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A Trifecta of What's Best on the Box for Sunday 4 November 2018

You know it’s a good day for film choice when all three picks qualify, in their own ways, as BEST FILM OF THE DAY.

Today’s Number One Film:

Inception, 10.29am HBO Plus BEST FILM OF THE DAY. Watch this if you liked Shutter Island, The Matrix or Pan’s Labyrinth. With Best Cinematography, Best Sound Editing & Mixing Oscars and Best Director, Screenplay, Music, Special Effects & Best Sci-Fi Film Saturns, the most imaginative American film since Adaptation manages to mix visceral, pulse-racing action & tension with real cerebral satisfaction. Even if you don’t understand it – and, once you pay attention, you will, and will love it – the action and effects alone could blow your mind. Simply excellent. Perhaps the best American film made so far this century (even if by a Brit director). Directed by Christopher Nolan/ 2010/ UK-USA / Action-Sci-fi-Thriller/ 148 mins/ PG-13 for sequences of violence and action throughout.

Also watch:

Get Out, 1.50pm HBO2 BEST FILM OF THE DAY. Watch this if you liked The Stepford Wives, Don’t Breathe or Moonlight. The film that should have won the 2018 Best Picture and Best Director Oscar, Golden Globe, everything, is a masterwork from one of America’s funniest men; it is hard to believe it’s only his first feature, so well does he hold the balance between comic drama and genuine horror. The subject-matter may divide audiences in the US the same way the OJ verdict did but, for the rest of the world who can see truth plainly, it is a masterpiece. The great regret for Jordan Peele is that, like M Night Shyalaman, his debut is so strong, whatever comes after is likely to suffer by comparison. In time, it will prove to be seen as one of the great films of our time, even by white Americans. Directed by Jordan Peele/ 2017/ USA / Horror-Mystery-Thriller/ 144 mins/ Rated R for violence, bloody images and language including sexual references.

Manchester by the Sea, 9.35pm Cinemax BEST FILM OF THE DAY. Watch this if you liked Boys Don’t Cry, Blue Valentine or Moonlight. The winner of the 2016 Best Screenplay and Best Lead Actor Oscars and BAFTAs, Best Actor Golden Globe was also nominated in nearly every category for all the major awards – and earned a Metacritic score of 96 out of 100. This is a film any serious movie lover must see – but not one many will be said to enjoy. Unrelentingly bleak but magnificently real, Manchester by the Sea stands the notion of escapism on its head – in a pool of misery. Astonishingly, it ends as almost hopeful and almost rejuvenating – but for most of its two-hour-plus runtime, the only positive is just how good an actor Casey Affleck is; and even that is largely negatived by his real personal life. One of those films that blow you away entirely without ever making you feel remotely good. Heartily recommended, with the warning that it is not so much a three-bags-of-popcorn flick as a three-handkerchief one. Directed by Kenneth Lonergan 2016/ USA/ Drama/ 137 mins/ Rated R for language throughout and some sexual content.

Just Nosed Out:

**Moonlight (African-American-indy-drama), 3.45pm HBOC; Paddington (animated-family-comedy), 5.22pm HBOF; Lifeboat (Alfred Hitchcock suspense thriller(, 1.13pm FoxClas; The Blue Max (WW1 drama), 2.51pm FoxClas; The Hurt Locker (war), 9pm Max.

Also Ran:

Action/Adventure: Kick-Ass (superhero), 2.24pm FoxAct.

Animated/Family: Back to the Future Part II (sci-fi), 9.45am Max.

Arthouse/Independent/Cult: What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (Johnny Depp), 6.5pm Sund.

Classic: Catch-22 (war-drama), 11.11am FoxClas.

Comedy: 28 Days, 4.05pm MaxU.

Documentary/Biography: Phil Spector, 12.03 midday HBOS.

Drama: The Descendants, 9.48am FxMv.

Horror: Flatliners, 11.25am MaxP.

Sci-fi/Fantasy:

Thriller: The Usual Suspects (mystery), 5.29pm FoxClas.

War: Hacksaw Ridge, 12.35 midday HBO2.

Western: *High Noon, 10.51pm 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 fortnight.

Particularly strong Also Ran films are bolded.

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