Monday, 24th June 2019

Where there’s smoke, it’s dire

Posted on 15. Aug, 2010 by in Off Topic

Where there’s smoke, it’s dire

AMONG my souvenirs from the 1970s is a letter from Ken Hughes, the director of Cromwell (Friday, 2.30pm, 7Two), disputing my observation that one of the extras in Cromwell’s army can be seen holding a cigarette.

Of course the director would know, but viewers may care to watch out for this detail. There is little else of interest, despite some spectacular battle scenes, Alec Guinness’s appearance as King Charles I, and a cast including Richard Harris, Patrick Magee and Robert Morley.

La Vie en Rose (Saturday, 10.10pm, SBS1) is one of those rags-to-riches biopics. Abandoned by her mother, Edith Piaf spent a miserable childhood in French slums and brothels before winning fame as a nightclub singer. Olivier Dahan’s steamy biopic thrives on its soundtrack. Marion Cottillard gives a performance of passionate intensity as the mature Edith, miming the songs from tapes. The effect in the big numbers, including Non, je ne regrette rien, is electrifying.

There aren’t many films about cricket, which may be too narrow a passion to appeal to global audiences. Wondrous Oblivion (Sunday, 12.50pm, 7Two), from writer-director Paul Morrison, is the story of 10-year-old David (Sam Smith), who dreams of being a batsman. We are given an absorbing story about a young boy’s awakening, anti-Semitism, illicit love affairs and English racial tensions in the 1960s.

It is the practice of this column to alert viewers to any screening of a Bond film or episode of Lord of the Rings, since both have legions of fans. The Man with the Golden Gun (Thursday, 9pm, 7Two) was the second film with Roger Moore as 007, and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Saturday, 8.30pm, GO!) was the first in Peter Jackson’s trilogy — for visual grandeur and imaginative daring, never surpassed.

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