What movies are on over Christmas?

Period dramas top the bill of festive fare for film fans this Christmas, says SINEAD McCaARTHY
What movies are on over Christmas?

Saoirse Ronan in Little Women, which can be seen on RTE1 on Christmas Day at 4.05pm

TAKE a step back in time this Christmas if you’re a movie buff - as many of the best films over the season are tinged with nostalgia.

The big afternoon movie on RTÉ1 on Christmas Day at 4.05pm is Little Women - a 2019 take on the 1868 novel - a coming-of-age period drama written and directed by Greta Gerwig.

It chronicles the lives of the March sisters - Jo, Meg, Amy, and Beth - in Concord, Massachusetts, in the 19th century, and stars our own Saoirse Ronan, as well as Emma Watson, and Florence Pugh.

The big film on RTÉ1 that night is also a period drama - the 2019 film version of hit TV series Downtown Abbey at 9.55pm.

Set in 1927, it depicts a royal visit to the Crawley family’s stately home. As royal staff members descend on Downton, an assassin has also arrived and attempts to kill the monarch.

The nostalgia fest continues on RTÉ2 on Christmas Day - albeit with a modern slant. Wonder Woman 1984 at 10.25pm sees Gal Gadot back in the 1980s, battling nasty media types.

The big action flick on St Stephen’s Day is the brilliant war film 1917, on RTÉ1 at 9.20pm.

Directed by Sam Mendes, the film follows two British soldiers in their mission to deliver an important message to call off a doomed offensive attack.

A fantastic cast includes Mark Strong, Andrew Scott, Colin Firth, and Benedict Cumberbatch.

It’s A Wonderful Life.
It’s A Wonderful Life.

Of course, there’ always room for the Christmas classics, and It’s A Wonderful Life starring James Stewart airs on Channel 4 on Christmas Eve at 1.25pm.

The big action blockbuster on Wednesday, December 28 on RTÉ2 at 9pm is Gladiator - the Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe epic - but for something a little more thought-provoking, check out It’s Not Yet Dark on Virgin Media 2 that day at 10pm.

It tells the ground-breaking story of Simon Fitzmaurice, a talented young Irish film maker with MND, as he embarks on directing his first feature film through the use of his eyes and eye gaze technology.

There is something for all tastes on the movie front on Thursday, December 29: Laugh with Borat on TG4 at 10.20pm; get your teeth into the Christopher nolan spy flick Tenet on RTÉ2 at 9pm; or see the sobering Schindler’s List on RTÉ2 at 11.45pm.

The big film the next night is Darkest Hour on RTÉ2 at 9pm, with Gary Oldman masterful playing a doggedly defiant Winston Churchill.

Chuckle along to Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling in The Nice Guys on RTÉ2 on New Year’s Eve at 9.30pm, or see Leonardo de Caprio in The Great Gatsby on RTÉ2 at 11.40pm.

There is nostalgia galore in Yesterday on December 31 on BBC1 at 7.20pm, as a nasty bout of pop culture amnesia ripples across the universe, erasing all memory of The Beatles. Except for struggling musician Jack, who it seems is the only person who can recall the Fab Four, and uses their music to kickstart his own career.

On New Year’s Day, slumber on the coach in front of Mary Poppins Returns on BBC1 at 4pm, or see James Bond in No Time To Die on ITV at 8pm.

Colin Farrell and Barry Keoghan in the film THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN. Photo by Jonathan Hession. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. 
Colin Farrell and Barry Keoghan in the film THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN. Photo by Jonathan Hession. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. 

SATELLITE MOVIES

If you weren’t one of the multitude to catch Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson in The Banshees Of Inisherin in the cinema yet, then you can rent the comedy on Sky Store this Christmas.

Set on a remote island off the west coast of Ireland, it follows lifelong friends Pádraic and Colm, who find themselves at an impasse when Colm unexpectedly puts an end to their friendship.

Meanwhile, on Sky Cinema from Christmas Day, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore is a great fantasy adventure for all the family.

Also on Sky Cinema, from Christmas Eve, is Hell Hath No Fury. Branded a traitor by her countrymen, French national Marie DuJardin is rescued by U.S soldiers on one condition: to survive, she must lead them to a cache of gold hunted by the Nazis, French resistance, and U.S too!.

Or see comedy The Bad Guys on Sky Cinema, starring Sam Rockwell. A crackerjack criminal crew of animal outlaws are about to attempt their most challenging con yet - becoming model citizens.

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