Looking for a movie to ring in the new year?
Check out what’s playing on broadcast and standard cable stations.
As Cate Blanchett collects raves for her work this year in Carol, take a look at her delightful comedy turn as a woman who tries every way to complicate life for two men who kidnap her. Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton have a grand time as the men who learn how challenging life can be when their efforts to break the law land them with a woman they would otherwise choose to ignore.
Thursday, December 31, 8 p.m., Flix
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Many new years bring resolutions to focus on the positive aspects of life. While this classic details how one man loses his sense of hope, the layers of the story create meaningful messages that never age. James Stewart delivers what may be the performance of a remarkable career as a man who worries so much about the people near him that he fails to realize the richness of life. As he painfully learns, no one who has friends is ever alone.
Thursday, December 31, 8 p.m., Bravo
Sometimes, people try to escape their worries by pursuing flights of fancy. Then reality can intervene at the least convenient of moments. This thriller from director Alfred Hitchcock –best known for its memorable shower sequence – offers a detailed look at one woman’s attempts to get away from it all to start fresh. But she faces more than she anticipates in a film that tells a complex story in a simple way.
Friday, January 1, 10 a.m. and 9 p.m., BBC
Rear Window (1954)
While anyone can get tired of staying still during recovery from illness or injury, some may take the inconvenience more seriously than others. This Hitchcock classic – starring the always-excellent James Stewart – takes us to the West Village of Manhattan where a man confined to his apartment becomes too interested in what he sees outside his window. With Stewart as our guide, we learn that some private matters should, probably, remain private.
Friday, January 1, 12:30 p.m., BBC
A director as prolific as Alfred Hitchcock can create films that defy traditional expectations. While this film, today, is considered one of the director’s best, it faced a chilly reception when first released. Perhaps it was too obtuse for audiences captivated that year by Gigi and Auntie Mame. Time has been kind to a film that ages exceedingly well thanks to the captivating performance by James Stewart as a man who knows and sees too much.
Friday, January 1, 3 p.m., BBC
The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996)
Barbra Streisand reminds us what delights and frustrates us about her screen talent in this comedy she directed. While she can be magical as a college professor trying to reveal her beauty, she can frustrate when director Streisand refuses to let other performers share the screen with actress Streisand. Fortunately the great Lauren Bacall breaks through the challenge to deliver a heartbreaking turn as a mother who tries to love more than she is able to love.
Saturday, January 2, 2 p.m., Flix
Sharing movies can be as easy as turning on the television or going online.
And, when you watch as a family, take the time to chat about what you’re seeing.
That makes it even more fun.