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A Trifecta of What’s Best on the Box for Sunday 15 April 2018

Both **Inception (2.32pm HBOP) and **Groundhog Day, (2.54pm ISat) deserved the title of BEST FILM OF THE DAY as much as today’s top pick but neither made the final cut because they were very recently picked.If it had screened even an hour later, Ron Howard’s magnum opus (Parenthood, 8.05am, MaxU) which, amazingly, has never been chosen by this incarnation of BC on TV, would have been today’s third choice.

Today’s Number One Film:

*Arrival, 10.47am HBO Plus BEST FILM OF THE DAY. Watch this if you liked Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Ex Machina or Inception. The French Canadian director who made us all sit up and take notice in 2010 with his first feature film, Incendies, and then rocked us back in our chairs in 2013 with Prisoners, and then bowled us right firetrucking over in 2015 with Sicario returned in 2016 to make us do all three in the same film – just much more slowly. It is perhaps not a film for everyone – and people who require an explosion, a car crash or a murder every ten minutes to keep their attention hooked shouldn’t even bother. For the patitent lover of deeply immersive cinema, however, few films offer this kind of reward.This is a film that has to be watched painstakingly closely to be understood; and then rewatched several times, for its depth and mastery to be appreciated. Exceptional. Recommended like the best Test match you’ve ever watched. Directed by Denis Villeneuve/ 2016/ USA/ Drama-Mystery-Sci-fi-Thriller/ 116 mins/ Rated PG-13 for brief strong language.

Also watch:

The Hours, 7.05pm Fox Cinema. Watch this if you liked Closer, House of Sand and Fog or The Ballad of Jack & Rose. Technically masterful – indeed, marvellous – adaptation of Michael Cunningham’s novel recreating a single day in the lives of three women, one in 1923, one in 1951 and one in 2001. A powerful and ultimately hopeful film although dealing with that entirely depressing subject matter: the human condition. A hugely enjoyable drama with a soul-shaking denouement should impress even those who found the very clever Michael Cunningham source novel too difficult, with it’s linking of two modern women to Virginia Woolf’s own character, Mrs Dalloway. It’s also hard to go wrong with Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Julianne Moore in the lead roles. Kidman won the 2003 Best Lead Actress Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe. Directed by Stephen Daldry/ 2002/ UK-USA / Drama/ 114 mins/ Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements, some disturbing images and brief language.

The Skeleton Key, 12.15 midday HBO Plus. Watch this if you liked The Sixth Sense, The Shining or The Others. An American movie with huge atmosphere – it’s set in New Orleans – takes the haunted house theme and turns it into a proper supernatural thriller with a strong cast including John Hurt, Kate Hudson, Gena Rowlands and Peter Sarsgaard in, unusually, a completely un-annoying role. Very well made, very entertaining, and even stimulating at its best moments, this is a horror for people who are certain they can’t stand horrors. Directed by Iain Softley/ 2005/ USA / Drama-Mystery-Horror-Thriller/ 104 mins/ PG-13 for violence, disturbing images, some partial nudity and thematic material.

Just Nosed Out:

**Inception, 2.32pm HBOP; **Groundhog Day, 2.54pm ISat; Parenthood (comedy-drama-family), 8.05am MaxU; Wayne’s World, 4pm, Wayne’s World II (stoner comedy), 5.50pm FoxMov; Airplane! (stoner comedy), 11.52am FoxMov; Final Destination (horror-thriller), 4pm HBOP; Hugo (animated-family), 10.40am FoxFam; The Shallows (action-adventure-creature horror), 12.22pm HBOS.

Also Ran:

Action/Adventure: All Is Lost, 2pm Max.

Animated/Family: Where the Wild Things Are, 10.36am HBOS.

Arthouse/Independent/Cult: Jayne Mansfield’s Car, 11.30am Sund.

Classic: Leon: The Professional (action-crime), 8.01pm TCM.

Comedy: Little Fockers, 10.48am FoxCom.

Documentary/Biography: Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, 12.12pm ISat.

Drama: *Once Upon a Time in America (crime), 12.21 midday FoxClas.

Foreign: Night Train to Lisbon (mainly English-language Spanish drama-thriller), 12.32 midday FoxCin.

Horror: The Number 23, 1.45pm MaxP.

Sci-fi/Fantasy: Avatar, 12.37 midday CnCl.

Thriller: The Bourne Supremacy, 1.55pm HBOS;

War: Broken Arrow (Western, American Indian annihilation war), 7.26pm FoxClas.

Western: Young Guns II, 10.38am FoxClas.

*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.