Three films you HAVE to watch this weekend!

Wartime romance, wartime drama, and wedding craziness. What to see in cinemas, on DVD and on TV on Mother's Day weekend


by Charles Gant |
Published on

At the cinema: Suite Française

The story of the writing of Suite Française is so dramatic, it threatens to overshadow the story contained therein. Irène Némirovsky was half way through writing a five-part book series about life in France during the German WW2 occupation, when she was carted off to Auschwitz, where she promptly died of typhus in 1942. She had entrusted the handwritten notebooks to her young daughters, who assumed they were personal diaries. Five decades later they looked at the contents, and the book became a bestseller following its publication in 2004. Now comes the movie version, focusing on the second half of Suite Française. Michelle Williams stars as Lucile, whose life is turned upside down after Germany invades France and a courtly, cultured German officer (Matthias Schoenaerts) is billeted on her – forbidden love ensues! Belgian Matthias is fast becoming our favourite actor, thanks to his riveting masculine screen presence. We loved him getting hot and heavy with Marion Cotillard in Rust & Bone, playing a bare-knuckle fighter, and he’s just as appealing as a German soldier. Keep your eye on this actor, as he’s well on his way to being a major international star.

On DVD: The Imitation Game

Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. The Imitation Game was the film that was nominated for multiple BAFTA and Oscar awards this year, losing out to the likes of The Theory Of Everything, Birdman, Boyhood and Whiplash in virtually every category. (It did however win the Oscar for Adapted Screenplay.) It was Benedict Cumberbatch’s bad luck to be up against his pal Eddie Redmayne – both were playing real-life mathematical geniuses in period dramas, but Eddie held the trump card with his depiction of the debilitating disease that lay waste to Stephen King’s body in The Theory Of Everything. Benedict is equally compelling in The Imitation Game, playing Alan Turing, who played a crucial role in decoding the German military’s supposedly uncrackable encrypted communications in WW2. This gripping drama is given a heartbreaking kick thank to the establishment’s later treatment of Turing – a gay man who fell foul of Britain’s homophobic laws. The very strong support cast includes Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Mark Strong and Rory Kinnear.

On TV: Bridesmaids (Saturday, Channel 4, 9pm)

Hollywood has long understood the comedy value of men behaving like idiots – we’ve seen that in franchises like American Pie, The Hangover and Jump Street, to say nothing of the whole movie careers of Adam Sandler and Jim Carrey. Women behaving like idiots – not so much. Which is why Bridesmaids was such a breath of fresh air, putting bad female behaviour – as well as some different body shapes – up on the screen. Bridesmaids was the film that catapulted Melissa McCarthy to major stardom, and proved Kristen Wiig can carry a movie. Bonus treats: Mad Men’s John Hamm playing the biggest jerk in the world; and our own Chris O’Dowd as a surprisingly sexy traffic cop who wins Kristen’s heart. Yes, we’ve all seen this film already, but who doesn’t want to se that bridal-shop scene again, or Melissa stealing those adorable Labrador puppies from the wedding party?

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