Critic’s Choice: Films On TV Monday 22nd December
Finding Neverland – BBC2, 5.55pm Alert Me
Johnny Depp, set to be a familiar face this Christmas (but that’s alright, because he’s amazingly great in every single way and OH how everyone loves him!), stars as Peter Pan creator JM Barrie. Meeting Kate Winslet’s Sylvia Llewelyn Davies sets him on the way to stardom and creative fulfilment as, in her four sons, he finds inspiration for the children who never grow up. When Kate comes over all ill, like, you’ll probably realise that, despite veering into fantasy every so often, it’s really not going to end well.
The Brothers Grimm – BBC2, 8.30pm Alert Me
More Heath-appreciation, in Terry Gilliam’s uneven, if characteristically imaginative tale of the yarn-spinning brothers.
Pan’s Labyrinth – FilmFour, 9pm Alert Me
Wonderful Spanish fairy tale, albeit not one for the kids. Sunglasses-at-night levels of darkness, with one of cinema’s best recent villains (Cliffhanger, take note) – the sinister Captain Vidal. In 1944, as Spain adapts to life after civil war, little Ofelia ventures into a maze, resulting in curiouser and curiouser encounters, as the supernatural Faun believes that she is the princess of the Underground Realm. There are shades of Tim Burton, but this is a more macabre and threatening tale, dazzlingly imaginative and peppered with jawbone-troubling imagery. Top stuff.
Love Actually – ITV2, 10pm Alert Me
Christmassy romcom, encompassing the loves of many, many, many characters. An alternate universe where Hugh Grant is Prime Minister, and everyone can find yuletide love. Will probably make you go ‘aww’ at least once.