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A Trifecta of What’s Best on the Box for Sunday 3 June 2018

Today’s Number One Film:

Locke 10.10am HBO Plus BEST FILM OF THE DAY. Watch this if you liked Unfriended, Snowpiercer or the original Michael Caine/Laurence Olivier Sleuth. The best film comparison to represent Steven “Eastern Promises” Knight’s wonderful, and wonderfully tense, film is probably 12 Angry Men, the classic film of conflict set in a murder trial jury room. Locke is even more claustrophobic: apart from a very few establishing shots, the entire film takes place in the front seat of a BMW driving from Birmingham to London. The full cast numbers 12 – like the Angry Men – but you see only Tom Hardy as the titular Locke at the wheel of the Bima; all the others are just voices coming in on the car’s mobile phone. Out of that ultra-minimalist setup, Steven Knight – and Tom Hardy and the 11 voice co-stars – craft a superbly watchable film that will have you on edge for almost all its runtime; and nothing really happens. Simply wonderful. One of the best films ever shot, but clearly not for the Fast & Furious crowd, who would just consider it a waste of a firetrucking BMW… Directed by Steven Knight/ 2013/ Drama-Thriller/ UK-USA/ 85 mins/ R for language throughout.

Also watch:

The Artist, 12.15 midday Paramount. 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. 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.

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The Omen, 12.24 midday, Fox Classics. Watch this if you liked The Exorcist, The Shining or Rosemary’s Baby. The less said about the plot, the more the viewer will enjoy this creepy horror using Biblical prophecies about the rise of the Anti-Christ as its base and huge atmosphere all the way to its summit. Immaculate pacing keeps the viewer on the edge throughout a series of unsettling events and memorably chilling images, with the very last frame being a contender for the best ever shot in all cinema.Horror movies rarely get better than this, particularly in the “supernatural” sub-genre.Unless you believe in Heaven and Hell and the Devil and all the other horse manure, it probably won’t change your life – but it is likely to change your opinion of horror movies and will certainly accelerate your heart rate.Pure cinematic delight.Directed by Richard Donner/ 1976/ UK-USA/ Horror/ 101 mins/ Rated R.

Just Nosed Out:

**Arrival (drama-mystery-sci-fi), 11.20am MaxP; District 9 (action-drama-sci-fi), 9pm Prmt; **Lawrence of Arabia, 11.46am TCM; Final Destination 2 (horror), 10pm TCM; Brokeback Mountain (drama), 10pm FoxMov; Toy Story (animated-family), 12.25midday Max; Rango (animated-family), 6pm FoxFam;

Also Ran:

Action/Adventure: Watchmen (superhero), 3.40pm Stun.

Animated/Family: RV (comedy), 10.25am CnCl; Finding Dory, 8.20am MaxU.

Arthouse/Independent/Cult: Escape from New York (action-crime), 9.55am ISat.

Classic: The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (drama), 9.24am FoxClas.

Comedy: Little Fockers, 2.22pm FoxCom.

Documentary/Biography: Rosewater, 10.37pm Max.

Drama: Life of Pi (adventure-fantasy), 4.25pm CnCl.

Horror: Split (alternate ending), 9pm MaxP.

Sci-fi/Fantasy: Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Director’s Cut), 9pm Stun.

Thriller: Fight Club (action-fantasy), 4.58pm FoxAct.

War: Flags of Our Fathers, 10am MaxP.

Western: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (drama), 9pm 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.