From 'Darkest Hour' to 'Birdman': 7 films to watch this week

Our pick of old and new movies to watch on little or big screens

Amelie (2001 France)  aka Le Fabuleux destin d'AmÈlie Poulain
Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Shown: Audrey Tautou (as Amelie)
Courtey Miramax Films
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Darkest Hour

Tonight, 7.50pm, OSN Movies First

Gary Oldman is on Oscar-winning form as Winston Churchill in this dramatisation of the early years of his reign as British prime minister, which were characterised mostly by his refusal to surrender to Nazi Germany as the Wehrmacht swept across Europe. Under pressure from members of his own government to negotiate peace with Germany, and lacking support from King George VI, who distrusts the prime minister because of his track record as First Lord of the Admiralty and the disastrous Gallipoli campaign in the First World War, Churchill finds himself fighting on every front as the war rages on for a further five years.


Monday, 7.05pm, Star Movies

Jean-Pierre Jeunet's quirky tale of life in contemporary Paris tells the whimsical story of a shy waitress, played by Audrey Tautou, who decides to change the lives of those around her for the better while struggling with her own isolation. The film took over $33 million (Dh121m) in a limited theatrical release and is to date the highest-grossing French-language film released in the US. It is one of the most successful French movies in history, winning four European Film Awards, including Best Film. Jeunet's masterful movie was also nominated for five Oscars in 2002, although it failed to land any.

Holmes and Watson

Tuesday, OSN Cinema, streaming on demand

One to watch simply so you can say you have, rather than because of its quality, while you can also check if it's really as bad as everyone says it is (spoiler: it is). Holmes and Watson picked up four Razzies, including Worst Picture. Among the more generous reviews of the movie, The Globe and Mail stated simply: "Holmes and Watson is bad," while Rolling Stone said: "It's so painfully unfunny, we're not sure it can legally be called a comedy." Even the rare positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes don't exactly slap any backs. Only 3AW went into hyper­bole mode when it claimed the film would keep viewers "mildly entertained". 

Nakba Day: PFU

Wednesday, 9pm, Cinema Akil

Cinema Akil is celebrating 50 years of the Palestine Film Unit and is commemorating Nakba Day on Wednesday, in collaboration with Reel Palestine film festival. This special screening will include four short films with a Palestinian theme from the PFU, by award-winning Mustafa Abu Ali, who launched the Palestine Cinema Group in Ramallah in 2004, and by Khadijah Habashneh Abu Ali, a founding member of the General Union of Palestinian Women and a board member of the Palestinian Woman Research and Documentation Centre.


Thursday, 1.20am, Paramount

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's quirky black comedy about the retired star of a superhero franchise (Michael Keaton) and his attempts to resurrect his career on stage picked up nine Oscar nominations in 2015, winning four, including Best Director and Best Picture. Edward Norton and Emma Stone are also part of a strong supporting cast in this memorable, off-the-wall movie which appears to be shot almost entirely in one continuous take. The impressive film languidly shows Keaton's sanity untangling as events surrounding his play become increasingly strange.

Life of Pi

Friday. 9.30pm, OSN Movies

Ang Lee's adaptation of Yann Martel's novel revolves around an Indian man named Pi Patel, who tells a novelist about his life story and how at the age of 16 he survived a shipwreck. He claims to have been set adrift in the Pacific Ocean, sharing a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. The film had its worldwide premiere as the opening film of the 51st New York Film Festival in 2012 and went on to achieve critical and commercial success. It was nominated for 11 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, and won four, including Best Director for Lee.

All The Money in The World

Saturday, 11.35pm, OSN Movies First

This film follows the kidnapping of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) and the desperate attempts of his devoted mother, Gail (Michelle Williams), to convince his billionaire grandfather (Christopher Plummer) to pay the ransom. It's an engrossing tale, but is perhaps most notable for the performance by Plummer. The veteran actor was drafted in to reshoot all of Kevin Spacey's scenes as Getty senior after the film's original star was faced with allegations of abuse, with only a month to go until the film's release in December 2017. He was justly rewarded with an Oscar nomination for his efforts.