Big Love – Season 3
Release Date: Tuesdays, 8:30 pm
Bill Paxton stars as Bill Hendrickson, a former fundamentalist Mormon cult member who is now making his way as a businessman outside the confines of the compound he grew up in. His three wives run an integrated family spread over three adjacent homes, methodically booking his time each week as he works to bring in the money. The series’ twisted take on marriage is strangely compelling because of the sense of sisterhood its women share. What Big Love offers under the guise of healthy polygamy, though, are actually the Bible-assured benefits of faithful monogamy and normal Christian community. However in season three the fallacy frays at the edges with the wives’ split loyalties ready to tear the Hendricksons apart. It’s riveting drama if only as a study in self-deceit. Viewers should be warned that the cameras aren’t afraid of following Bill into the bedroom and bathroom.
Five Minutes of Heaven
Release Date: March 18
Five Minutes of Heaven is 89 minutes of tense drama. It is one of those niche films that probe the wounds that exist at the juncture of public crisis and personal tragedy. In this case it is the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and the impact they have on two young men on either side of the Catholic / Protestant divide. James Nesbitt plays Joe Griffen, a shattered man who, as a boy, watched an Ulster Volunteer Force member shoot his older brother in the head. Liam Neeson is Alistair Little, the man who pulled the trigger. Three decades have passed but neither man has moved on from that moment in time. Now a television series endeavours to place them in a room together for the first time to answer the question, ‘Is reconciliation really possible?’ There are no easy solutions on display in Five Minutes of Heaven. Christians must never stop talking about the transformative power of forgiveness, but films like Five minutes of Heaven should teach us to count the cost. The film clearly shows the incredible difficulties with reconciliation on this earth. Not only do the perpetrators have to change their entire world view so that realise ‘right’ is actually ‘wrong’, but the victims have to give up their desire for judgment. It’s an imperfect ending for an imperfect world, but well worth the watch.