Her late husband may have been considered the greatest actor of the century but Joan Plowright, who was married to Laurence Olivier for 28 years until his death in 1989, has a reputation and a half of her own. The plain, rather dumpy-looking actress was the matriarch of the British stage for decades and, though she made a number of films, it wasn't until the 1980s that she came into her own as a character actress in movies. Her debut was in Moby Dick (1956) but she attracted more attention for the recreation of her stage role in the 1960 adaptation of The Entertainer, when she played Olivier's daughter (there was a 22-year age difference). Plowright seldom worked while raising their children in the 70s but her output increased in the 80s and she received much acclaim, particularly for starring roles in Drowning By Numbers (1987) and The Dressmaker (1988). Her range and ability to adopt uncannily real accents made her invaluable in character roles and she won an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of an uptight widow in Enchanted April. Fans of that period drama will certainly enjoy Widows' Peak (Pearl, 9.30pm). She plays the formidable Mrs Doyle Counihan, a wealthy matriarch who has buried two husbands and who prides herself on knowing all the comings and goings of Widows' Peak, a cluster of houses owned by a gaggle of gossiping, well-to-do widows. Her mollycoddled son, Godfrey (Adrian Dunbar), is the only man on Widows' Peak and the most eligible bachelor in the area. Among the women is Miss O'Hare (Mia Farrow), an impoverished middle-aged spinster scarred by a painful past. Plowright and the other widows have taken her under their wing and Miss O'Hare is stepping out with the local dentist (Jim Broadbent). But when a young, beautiful war widow (Natasha Richardson) arrives in the area, a storm starts brewing and the women of Widows' Peak soon become embroiled in an intense and all-consuming war of attrition. Plowright is especially memorable as the quick-tongued matriarch but strong performances from all three leads keep the inconsistent film bouyant. Wim Wenders' Lisbon Story (World, 9.40pm) started life as a memorial documentary for the Portuguese capital but developed into a feature film starring one of Wenders' favourite actors, Rudiger Vogler. Vogler stars as Philip Winter, a sound engineer who turns up in the city to help a director friend make a film, only to discover the friend has disappeared, leaving a film but no soundtrack. Winter decides to record the sounds for the movie while trying to find out where his friend is. Slowly, he gets to know the city and meets some of its characters. There are, naturally, many conversations about the pointlessness of life, but this is pure Wenders, suffused with gentle emotions and featuring a dialogue on the power of cinema. A Portuguese folk group, Madredeus, feature and provide an evocative soundtrack. 20/20 (Pearl, 8.55pm) examines the fascinating story of Darlie Routier, a Texas woman found guilty of murdering her two children and sentenced to death. From the very beginning, Routier has steadfastly maintained her innocence: there were no eyewitnesses and no clear motive was established. Speaking from Death Row, she tells Sylvia Chase: 'If I had done this to my children I would be the first person to stand up and say, 'Oh my God, I need help'. 'I mean, a mother couldn't live with herself . . . A normal mother doesn't go to sleep and all of a sudden snap and become a psychotic killer.'