Finnegan On Films: A Collection Of Oscar Winners On The Box

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Our movie guy, James Finnegan, on some real gems on the TV this Saturday…

It is a rarer event then you might imagine but the common denominator of today’s film selection is that they are all multiple Oscar Winners.

At another time, you would call this film “I see dead people”, but Coco (Saturday 6.35 RTE1) is quite simply a wonderful film, because it manages to be both life affirming while being narratively death-obsessed.

A young boy Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) lives in a small Mexican town with his extended family, including his very old great grandmother, Coco, who is showing signs of dementia.

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Miguel dreams of following the footsteps of the late Ernesto De La Cruz (Benjamin Bratt) who was a star of screen and song, but his family wants him to follow the family trade – making shoes.

Miguel’s family have a very good reason for discouraging his dreams, but Miguel finds himself able to talk to skeletons from the legendary Land of the Death.

This is a story about family, music and the importance of following your dreams.  Despite some potentially sombre themes, it is a joyous and delightful film that is accessible to all ages, especially as directed by Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3).

It quite correctly won the Academy Award for Best Animated Picture and Best Original Song “Remember Me”.

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Network (Saturday 9.20 TG4) is commonly described as a drama satire, and is set within a fictional television network UBS which is struggling with poor ratings.

Veteran news anchorman Howard Beale (Peter Finch) finds out he is going to be fired, because he is considered to be over the hill and has a drink problem.

He does not take this news well, as he announces his sacking on air and says he will kill himself, again on air, in two weeks time.

Amazingly only one person in the Program Control Room hears Howard as they are far to consumed with the network feed and getting the commercials fitted in.

What we see then is the corrupt use and exploitation of an obviously sick man by the Network in order to boost audience figures.

Directed by Sidney Lumet, this won the 1977 Best Picture, Best Actor (Peter Finch), Best Actress (Faye Dunaway) Best Supporting Actress (Beatrice Straight) and Best Original Screenplay (Paddy Chayefsky) Academy Awards.

The Shape of Water (Saturday 9.45 RTE1) can perhaps best be described as a fantasy romance film, as Elisa (Sally Hawkins), a mute cleaner in a government high security laboratory, falls in love with an imprisoned humanoid amphibian creature (Doug Jones) and decides to help him escape.

This film has resonances of Beauty and the Beast as well as ET, and has a wonderful supporting cast including Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins and Octavia Spencer.

Directed by Guillermo del Toro, who won the Best Director Oscar,  and a soundtrack by Alexandre Desplait, who won for Best Original Score, this also deservedly won the Best Picture Academy Award. Enjoy and stay safe!

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