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1/1 and 1/1
1/1 and 1/1
BBC Two, Monsoon, 10 p.m.
In a tender, contemplative drama about the return of a dutiful son to Ho Chi Minh City more than 30 years after he fled during the Vietnam War, Cambodian-born writer-director Hong Khaou elegantly builds on the themes of his acclaimed debut film, Lilting. At age six, Kit (Henry Golding) left the country of his birth during the war. He has few memories of his formative years and wants to scout alternative places to disperse the ashes of his late mother. Kit meets Lewis (Parker Sawyers) on the first leg of the trip, a single American son whose father fought in the war. Until Kit moves on to Hanoi, the two men ignite a romantic dalliance. Kit rediscovers his cultural roots and learns where his heart belongs as he makes his way through Vietnam.
Balloon, Four BBC, 10 p.m.
In this 2018 film, director Michael Bully Herbig dramatizes the amazing true story of the two German Democratic Republic families who fled to West Germany in September 1979 in a homemade hot air balloon. For attempting to escape their communist homeland, East Germans face jail. A gauntlet of land mines, barbed wire and bullets must be managed by the courageous few. Bricklayer Gunter Wetzel (David Kross) and his friend, electrician Peter Strelzyk (Friedrich Mucke) and their wives Doris (Karoline Schuch) and Petra Schuch (Friedrich Mucke) have a daring strategy (Alicia von Rittberg). It took the Wetzels and Strelzyks 18 months to understand their outlandish vision, including two unsuccessful attempts. The time has finally come: the two families and their four children are growing up into the night sky.
ITV4, The Bourne Ultimatum, 9 p.m.
The third installment is a corker in the riveting suspense series. Once again, Matt Damon takes on the part of deadly assassin Jason Bourne, and this time the former hitman’s memories are awakened by a meeting with a reporter. Again, as he tries to find out who he really is, why he got involved in Project Treadstone and why the people who recruited him now want him dead, he embarks on a deadly game of cat-and-mouse. Many ‘threequels’ are mere rehashes of old achievements, but all standards were surpassed by this one. In the lead role, Damon is beautiful, and with aplomb, Paul Greengrass directs. Julia Stiles provides Damon’s headstrong agent with strong encouragement, and David Strathairn is riveting.
Enemy Of The State, 11.45pm, ITV4.
Lawyer Robert Clayton Dean (Will Smith) runs into an old friend while shopping, who, unbeknownst to him, slips into his pocket a disk of footage of a politically motivated crime. It’s not long until every district government agent is charged with locating our hero at any cost and retrieving the disc. With technologies such as satellite tracking, it often seems like the agents are one step ahead. Will Dean elude officials long enough for the facts to be uncovered? This convoluted conspiracy thriller is smartly written, has good pacing and features an impressive supporting performance by Gene Hackman, reminiscent of his role in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1974 classic “The Conversation.”
At 12:35 p.m., Mistress America, Channel 4,
This likable 2015 New York comedy comes from Noah Baumbach, who has made a name (and a niche) for himself with dialogue-heavy films that focus on the lives and loves of urban, affluent American millennials. Greta Gerwig, the patron saint of urban, well-off American millennials, is Baumbach’s partner and co-starred and/or co-wrote in most of his early films before she struck out on her own as a director with Lady Bird and the acclaimed Little Women. So this is their last film as co-collaborators, and in addition to writing and co-producing, Gerwig stars alongside Lola Kirke. Kirke, by the way, is the daughter of Bad Company drummer Simon Kirke and the younger sister of Jemima Kirke, who starred in Lena Dunham’s zeitgeisty TV series Girls about urban, well-heeled New York millennials. Another scion of the British rock aristocracy, Mickey Sumner, daughter of Sting, also has a small role. Social realism on the gritty streets of New York, Mistress America is not.
It is, however, very funny, thanks largely to the razor-sharp script, Kirke’s engaging performance, and the indescribable something that drives every film in which Gerwig appears – a mixture of her