Four movies you HAVE to watch this weekend – from Nightcrawler on DVD to Still Alice at the cinema

Julianne wins an Oscar, Jake gets ugly and Channing acts the doof. What to see in cinemas, on DVD and on TV (Mar 6-8)

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by Charles Gant |
Published on

At the cinema: Still Alice

Julianne Moore is consistently brilliant in her films, but has never managed to convert her talent into A-list stardom, losing the big paydays to more bankable names such as Nicole Kidman. Nominated for Oscar in 1998, 2000 and twice in 2003, Julianne was a four-time loser when she landed the role of her lifetime: playing a 50-year-old university professor with early onset Alzheimer’s, in Still Alice. This time around, there was only ever going to be one name inside that golden envelope, and Julianne finally got her due. This very affecting US indie drama also boasts Alec Baldwin as the husband of Julianne’s character, and Kristen Stewart (really impressive) and Kate Bosworth as her adult daughters. You may feel you’ve already binged on too many Oscar movies this year – The Theory Of Everything, Whiplash, Wild, Foxcatcher, Birdman, Selma all piled into January and February – but, with Still Alice, one of the best has been saved for last.

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    On DVD: Nightcrawler

    Jake Gyllenhaal isn’t the first hot Hollywood star to make themselves look ugly for the sake of a role, but rarely has a make-under produced such a compelling result. In Nightcrawler, sweaty, lank-haired Jake plays a scuzzy LA petty criminal who finds a new lease of life when he starts filming grisly crime and accident scenes, then selling the footage to a local news channel. Hardly the most moral person in the first place, Jake’s character Louis will stop at nothing to get his shot, even if it means sneaking into the site of a gruesome triple murder before the cops get there. Rene Russo, who happens to be the wife of Nightcrawler director Dan Gilroy, makes a very convincing case for why she should be cast much more often, playing the director of the TV news show. And our own Riz Ahmed is very sweet as Louis’ exploited sidekick.

    On DVD: Pride

    We award a five-star rating pretty sparingly when it comes to films, so it’s almost unprecedented to have two of them coming out in the same week. Arriving on shelves the same day as Nightcrawler is brilliant Brit flick Pride, telling the true story of how a group of London lesbian and gay activists rallied to help the families of striking Welsh miners during the epic strike of 1984-5. The superb cast includes George MacKay, Andrew Scott, Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton, and it’s a winning mix of funny, tender, inspiring and heartbreaking. Freddie Fox – hot young Freddie in Cucumber/Banana – is also in it.

    On TV: 21 Jump Street (Sunday, Channel 5, 9pm)

    When Hollywood announced it was mounting a movie version of 80s undercover-cop TV show 21 Jump Street, not many thought it was a good idea. But the resulting film turned out to be pretty hilarious, and a huge hit, yielding last year’s sequel 22 Jump Street. Channing Tatum, previously not much known for comedy, stars alongside Jonah Hill as their precinct’s most inept cops, now tasked with posing as transfer students at the local high school to find out who is supplying a dangerous new drug that has already claimed one student’s life. Direction comes from The Lego Movie creators Phil Lord and Chris Miller – funny, talented guys. Our one quibble is that this broadcast has apparently been “edited for language”, which seems overly censorious since it’s on at 9pm, when kids are presumably in bed.

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