Finnegan On Films: Four Offerings From Very Different Genres

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Our movie guy, James Finnegan, has four movies of different genres on TV for your delectation  this week…

Rest assured, film fans, there are still quite a few options available to anyone not engrossed in the European Soccer Championships, which is getting its usual blanket coverage.

Donnie Brasco (Saturday 9.20pm TG4) is based on the true story of Joe Pistone, an FBI undercover  agent who infiltrates a Mafia family, using the alias Donnie Brasco.

Brasco, played by Johnny Depp, impresses an aging Mafia hit man, Lefty Ruggiero, played by Al Pacino, and under his patronage, rises through the Mafia ranks.

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However, having a double life means that Pistone’s real family life comes under understandable strain, bearing in mind there are numerous unexplained absences.

Both Depp and Pacino are in top form, and well supported by Michael Madsen and Anne Heche, in this well scripted story that has an unexpected depth for what could have just followed the clichés.

Crazy Rich Asians (Saturday 9.30pm RTE1) is also about trying to fit in with a family, although it could not be more different in terms of style and method.

New York Professor Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) is off to Singapore with her boyfriend Nick to meet his family.  She is somewhat surprised to find out that the family are not just rich, but in fact,  are very, very wealthy!

What is more concerning for Rachel is that the family do not approve of her and are not shy about letting her know.

This film gathered numerous awards and nominations including the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast.   Well worth a watch.

The legend of King Arthur has always been a rich source of stories.  Camelot (Sunday 1.40pm RTE1) is the film version of the Lerner and Loewe stage musical.

King Arthur (Richard Harris) is married to Guinevere (Vanessa Redgrave).  Unfortunately , when the Lancelot arrives in Camelot, having been inspired by the reputation of Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, a series of circumstances change life in the Kingdom.

This is a perfect film for a Sunday afternoon.  Richard Harris bought the stage rights for the show and toured extensively with it in the early eighties, making a fortune.

It was a fitting answer to those who were less than complimentary about his singing prowess in this production.

Warren Beatty is a far from prolific filmmaker, but when he does make them, it tends to stand out from the usual.  When you add the creative genius of Robert Altman as Co Writer and Director, you get McCabe & Mrs Miller ( Friday 9.05pm TG4) a somewhat unconventional Western.

A mysterious gambler, John McCabe (Beatty), arrives in town, and quickly achieves a position of prominence. He sets up a makeshift brothel, and, in partnership with another new arrival, Constance Miller (Julie Christie), opens a better class establishment.

Naturally, there are others who see the success and are looking for a piece of the action.  When it is not forthcoming, there is a heavy retribution.   Enjoy and stay safe!

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