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A trifecta of the best films on DirecTV & cable

On a great day for wide-ranging film choice, three films that have been the Best Film of the Day before screen a little too early on this Carnival Sunday to get the nod they deserve: 2001: A Space Odyssey BEST FILM OF THE DAY, 6.05am Max; *Lawrence of Arabia, 8.40am Max and **Boyhood, 7.08am HBO2. A Perfect Murder, (6.55am MaxP), the very strong remake of Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder also fails to place for that reason. The only music challenging the soca on DirecTV is Dire Straits: On the Night (9am TCM).

Film of the Day:

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.

Also watch:

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 11.45am HBO. Watch this if you liked Adaptation, Being John Malkovich or The English Patient. A Charlie Kaufmann screenplay means “imagination” and those lacking in same may just steups; but, for those who can go with the flow, this is easily Charlie Kaufman’s (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation) most satisfying screenplay to date (even after Anomalisa). Michel Gondry’s direction is subtly brilliant and the most unlearned movie viewer could discern this is Jim Carrey’s best role, ever. The 2 Fast 2 Furious crowd may fall asleep but the discerning viewer will be lifted to heights the medium of cinema should not by all reason allow. The less said about it, the more the viewer gets out of it but it is as heartbreaking as it is uplifting, as deeply sad as it is side-splittingly funny. This is not a movie, it’s art. Directed by Michel Gondry/ 2004/ USA/ Fantasy-Drama/ 108 mins/ Rated R.

The King’s Speech, 2.30pm Paramount Channel & also 4.15pm Cinemax. Watch this if you liked Quiz Show, The Queen or The Madness of King George. The King’s Speech won four Oscars (Best Directing, Picture, Lead Actor [Colin Firth] and Original Screenplay), the same BAFTAs (plus Best Supporting Actor [Geoffrey Rush] & Actress [Helena Bonham Carter] and Best Music) and was nominated in almost every other major category; and it was all richly deserved. Based on a fine script founded on largely accurate historical events, the great strength of the film is the way it humanised British royalty, the same group of upper class twits Monty Python would have savaged. Colin Firth, in the title role of the stuttering prince, is nothing short of amazing. Everyone else is almost as good, particularly Geoffrey Rush, as the speech therapist who saved a crown and a family. Sentimental in parts, perhaps, but thoroughly satisfying in the whole, this is filmmaking at its best. Directed by Tom Hooper/ 2010/ UK-USA-Australia/ Biography-Drama-History/ 118 mins/ Rated R for some language.

JUST NOSED OUT:

**Black Mass (Crime-Bio-Drama-Thriller), 1.57pm HBOP; **Training Day (Crime-Thriller), 12.50 midday MaxP; *Children of Men (Sci-fi-Thriller), 10.55am FoxMov; Creed (Action-Sports-Drama), 7.40pm HBO; About Last Night (Kevin Hart Rom-Com), 7.06pm HBOP; Think Like a Man Too (Rom-Com), 8.50pm HBOP; Analyze That (Mafia comedy), 2.45pm MaxU; Paddington (Animated-Family-Dark Comedy), 9.45am MaxU; The Karate Kid, 8.30am (Family) Prmt; A Scanner Darkly (Sci-fi), 10.15am HBOP.

ALSO RAN:

Action/Adventure: Ant-Man (Superhero), 8.10am & 6pm MaxP; Everest, 9pm MaxP

Art House/Independent: A Single Man, 9pm,DTV; Bent, 1.45pm Sund

Biography: Amadeus: Director’s Cut, 1.10pm Max; Temple Grandin, 8.10am HBOS

Children/Family: The Peanuts Movie (Animated), 5.35pm FoxFam

Classic: Mystic River (Crime-Drama-Thriller), 9pm Max

Comedy: Knocked Up (Stoner), 2.10pm HBOP; Up in the Air (Rom-Com), 9.05am FoxMov

Documentary: The Standord Prison Experiment (Docudrama), 8.50am Fox+1; Back on Board: Greg Louganis, 4.12pm HBOS

Drama: Spotlight (Bio-History), 9.50pm Max; The Talented Mr Ripley (Mystery), 12.35 midday FoxMov;

Foreign: Night Train to Lisbon (German/Swiss English language Drama-Mystery-Thriller), 9.35am FoxCin

Horror: Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix, (Fantasy), 2.11pm HBOF

Sci-fi-Fantasy: Mad Max: Fury Road, 11.05pm MaxP; The Matrix, 9pm HBOP; Star Trek (Eric Bana), 2.55pm FoxMov

Thriller: Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom, 5pm, & the Last Crusade, 6.55pm FoxMov

War: Son of Saul (Hungarian Holocaust drama), 8pm Max

Western: Young Guns II, 8.55am FoxClas

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

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

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