Finnegan On Films: A Family Favourite And Amazing True Stories

Posted by


Our movie guy, James Finnegan, on some offerings on the box this weekend…

The very epitome of a family film is the glorious Paddington (Saturday 6.35pm RTE1) a walking, talking bear from darkest Peru with a fondness for marmalade.

Following an earthquake, Paddington finds himself in London. However, life in modern Britain is somewhat different from the stories told to him by his aunt.

He gets as far as Paddington Station where he meets the Brown family, who take him home.

Continued below…


Henry Brown (Hugh Bonneville) insists he stay only one night, but his wife Mary (Sally Hawkins), their two children and the Housekeeper Mrs Bird (Julie Walters) take to the charming visitor and have other plans.

The adventures are only beginning for the young bear.  Millicent Clyde (Nicole Kidman) is the taxidermist for the National History Museum, who intends to add Paddington to her exhibits with the

Paddington is voiced by Ben Whishaw, and the combination of live action and animation is so good, you forget the effects.

Any film that can also add the quality of Peter Capaldi and Jim Broadbent to the cast makes it well worth a watch for all ages.

Continued below…


The Flying Scotsman (Saturday 10.38pm TG4) is the true story of Graeme Obree (Jonny Lee Miller) a Scottish amateur cyclist who broke the world Hour Record for distance covered in 1994.

He did it on a bike he built himself using parts cannibalised from all sorts of sources including a washing machine.  If that were not impressive enough, Obree was also suffering from bouts of clinical depression.

Continued below…


Unfortunately, and perhaps not untypically, the governing body of the sport were not as enamoured of Obree’s accomplishments, and stripped him of the title.

This film is the inspiring story of Obree’s battle to reclaim that title, especially while working his way through his own mental health difficulties.

Also starring Billy Boyd, Laura Fraser and, most notably, the scene-stealing Brian Cox, this is a film that treats what could have been an exploitive story with taste and decorum, so kudos to Director Douglas Mackinnon and a screenplay by John Brown, Declan Hughes and Simon Rose.

Cinematographer Gavin Finney is also most inventive in presenting Obree’s story from his individual viewpoint.

Shadowlands (Sunday 3.20pm RTE1) is another true life story of a meeting of minds that became so much more

C.S. Lewis is a reserved middle aged academic bachelor who lectures at Magdalen College, Oxford.  He is, however, most famous for being the author of the Chronicles of Narnia series of children’s stories.

He meets American poet Joy Gresham.  She is married, with a young son.  What begins as an interesting clash of cultures and views becomes a relationship of convenience that in turn leads to far deeper feelings.

Starring Anthony Hopkins as CS Lewis and Debra Winger as Joy, directed by Richard Attenborough and a Screenplay by William Nicholson, this is a superior drama that, if you are dry eyed after watching it, you need to check that you still have a pulse. Enjoy and stay safe!

Comments are closed.