Finnegan On Films: Oscar Classics And Interesting Curios On The Box

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It’s an interesting week of films on RTE and TG4 this week with Oscar classics intermixed with some interesting curios says our movie guy, James Finnegan…

We start, as always with a Saturday family film and this week’s option is Puss In Boots (Saturday 6.35pm RTE1).  

This stars the character introduced to us in the Shrek franchise, eruditely voiced by Antonio Banderas, that alternates between being a suave swashbuckler and a cuddly pussy cat.

He teams up with his other friends, Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) and Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek), to retrieve magical beans from the dastardly Jack and Jill (Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris).

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This is a lot of fun and suitable for all the family, with a sequel due in 2022.

Fargo (Saturday 10.45pm TG4) is a Coen Brothers classic telling us about a down trodden car dealer Jerry (William H Macy), who hires two criminals (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare) to abduct his wife in the expectation that his wealthy father in law will pay a ransom.

Unfortunately for Jerry, the kidnappers are, at best, inept. They leave a trail of murdered bodies in their wake, which attracts the attention of a determined and pregnant police chief Marge (Frances McDormand winning the first of her three Oscars).

This black comedy, directed, produced and written by Joel and Ethan Coen, also won the Oscar for Best Screenplay.  Very dark and very, very funny.

Ben Affleck is an actor who can divide opinion. When he is good, he is very good and in The Accountant (Sunday 10.15pm RTE2) he plays Christian Wolff, a high functioning autistic maths genius with incredible martial arts skills with shooting skills to match.

Of course, these attributes come in handy when you are a money launderer for the Mob and under investigation from the Treasury Department.

Also starring Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Tambor and John Lithgow, and ably directed by Gavin O’Connor, if you ever wanted to see an action film centred round a Chartered Public Accountant, this is your lucky day.

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TG4 have a slot late on Thursday nights that has become a wonderful source of really great films.  This week’s choice is As Good As It Gets (Thursday 12.05am TG4).

Writer Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) is a compulsive obsessive writer who is also a bigoted homophobe.  When his gay neighbour Simon (Greg Kinnear) is assaulted and hospitalised, Melvin is forced to take care of his dog.

Melvin has also fallen for a waitress at his local restaurant, Carol, played by Helen Hunt, who is a single mother with a seriously ill son.

Nicholson and Hunt won the Academy Award for Best Actor and Actress respectively for this film, co written and directed by James L. Brooks who has won numerous awards for his film and television work.

A quick shout out for A Fistful of Dynamite (Friday 9.05 TG4) a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western staring James Coburn and a scenery chewing Rod Steiger. Enjoy and stay safe!

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