PAST PRODUCTIONS 2018/19
and to see reviews from 'Rotten Tomatoes'
Director: Hannes Holm
Cast: Rolf Lassgård, Bahar Pars, Filip Berg
Ove is the quintessential angry old man next door who has given up on life. He is an isolated retired widower with strict principles and a short fuse who spends his days enforcing neighbourhood rules that only he cares about and visiting his wife’s grave.
A boisterous family moves in next door and, against all the odds, an unlikely friendship slowly develops, and we get to understand something of Ove’s past life and heartbreaks.
It is based on an international best-selling Swedish novel.
“A moving and funny tale” (Simran Hans - Observer)
Director: Katell Quillévéré
Cast: Tahar Rahim, Emmanuelle Seigner, Anne Dorval
This deeply moving film follows three seemingly unrelated stories that are carefully woven together. A French teenager’s surfing road trip ends in tragedy; a woman in another town learns that her already weak heart will soon fail; two teams of surgeons struggle through their day attempting to save lives.
It follows a human heart from donor to recipient and is an impassioned story of personal connections that philosophically, spiritually and literally plumb the depth of the human heart.
“This truly is cinema to make the heart beat faster” (Wendy Ide – Guardian)
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Cast: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins
Best described as a romantic fantasy this film won the Golden Lion at Venice in 2017 and awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Production Design and Best Score at this year's Oscars. It is set against the backdrop of Cold War America and tells the story of a mute and lonely cleaner (Sally Hawkins) who works in a high security government laboratory. Her life is changed forever when she discovers a secret experiment and becomes smitten with a scaly underwater beast.
The film is a romantic comedy, a spy thriller and a monster movie all rolled into one.
“One of the most delightful films of the Year” (BBC.com)
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Vicky Krieps, Lesley Manville
This beautiful and intriguing film is set in post-war London in the insular world of haut couture. Fastidious and cantankerous dress designer Reynolds Wookcock and his sister Cyril are at the centre of British fashion, dressing royalty, film stars and heiresses with their distinctive glamourous style.
Women come and go through Woodcock’s life until he comes across Alma, a strong-willed young woman who becomes a fixture in his life as muse and lover and his carefully tailored life becomes disrupted by love.
“There is pure delicious pleasure in this film” (Peter Bradshaw - Guardian)
Director: Joe Wright
Cast: Gary Oldman, Lily James, Kristin Scott Thomas
The film tells the dramatic and inspiring story of 4 weeks in 1940 during which Churchill’s courage changed the course of history.
During the early days of WWII with the fall of France imminent Britain faces its darkest hour as the threat of invasion looms. As the seemingly unstoppable Nazi forces advance and with the allied army cornered on the Dunkirk beaches the fate of Western Europe hangs on the leadership of the newly appointed British prime minister.
Gary Oldham’s electrifying performance as Churchill won best performance at this year’s Oscars.
“Exciting and beguiling” (Peter Bradshaw - Guardian)
Director: Sebastián Lelio
Cast: Daniela Vega, Francisco Reyes, Luis Gnecco
In a Santiago nightclub, Orlando, the kindly and well-off owner of a textile company, locks eyes with Marina, a hopeful singer, half-his-age and the love of his life. Following Marina's birthday celebration, Orlando falls gravely ill and dies. In the wake of her companion's untimely death, Marina soon realises that, from now on, everything is brought into question: her involvement in Orlando's death, their unconventional relationship; and above all, her right to mourn her beloved.
Winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Film 2017
“This is a brilliant film, moving and humane” (Peter Bradshaw - Guardian)
Director: Armando Iannucci
Cast: Steve Buscemi, Simon Russell Beale, Jeffrey Tambor
The one-liners fly as fast as political fortunes fall in this uproarious and wickedly irreverent satire.
When the tyrant Joseph Stalin drops dead in Moscow in 1953 his parasitic cronies engage in a frantic power struggle to be the next Soviet leader as they bumble, brawl and backstab their way to the top.
Combining palace intrigue with rapid fire farce this audacious comedy is a bitingly funny takedown of bureaucratic dysfunction performed to the hilt by a sparkling ensemble cast.
“Superbly cast and acted with icy ruthless force” (Peter Bradshaw – Guardian)
Director: EXHIBITION ON SCREEN
Cast: EXHIBITION ON SCREEN
EXHIBITION ON SCREEN journeys from the streets of Paris to the heart of a superb exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, whose extensive collection of Degas’ works is the most representative in Britain. With exclusive access to view rare and diverse works, this film tells a fascinating story of Degas’ pursuit for perfection through both experimentation with new techniques and lessons learnt from studying the past masters.
Sometimes frustrated by his own failings, Degas was consumed by obsessive principles and failing eye sight but his determination to capture everyday life was evident in every mark he made. Never fully satisfied, many of Degas’ drawings and sculptures were kept in private during his lifetime but, now through close examination, they can be seen as some of the most beautifully detailed and expressive works in the modern era. Using written accounts by friends and commentators, and the narration of letters written by Degas himself, this film reveals a more complex truth behind one of the most influential French artists of the late 19th-century and serves as an exploration of the complex workings of Degas’ artistic mind.
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson
Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks shine in this thrilling drama about the unlikely partnership between the Washington Post’s Katharine Graham, the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, and editor, Ben Bradlee.
They race to catch up with the New York Times to expose a massive government cover-up of secrets relating to the Vietnam war that spanned three decades and four US presidents.
They must overcome their differences as they risk their careers and their very freedom to bring long buried truths to light.
“A stirring drama of principle” (Peter Bradshaw – Guardian)
Director: Mike Newell
Cast: Jessica Brown Findlay, Tom Courtenay, Michiel Huisman
In post-war London a charismatic and free-spirited young woman (Juliet) receives a letter from a member of a mysterious literary club founded in Nazi-occupied Guernsey. She visits the island where she meets the delightfully eccentric members of the society, including the rugged and intriguing farmer who wrote the letter. As the secrets of their war time experience unfold Juliet gradually develops an attachment to the island and the book club, (and of course the farmer), which changes the course of her life forever.
“An irresistible romantic mystery” (Telegraph)
Pablo Picasso is one of the greatest artists of all time – and right up until his death in 1973 he was the most prolific of artists. Many films have dealt with these later years – the art, the affairs and the wide circle of friends. But where did this all begin? What made Picasso in the first place? Three cities play a key role: Malaga, Barcelona and Paris. “Young Picasso” visits each and explores their influence on Picasso, focusing on specific artworks from these early years.
This film thus explains how this young artist acquired his craft. Looking carefully at two key early periods – the so-called Blue Period and Rose Period – the film takes us all the way to 1907 and the creation of a critical painting in the history of art – Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. It was a painting that shocked the art world but changed it irrevocably. Picasso was only 25 years old. Working closely with all three Picasso Museums in Malaga, Barcelona and Paris this film explains how he rose to greatness.
Director: Debra Granik
Cast: Thomasin McKenzie, Ben Foster, Jeffery Rifflard
A traumatised Vietnam war veteran and his teenage daughter have been living “off grid” for several years in the wilderness of America’s Pacific North West. They are eventually discovered and forced by social services to re-enter the modern world, which the father finds intolerable. They set off again on a harrowing journey back to their wild forest homeland, but all the while the daughter is growing and maturing and beginning to question her father’s decisions.
The acting from both the leads is wonderful.
“A flawless deeply affecting film ( 5 stars)” (Mark Kermode – The Guardian)
Director: Pawel Pawlikowski
Cast: Joanna Kulig, Tomasz Kot, Borys Szyc
Beautifully shot in black and white, Cold War is the intimate and passionate love story of two people who meet in the ruins of post war Poland. They are from very different backgrounds, mismatched in many ways, but somehow destined to be together. Set in the shadow of the iron curtain in 1950’s Poland, Berlin, Yugoslavia and Paris it is the tale of two star-crossed lovers separated by politics, twists of fate and their own character flaws. An impossible love story in impossible times.
“It left me speechless (5 stars)” (Mark Kermode – The Guardian)
Director: Richard Eyre
Cast: Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, Ben Chaplin
Emma Thompson plays the part of an eminent High Court Judge in London presiding over ethically complex cases of family law with wisdom and compassion. At a moment of personal crisis, when her marriage is falling apart, she is asked to rule on the case of Adam, a brilliant 17-year-old boy who is refusing a life-saving blood transfusion because of his religious beliefs. She visits the boy in hospital and their meeting has a profound emotional effect on them both.
“Emma Thompson gives a wonderful performance” (Matthew Bond - Daily Mail)
Director: Jocelyn Moorhouse
Cast: Kate Winslet, Judy Davis, Liam Hemsworth
This film tells the story of the beautiful and talented Tilly Dunnage (Kate Winslet). After years working as a dressmaker in Parisian fashion houses Tilly returns home to a small dusty town in the Australian outback and to a community that banished her as a child. She comes for revenge and to try and make peace with her eccentric and cantankerous mother.
Armed with nothing but her sewing machine and haute couture style Tilly transforms the women of the town, exacting sweet revenge on those who did her wrong.
“Delightful in its nuttiness” (Roger Ebert)
Director: Bryan Singer
Cast: Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee
This is a foot-stomping celebration of the band QUEEN and their extraordinary lead singer, Freddy Mercury who became one of the most beloved entertainers in the world.
The film traces the meteoric rise of the band and their near implosion when Mercury’s life style spirals out of control. It recreates their triumphant reunion for Live Aid when Mercury knew he had AIDS.
Despite lukewarm reviews from the critics the film has been fantastically popular with the public becoming one the highest grossing films ever.
“It delivers moments of shameless air-punching joy” (Alex Needham - Guardian)
Director: Wash Westmoreland
Cast: Keira Knightley, Fiona Shaw, Dominic West
After marrying a successful Parisian writer, twice her age (Dominic West) the young Colette (Keira Knightly) is persuaded to ghost-write stories that he claims credit for. They are semi-autobiographical novels about a young girl from the country called Claudine and become best sellers. Colette and her controlling husband are the toast of Paris as the books become ever more popular.
Eventually Colette insists that her authorship is recognised and she begins to break away from the cultural and sexual constraints of the time, insisting on self-expression and independence.
“A gritty, glamorous biopic” (Mark Kermode)
Director: Marielle Heller
Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant, Dolly Wells
Melissa McCarthy stars as Lee Israel a one- time best selling celebrity biographer who made her living in the 1970’s and 80’s profiling such people as Katharine Hepburn and Estee Lauder.
When her work failed to keep up with changing trends and she was unable to get published she turned her hand to deception, in order to make a living. Aided and abetted by her eccentric friend Jack (a gleeful turn from Richard E Grant) she forged celebrity letters, which together they sold to collectors.
“A brilliant performance from McCarthy” (Peter Bradshaw)
Director: Jon S. Baird
Cast: Steve Coogan, John C. Reilly, Shirley Henderson
This charming film pays tribute to a pair of beloved entertainers with an affectionate look behind the scenes. It movingly addresses the burdens and blessings of a creative partnership and the friendship between the two is marvellously recreated.
Steve Coogan (Stan Laurel) and John C. Riley (Oliver Hardy) are perfect in their roles and both have won a number of awards for their brilliant performances.
Shirley Henderson and Nina Arianda as the wives are also excellent and often very funny.
“What a lovely generous tonic this delightful movie proves to be” (Mark Kermode – Observer)
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench and Ian McKellen
The year is 1613 and William Shakespeare is acknowledged as the greatest playwright of the age. But, disaster strikes when his renowned Globe Theatre in London burns to the ground. A devastated Shakespeare returns to his home in Stratford-upon-Avon to face his neglected family. He is haunted by the untimely death of his only son, Hamnet, and struggles to mend the broken relationships with his wife and daughters. In doing so he is forced to examine his own failings as a husband and a father.
“Impressively cast and beautifully filmed” (Rotten Tomatoes)