one long conversation. Those who loved the first film ought to love the second and those who love Linklater will not be disappointed; but, for most folk, saying it’s a lot faster than The English Patient doesn’t mean it’s Fast & Furious; or even as action-packed as Girl with a Pearl Earring. Directed by Richard Linklater/ 2004/ USA/ Drama-Romance/ 80 mins/ Rated R for some language and sexual references.


**Let Me In (Horror), 3.05pm FoxCin; **The Heartbreak Kid (Farrelly Bros Comedy), 2.05pm FoxCom; **Rosemary’s Baby (Horror), 12.45 midday FoxClas; **The Karate Kid (Sport-Young Adult Drama), 1.21pm Edge; Toy Story 3 (Animated), 7.13pm HBOF; The Hunger Games (Sci-fi-Thriller), 2.56pm Max; Jackass Number Two: Unrated (Offensive Stoner Comedy), 9.15am FoxCom.

BEST Pay Per View BET: Fences.


Action/Adventure: Deadpool (Superhero), 5.40pm FoxCom; The Jewel of the Nile, 3.05pm FoxClas.

Art House/Independent: Hail, Caesar! (Coen Bros), 9pm HBOS.

Biography/Documentary: Erin Brockovich (Docudrama-Thriller), 2.30pm HBOS.

Children/Family: **Inside Out (Animated), 8.50am HBOP.

Classic: **Groundhog Day (Existential Comedy), 10pm TCM.

Comedy: Knocked Up, 3.30pm MaxU.

Drama: Million Dollar Baby (Sport), 4.35pm Prmt.

Horror: **Damien: The Omen II, 11am FoxClas.

Sci-fi-Fantasy: LOTR1: The Fellowship of the Ring, 12.18 midday Spac.

Thriller: Indiana Jones & the Raiders of the Lost Ark, 4.45pm FoxClas.

Western: Rio Bravo (John Wayne), 2.09pm TCM.

*Starred films have been chosen in the last year. ** Double-starred films have been chosen in the last two months. Particularly strong Also Ran choices are bolded.

Scheduled Internet times often vary on the day, particularly around month-end.