Finnegan On Films: A Star-Studded Line-Up Of Films On TV This Weekend

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Our movie guy, James Finnegan, says the movies on the box this weekend have more stars than appear in the sky…

There is a fine selection of films on show over the next few days, especially if you are a star-spotter.

However, first up is Wonder (Saturday 6.35pm RTE1), and is based on a real life incident that author R.J. Palacio experienced.

Auggie Pullman is a ten year old boy, born with a rare medical facial deformity that has required almost 30 operations to allow him to see, speak, smell and hear.

He has been home schooled but his parents decide that he should be enrolled into mainstream education.

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As he struggles to fit in, the whole community as well as his fellow students must reassess their virtues of compassion and acceptance.

Directed by Stephen Chbosky, and starring Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson as Auggie’s parents, the performance of the film is undoubtedly Jacob Tremblay as Auggie.

The first of a Kevin Costner duet is Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (Saturday 9.30pm RTE2) where we get his version of the classic hero.

English nobleman Robin of Locksley returns home from the Crusades to find his father has been murdered, his lands seized and the locals living under the rule of the evil Sheriff of Nottingham.

Robin, his Moorish friend and a band of fellow outlaws band together to protect the poor and stop the Sheriff’s plan to seize the throne of England while the King is away.

Directed by Kevin Reynolds and starring Morgan Freeman, Christian Slater, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as a feisty Maid Marian, and Alan Rickman, who steals the film as a scenery chewing Sheriff of Nottingham, this perhaps a little darker than you might remember, but it is very suitable Saturday night entertainment.

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Meanwhile, Costner returns in a very different role in JFK (Saturday 10.05pm TG4).  He plays New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison who sets out to find the truth behind the Kennedy assassination in Dallas in 1963.

His investigation leads him to believe that the assassination was not the sole work of Lee Harvey Oswald (Gary Oldman) but part of a wide spread conspiracy.

Directed by Oliver Stone, who contributed to the screenplay, and based on the book by Garrison, it produces a story that appeals to certain theorists.  It also stars Kevin Bacon, Tommy Lee Jones, Sissy Spacek and Laurie Metcalf and has a splendid soundtrack by John Williams.

The Daddy of the Disaster Movie Genre is The Towering Inferno (Sunday 2.10pm RTE1) because there is nothing like watching household names trying to escape the 135th of the world’s tallest building as it goes up in flames.

Starring Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, William Holden, Faye Dunaway, Fred Astaire and Robert Vaughan among others, this Irwin Allen production remains a perfect popcorn film.

Just space to recommend Daniel Day-Lewis in his final film before retirement (although hopefully he might reconsider) in Phantom Thread (Monday 9.30pm TG4) as celebrated dress designer Reynolds Woodcock, whose lifestyle changes dramatically when he meets waitress Alma. Enjoy and stay safe.

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