Finnegan On Films: A Couple Of Classics On The Box This Weekend

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Our movie guy, James Finnegan, says Spielberg made his masterpiece in Schindler’s List, while The Green Mile is worth your time…

It is sometimes surprising how quickly a film can date, while on the other hand,  a classic film can still resound a message across the ages.

The Queen’s Corgi (Saturday 6.35pm RTE1) is, on the face of it, one of those harmless animated family potential favourites.

Rex is the Queen’s favourite corgi, and lives a life of some comfort.  When US President Donald Trump comes on a visit, he brings with him his doggie Mitzi.

It is suggested that perhaps Mitzi could find a suitable partner in the rowdy of corgis, and naturally she chooses Rex.

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Rex is appalled and bites the President, embarrassing the Queen.  Charlie, another of the corgis and jealous of Rex, seizes the opportunity to get Rex out of the Palace, and into a dog shelter.

While this could be an interesting “fish out of water” story, or should that be “corgi out of palace” riff, I feel that there are some unfortunate adult concepts, unsuitable scenes and inevitable stereotypes that make this a film that comes with some warnings especially for the younger family members.

The Green Mile (Saturday 9.30 RTE2) comes from the prolific and gifted imagination of Stephen King, and is directed by Frank Darabont, who directed the earlier Shawshank Redemption.

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Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) is in charge of death row in a Louisiana Prison during the Depression. He runs a tight ship and in as humane and dignified manner as possible in the circumstances.  All his staff supports him, apart from the loathsome Percy, who trades on his family connections to get his position.

Convicted child-killer John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan in an absolutely mesmerising performance) is sent to ‘The Green Mile’, so called because this death row has a green door, yet he appears to be a simple man of good nature with hidden talents and gifts, seemingly incapable of the acts of which he has been found guilty.

Emotions run high when the guards realise there is no hope of overturning the death sentence, and John demonstrates abilities of an almost biblical level.

With a supporting cast including David Morse, Bonnie Hunt, James Cromwell, Sam Rockwell, Patricia Clarkson and Harry Dean Stanton, this is a long film, but needs that time to develop a story of such characters, in such an emotional manner that is almost Dickensian in style.  Highly recommended.

Also highly recommended film is Schindler’s List (Friday 10pm RTE2) based on the true story of factory owner Oskar Schindler who realised his could turn a better profit by employing Jews in his factory.

When he finds out about the fate of the Jews in the concentration camps, he decides to save as many of them as he can.

This is director and producer Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece, starring Liam Neeson as (Schindler) and also starring Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, with  perhaps the most evocative of soundtracks by John Williams.  Enjoy and stay safe.

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