Ten movies to watch on TV this Christmas day


If you’re planning on catching a movie this Christmas Day, we’ve got you covered. Movie guru Ronan O’Meara scanned the TV shows and picked ten.

The Great Sleep: RTÉ 2 @ 1h45

Private Detective Philip Marlowe has been hired to look after the younger daughter of a wealthy family and he enlists the older daughter’s help in doing so. Things are getting complex. Do you like harsh dialogue, mind-blowing chemistry, and intriguing storylines? If so, The Big Sleep was designed especially for you. A classic that lives up to its name. Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall are brilliant as the protagonists and their chemistry is only smoldering.

Casablanca: BBC Two @ 11:10 am

Humphrey Bogart plays Rick Blaine, a WWII-era nightclub owner in Morocco who has his finger in a number of pies. When an ex-lover appears, he throws him for six. It’s one of those famous movies that really lives up to the hype. You’ll recognize scenes and dialogue even if you’ve never seen them before and Ingrid Bergman and Bogie are at the top of their game here. Oh and the Marseillaise scene is one of the best ever. To arms, citizens, train your battalions !!

The Lego Batman movie: RTÉ 2 at 3:40 p.m.

The villains of Gotham City have an infamous plan and it’s up to Batman aka Bruce Wayne to stop them. He alone has a problem, a problem in the form of a son that he somehow accidentally adopted. It might sound like a silly watch, but it’s just as entertaining a Batman movie as any of them, and in some ways it’s more inventive than all of them. Will Arnett is a good dark knight while Rosario Dawson, Michael Cera and Ralph Fiennes make people laugh.

Bourdon: Film4 at 3:55 p.m.

Yes, it’s a Transformers movie. I know. To recover. Bumblebee rocks. Seriously. No, honestly. The excitement of the previous films is gone, and now we get the story of Bumblebee and the time he spent away from his robotic counterparts in the ’80s, just him and his girlfriend Charlene, played by Hailee Stanfield. There is of course CGI a-galore, but there’s also a ton of heart, nostalgia, and wonder instead of the usual bloated screams.

Paddington 2: RTÉ One @ 4:10 p.m.

Paddington now lives in London all the time and to thank his Aunt Lucy for her kindness, he decides to give her a present. Her shopping spree did not end well! The sequel to the 2014 hit is an absolute joy and a perfect Christmas afternoon watch. It’s for the kids of course, but there’s plenty here for everyone and it will leave you smiling for hours after you’ve finished. Ben Whishaw, Brendan Gleeson, Sally Hawkins and Imelda Staunton lead a wonderful movie.

The Adventures of Robin Hood: BBC Two at 5:20 p.m.

By now we all know the Robin Hood story, but the 1938 version is the best of the bunch. Here we have Robin against the vile Prince John who declared himself king in the absence of his brother Richard. Robin Of Locksley and his Sherwood Forest pals don’t agree that things are happening right now. The stunts, the glorious technicolor, the charisma of Errol Flynn, the superb Marian of Olivia de Havilland, the despicable villain of Claude Rain, all the ingredients for a lovely Christmas after-dinner movie.

Allies: Over 4 to 9 p.m.

Max and Marianne, Canadian and French spies respectively, worked together in North Africa during World War II and fell in love. They get married and move to London, but something is wrong with their relationship. Robert Zemeckis’ 2016 thriller is an old-fashioned affair peppered with modern sex and violence and if you can ignore its dumbest elements, you’ll have a great time with it. Marion Cotillard and Brad Pitt work well together.

Their best: BBC 4 @ 9:35 pm

The evacuation of Dunkirk has been a public relations nightmare for the UK government and the only thing that will boost public morale is a dose of propaganda. Catrin Cole is hired to find a story that people can hold onto. A mix of wartime misery and comedy shouldn’t really work, but somehow it does work and a lot of it is down to winning tricks from a villainous cast that includes Gemma Atherton, Helen McCrory, Richard E. Grant and Bill Nighy.

Bohemian Rhapsody: RTÉ One @ 10:10 p.m.

In 1970, a young man named Farrokh Bulsara met Brian May and Roger Taylor. 15 years later, they take the stage at Live Aid at Wembley Arena to play a set for the ages. Bohemian Rhapsody is the story of everything in between. He spends a lot of time on the darker aspects of the story and much of it seems ridiculously simplified, but the last 30 minutes of it are just great with the perfect recreation of a famous day in 1985. Rami Malek does well like Freddy Mercury.

Sing Street TG4 at 11:15 p.m.

A teenager from 1980s Dublin, struggling with both his childhood and his relationship with his family, finds a way out when he forms a group with his classmates. The 80s were a tough time to be different. A beautiful film, pleasant as hell and overflowing with love and energy. If you don’t like this one, you’re probably dead. A cast completed by Ferdia Walsh-Peelo and Lucy Boynton is the icing on the cake.

As always, visit hamsandwichcinema.blogspot.com/ for more film and TV talk.


Evelyn C. Tobin