Finnegan On Films: Drama And Action On The Box This Week

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Our movie guy, James Finnegan, picks movies from different genres on RTE and TG4 this week…

If ever there was a typical Saturday evening film for all the family, it is A Dog’s Way Home (Saturday 6.35pm RTE1).

Lucas and Olivia find a puppy, a litter of kittens and a momma cat, in a construction site in Denver.  Lucas names the dog Bella and brings him home to live with him and his mother Terri.

Lucas and Bella grow up together while Lucas continues to feed the cats at the site.   In fact, he tells the authorities about the cats, which delays the site development to the anger of the Developer Gunter Beckenbauer, who in turn, reports Bella as a dangerous breed to Animal Control.

Continued below…


After a number of close shaves, Lucas sends Bella to live with Olivia’s aunt and uncle in New Mexico.  However, Bella misses Lucas so much, she begins a 400 mile journey home.

Does she make it? What do you think, but she of course has many adventures and incidents on the way.   Be prepared for tears and cheers.  There may even be something in the grownups eyes at the end.

How do you tell the story of a cinematic legend? Chaplin (Saturday 9.05pm TG4) uses an interesting device of having the title character, played magnificently by Robert Downey Jr, dictating his life story to his biographer.

Directed by Richard Attenborough, a screenplay by William Boyd, Bryan Forbes and William Goldman and a soundtrack by John Barry, this is a fascinating story of a man who came from abject poverty in the East End of London to being the most famous man in the world.

To its credit, the film does not shy away from some of the more colourful and scandalous aspects of Chaplin’s life, including his run-ins with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and the American courts.

It has a strong supporting cast including Marisa Tomei, John Thaw, Anthony Hopkins, Dan Aykroyd, Diane Lane and Geraldine Chaplin, Chaplin’s own daughter, in the role of Hannah Chaplin, his mother.

Based on James Baldwin’s famous novel If Beale Street Could Talk (Sunday 9.00pm RTE2) tells the story of a young Harlem couple, Fonny (Stephan James) and Trish (Kiki Layne) whose lives are shattered when he is falsely imprisoned on the evidence of a racist white cop.  Then, early in his sentence, they discover that Trish is pregnant.

This is a film that works on so many levels, with powerful performances from the two leads, and Regina King as Sharon Rivers, Trish’s mother in an Oscar winning role.  Well worth watching.

Liam Neeson has made a new career as an action hero in recent years.  In Unknown (Monday 9.30pm TG4) he plays a professor who wakes up from a four day coma to find out that another man has taken over his identity and his own wife no longer recognises him.

Also starring Diane Kruger, Aidan Quinn, Frank Langella and January Jones, this is a thriller with an interesting premise.  Enjoy and stay safe!

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