December 30: Films of the day

As the festive season draws to a close, Arts Editor Andrew Clarke continues his look at the best films on offer on terrestrial TV...

-Dances With Wolves; BBC2, 12.55pm

Kevin Costner’s multi-Oscar winning exploration of the life of the Sioux Indians in the Dakota badlands during the mid-19th century.

Told through the eyes of a lone cavalry officer (Costner) who is adopted by the Sioux, we get to see what a remarkable society and lifestyle they enjoyed before the settlers arrived and took their lands.

It’s a rare film that treats the American Indian with such dignity and respect and it also makes great viewing. The buffalo hunt is simply stunning.


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-True Grit; Channel 4, 1.40pm

One-eyed, over-the-hill US Marshal Rooster Cogburn reluctantly agrees to help a girl track down her father’s killer, but the quest is complicated by a Texas Ranger, who is also on the murderer’s tail, and a host of other villains who have few qualms about disposing of the meddling youngster and her protector.

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An excellent, rousing western that earned John Wayne an Oscar for his portrayal of no-nonsense, one-eyed marshal Rooster Cogburn.

- Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events; BBC One, 4.45pm

Following the unexpected deaths of their mother and father, Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire are shipped off to stay with a distant relative.

Unfortunately, the mysterious Count Olaf is no good Samaritan – he’s cold, manipulative, cruel and greedy.

Desperate to get his hands on the orphans’ inheritance, he launches a dastardly campaign to bump them off, but thanks to their remarkable abilities, loyalty and strong survival instincts, the orphans escape his villainous clutches.

Ably directed by Brad Silberling, it boasts an outstanding cast, including Jim Carrey on top form as the cunning Count.

- Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; BBC One, 11.55pm

Angelina Jolie is perfectly cast as the all-action heroine who travels the world seeking ancient treasures.

Famously she does all her own stunts and it shows. The aerial ballet attack is not only exciting stuff but it is also beautiful to look at.

Backed up with her team of techno-experts she goes off in search of the legendary Triangle of Light.

Unfortunately some unscrupulous bad guys want it too. Angelina offers up a convincing heroine with a perfect British accent.

Her delivery of the line: “Hello boys” is enough to melt the hearts of all men over the age of 12.

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