Finnegan On Films: The Winner Takes It All In A Sporting Week

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An ABBA-inspired blockbuster is among the movies recommended by our movie guy, James Finnegan…

Mamma Mia (Saturday RTE1 9.40pm) is the ultimate feel good film, with a plot based around the songs of ABBA.

Donna (Meryl Streep) runs a hotel on a Greek island.  Her daughter Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is getting married, so she has invited her old band mates, Tanya and Rosie, to attend.

However, Sophie has taken the chance to invite three former boyfriends of her mother, because she has a dream to find out which of the honey honeys is actually her father.

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The question is does her mother know?  Well, that’s the name of the game.  What did happen during their last summer?

When all is said and done, this is a thoroughly enjoyable romp with the fun of filming coming through the screen, and all the cast being absolutely super troupers.

Take a chance on this film and don’t leave it slipping through your fingers because, after all, the winner takes it all.

Also starring Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Christine Baranski, Julie Walters, Stellan Skarsgard and Dominic Cooper, this is a exuberant dancing queen of a film.  Voulez-Vous a sequel?  No need for an SOS. Thankfully this was not their last summer”, so thank you for the music.

Apologies for all that, but I could not resist it!!

There is an abundance of televised sport coming up this week, but I would still highly recommend The Program (Saturday TG4 10.00 pm) for your consideration.

Journalist David Walsh (Chris O’Dowd) is following the amazing rise to the very top of professional cycling of Lance Armstrong (Ben Foster), even after a successful battle against cancer.

Walsh suspects that this may be due to performance enhancing drugs, but he seems to be fighting a lone war against someone being promoted as an international hero.

Directed by Stephen Frears (The Queen), this film covers similar ground to the documentary film ‘The Armstrong Lie’ that came out a few years before.

Its advantage is that we are able to see what was hidden behind the scenes, as well as demonstrate the self delusion and self interest that allowed this situation to continue for as long as it did.

A special word of appreciation and acknowledgment to both O’Dowd and Foster who both give standout performances.

I bet you thought we were going to get through the week without a Clint Eastwood film?

The Mule (Wednesday RTE1 9.35pm) deals with the story of horticulturist Earl Stone (Eastwood, who also produced and directed this film) who has fallen out with his family, needs cash and is identified by a Mexican drug cartel as someone who could be used as a cocaine mule thanks to his age and race.

Also starring Bradley Cooper, Laurence Fishburne, Dianne Wiest and Andy Garcia, this is not a sympathetic role by Eastwood.

His character has a number of unpleasant views, opinions and expressions.  While not one of Eastwood’s major films, it is a quirky chapter in a glorious film career.  Enjoy and stay safe!

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