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A zealous live-wire performance from Vincent Cassel drives this stirring film about a shelter that accepts autistic children rejected by the French system.
Directors and screenwriters Éric Toledano and Olivier Nakache follow their huge hits, C’est la vie and Untouchable (about the friendship between a paraplegic and his carer), with ’The Specials’, about a Jewish man, Bruno (Vincent Cassel) and a Muslim, Malik (Reda Kateb), working together to help children with severe autism who have been rejected by other institutions because they are too diﬃcult to care for. Featuring autistic actors in several roles, this is an inherently difficult subject yet the directors tell a touching and powerful story that deftly blends tragedy and comedy as few filmmakers today can. (Subtitles)
France 2019 Olivier Nakache, Éric Toledano 114m
A beautifully sparse character study amid Egypt’s ancient glory starring Andrea Riseborough.
Riseborough is Hana, a surgeon recuperating in a plush Luxor hotel after the horrors of the Syrian war working for an aid organization. She explores the town where she lived 20 years before while contemplating another hazardous assignment in Yemen. Then she runs into Sultan an old flame (Karim Saleh), an archaeologist working on a dig nearby.
This a forensically paced film with Riseborough’s nuanced performance outlining Hana’s low-key midlife crisis. It is a study of middle-aged wistfulness and the sacrifices people make to lead unconventional lives. Luxor looks magnificent bathed in the dry desert heat. The town becomes the third character in this beautifully filmed production.
UK 2020 Zeina Durra 85m
In 1969, seven people were charged by the federal government with conspiracy and more, arising from the protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin has clearly caught the directing bug following his entertaining debut with ‘Molly’s Game’. Sorkin’s film tackles the trial of seven activists accused of inciting riots during the 1968 riots at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. These events were documented in 1969’s ‘Medium Cool’. Sorkin, however, places emphasis on the aftermath and has recruited an ensemble cast including. Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Mark Rylance, Michael Keaton and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Sorkin’s knack for scintillating trial dialogue was first exhibited in ‘A Few Good Men’. Hope for more of the same.
USA Aaron Sorkin 129m
A warm and gentle drama about a couple brought together by their canine companions and their daily strolls.
Alison Steadman and Dave Johns from ‘I Daniel Blake’ star as Fern and Dave, regular walkers on Hampstead Heath. Dave, a retired psychiatric nurse, has a German Shepherd named Tillie. On the heath, Fern chastises Dave for having Tillie off the lead. Later they encounter each other again and exchange more friendly words as the two develop a friendship. Romance is in the air until we discover that Dave has been hiding a rather big secret. 23 Walks takes a refreshing and honest look at late-age romance and all the complications of divorce, opinionated older children, as well as the awkwardness in the bedroom department.
UK 2020 Paul Morrison 102m
We are delighted to bring you our first Exhibition Performance event since our re-opening in October. What better way to start than with the incomparable Mexican artist Frida Kahlo?
Who was Frida Kahlo? Everyone knows her, but who was the woman behind the bright colours, the big brows, and the floral crowns? Take a journey through the life of a true icon, discover her art, and uncover the truth behind her often turbulent life. Making use of the latest technology to deliver previously unimaginable quality, we take an in-depth look at key works throughout her career. Using letters Kahlo wrote to guide us, this definitive film reveals her deepest emotions and unlocks the secrets and symbolism contained within her art. Exhibition on Screen’s trademark combination of interviews, commentary and a detailed exploration of her art delivers a treasure trove of colour and a feast of vibrancy. This personal and intimate film offers privileged access to her works, and highlights the source of her feverish creativity, her resilience, and her unmatched lust for life, politics, men and women. Delving deeper than any film has done before, engaging with world-renowned Kahlo experts, exploring how great an artist she was, discover the real Frida Kahlo.
UK 2019 Ali Ray 90m
A spectacular production of Verdi's epic production from the amazing setting of Sydney Harbour.
In 'Aida', Verdi masterfully pits the intimate affairs of the heart against the grandeur of the universe: where kingdoms rise and fall and the sands of time grind onwards. There could be no grander setting for such an opera than Sydney Harbour itself, awash with the light of the city and the Sydney Opera House silhouetted against the setting sun.
Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour has become a huge part of the cultural landscape, combining all of the things Sydney does best: world-class opera, champagne and fine dining, sunsets and spectacle on the harbour's edge. It's a monumental undertaking, with a team of more than 700 people involved in the project before a single note is heard over the harbour.
'Aida' is the biggest opera they've ever performed on the opera stage. It is at once an historic epic and an utterly relatable human tragedy. It will make for an interesting comparison with the equally amazing La Scala production we are presenting in November. Performed in Italian with English translations. Director - Gale Edwards; Cast: Latonia Moore, Roberto Aronica. Running time 145m including interval.
Tickets £17.50 (Friends/Students £15)
Elizabeth Moss is fast becoming one of the finest actresses of her generation and with’ Shirley’ she nails another portrayal – this time of horror writer Shirley Jackson
Unpredictable and captivating, ‘Shirley’ is an unconventional biopic focusing on an imagined period when Jackson and her husband take in a younger couple, Rose and Fred. Initially Shirley is displeased by their presence but soon becomes fascinated with Rose, recognising a shared affinity for the macabre. There are echoes here of ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ as the older couple tear into each other. Shirley and her husband Stanley are like George and Martha on steroids gleefully wreaking havoc with the young couple’s lives. This is a bold film brimming with volatility. As an insight into the artistic inner life it is unflinching and riveting.
US 2020 Josephine Decker 107m
When the country when in to lockdown in March, Uncle Vanya was in the final weeks of a sold-out run and had received numerous Olivier nominations including the Best Actor Award for Toby Jones and Best Director Award for Ian Rickson. It will be the first UK theatre production which was closed by the Coronavirus pandemic to have been filmed and produced for the screen, a huge achievement.
The filmed version, produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, will reunite nearly all of the original cast from the West End run with Toby Jones (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Detectorists) starring alongside Richard Armitage (The Hobbit, The Stranger), Rosalind Eleazar (The Personal History of David Copperfield) and Roger Allam (Endeavour, The Thick of It). This ‘sumptuous reimagining’ of Chekhov’s classic has an even greater resonance following the country’s lockdown, where a conflicted family are forced to confront their despair, and each other, while living on an isolated estate. The filmed version of the play will include the special moment when the cast reunite at the theatre for the filming, the first time since lockdown in mid-March. Running time 155mins approx with 1 interval
Nine translators, hired to translate the eagerly awaited final book of a bestselling trilogy, are confined in a luxurious bunker. Things turn nasty when pages appear online.
The Daedalus trilogy is coming to its conclusion. A global publishing sensation (think Dragon Tattoo territory here), its publisher Eric has hired a crack team of translators in order to get the book out simultaneously in territories around the world. The first ten pages are leaked on the internet with more to come if a hefty ransom is not paid. Cue accusations, violence and gunfire as the eggheads turn on each other. ‘The Translators’ is pure guilty pleasure – tense hair-raising stuff that offers visceral thrills and the good sense to keep its best revelation to the end. (Subtitles)
France 2019 Régis Roinsard 105m
How do you remake an Oscar-winning Hitchcock mystery without sullying the memory of the classic original? The answer is give the job to Ben Wheatley, unconventional director of ‘Kill List’, ‘Sightseers’ and ‘High Rise’.
‘Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.’ Wheatley is a risk taker, and his Rebecca is sure to have a sprinkle of his signature psychedelic touches. A young newlywed arrives at her husband's imposing family estate on a windswept English coast and finds herself battling the shadow of his first wife, Rebecca, whose legacy lives on in the house long after her death. Armie Hammer and Lily James are the lovers. Kristin Scott Thomas is the dead-eyed Mrs Danvers. Wheatley has stated that ‘Rebecca’ is fundamentally a love story – but it is also a love story inside a gothic ghost story.
UK 2020 Ben Wheatley 121m
An atmospheric, coming-of-age love story steeped in eerie mystery and inspired by the gothic novel of the same name.
15-year-old Lara (Hannah Rae) lives with her father and her strict governess, Miss Fontaine (Jessica Raine), in total isolation and is struggling to ﬁnd an outlet for her curiosity and burgeoning sexuality. When a carriage crash nearby brings a young girl into the family home to recuperate, Lara is enchanted by the eponymous Carmilla (Devrim Lingnau). The pair strike up a passionate relationship, which strikes fear into the heart of Miss Fontaine and a complex emotional triangulate emerges between the three women. Local rumours of an evil supernatural presence fuel Miss Fontaine's concern for Lara's well-being and with the exhortation of the family doctor, Fontaine seeks to put an end to the relationship for good.
UK 2019 Emily Harris 94m
We are delighted to present the re-release of this powerful and unique stage play filmed live from London’s West End in 2014.
Based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo and adapted by
Nick Stafford, ‘War Horse’ has delighted millions of people around
the world on stage since it was first performed at the National Theatre in 2007. This will be the first time since its original broadcast in 2014 that ‘War Horse’ can be viewed on
cinema screens. Telling the story of young Albert and his beloved horse Joey who, at the outbreak of World War One, is sold to the Cavalry and shipped to France. Though still not old enough to enlist, Albert embarks on a treacherous mission to find him and bring him home. This powerfully moving and imaginative drama is a show of
phenomenal inventiveness. At its heart are astonishing life-size puppets by South
Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, who bring breathing, galloping, charging
horses to thrilling life on stage. The winner of more than 25 international awards, including the Tony Award for Best Play on Broadway, ‘War Horse’, which has been seen by eight million people worldwide, is directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris. Filmed in front of a live audience in 2014.
165m approx including interval.
The Royal Ballet's glorious production, created by Peter Wright in 1984, is the production par excellence of an all-time ballet favourite. It is Christmas Eve and Drosselmeyer the magician sweeps young Clara away on a fantasy adventure in which time is suspended, the family living room becomes a great battlefield, and a magical journey takes them through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets.
Tchaikovsky's glittering score, the gorgeous festive stage designs and The Royal Ballet's captivating dancing - including an exquisite pas de deux between the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Prince - make this Nutcracker the quintessential Christmas experience. 135m approx inc. interval.
Choreography - Peter Wright; After - Lev Ivanov; Music - Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky; Conductor - Boris Gruzin.
Tickets £17.50 (Friends/Students £15; Children £10)
Masterful Japanese writer-director Hirokazu Kore-eda (‘Shoplifters’) teams up with two French acting legends, and revisits familiar themes with a typically sensitive touch.
Fabienne (Catherine Deneuve) is an aging French movie star who remains a venerable force to be reckoned with. Upon the publication of her memoirs, her daughter Lumir (Juliette Binoche) returns to Paris from New York with her husband (Ethan Hawke) and daughter to commemorate its release. A sharp and funny battle of wits ensues between the mother-daughter duo, as Lumir takes issue with Fabienne's rose-coloured version of the past. Reflected cleverly by Fabienne's latest role in a sci-fi drama, their strained relationship takes a poignant journey toward possible reconciliation. Charming, bold, and imbued with endless emotional insight, ‘The Truth’ offers a relatable look at human relationships, featuring exquisite performances from its all-star cast. Kore-eda transforms the magisterial persona that Deneuve frequently supplies to other directors into something more complex, tragic and yet defiant. (Subtitles)
France/Japan 2019 Hirokazu Kore-eda 106m
A daughter, mother and grandmother are haunted by a manifestation of dementia that consumes their family's home.
When workaholic Kay (Emily Mortimer) gets a call from the police that her elderly mother has been missing for a couple of days, she and her daughter Sam (Bella Heathcote) take a road trip to investigate. Edna is indeed absent but there are signs in the creepy house that things are amiss. No one listens to her on her return, something is not right in the house but putting Edna in a home is the main subject of conversation. This is eerie, slow burn stuff with things said and unsaid seething through the interactions between these three generations of women. ‘Relic’ is intelligent, articulate storytelling. The mounting sense of dread gets under your skin and stays there.
US 2020 Natalie Erika James 89m
Our closing film in this year's French Film Festival UK. De Gaulle has rarely been fictionalised, popping up briefly in ‘Day of the Jackal’ and ‘Army of Shadows’. About time for a look at the pivotal point of his career.
May 1940. France is facing a disastrous military situation against the German army. Charles de Gaulle, newly appointed general, joins the Government in Paris while Yvonne, his wife, and their three children remain in the east. Faced with the defeatist attitude of Pétain who wants to negotiate with Hitler, de Gaulle has one intention only: to continue fighting. Alongside thousands of French families, Yvonne and the children are soon forced to flee the advancing German troops. Without contact with each another, the doubt arises: will the de Gaulle family be sacrificed for the sake of France? (Subtitles)
France 2020 Gabriel Le Bomin 108m
Non-professional actors, amazing location shooting in post-war Rome and populated with working-class characters. If this is your introduction to Italian Neorealism, you couldn’t begin in a better place. Antonio is offered a job pasting bills but the role requires a bicycle. His wife pawns some possessions and Antonio has his bike which is promptly stolen. Antonio embarks on a quest to reclaim it accompanied by Bruno his young son. De Sica carefully balances a generally tragic sensibility with a quiet undercurrent of hope, all the while sucking us into the story with the sheer urgency of the search for the stolen bicycle. Watch it again or see it for the first time, you are watching one of the all-time greats. (Subtitles)
Italy 1948 Vittorio de Sica 89m
'A Street Cat Named Bob' surprised many with its touching story of a homeless musician and his feline companion. The sequel promises more tugging at Yuletide heartstrings.
James looks back at the last Christmas he and Bob spent scraping a living on the streets and how Bob helped him through one of his toughest times – providing strength, friendship and inspiration. James faces the ultimate setback of having Bob taken from him by the authorities who believe Bob is being mistreated. Ultimately they end up teaching each other about the true meaning of Christmas spirit along the way. This is unashamedly feelgood fun. London looks like a winter wonderland, while Bob the cat steals every scene he stars in. This sort of film can put our horrible year in perspective and light up your Christmas Eve.
UK 2020 Charles Martin Smith
Another casualty from our Awards Season that was cut short in March. This is a film that has been much requested wince then – so here is a gift from New Park to you.
Adapted from the beloved literary classic, this film vividly brings to the screen the story of Buck, a big-hearted dog whose blissful domestic life is turned upside down when he is suddenly uprooted from his California home and transplanted to the exotic wilds of the Alaskan Yukon during the Gold Rush of the 1890s. As the newest rookie on a mail delivery dog sled team and later its leader – Buck experiences the adventure of a lifetime, ultimately finding his true place in the world and becoming his own master.
USA 2020 Chris Sanders 100m
Phoebe Waller-Bridge returns to the stage to perform her show that inspired the hit TV series.
See the hilarious, award-winning, one-woman show that inspired the BBC’s hit TV series Fleabag, broadcast live to cinemas from London’s West End.
Written and performed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge and directed by Vicky Jones, Fleabag is a rip-roaring look at some sort of woman living her sort of life.
Fleabag may seem oversexed, emotionally unfiltered and self-obsessed, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. With family and friendships under strain and a guinea pig café struggling to keep afloat, Fleabag suddenly finds herself with nothing to lose. Playing to sold-out audiences in New York and London, don’t miss your chance to see this ‘legitimately hilarious show’ (New Yorker), broadcast live. 105m.- No interval
Tickets £17.50 (Friends/Students £15)
This radical new take on the classic Christmas tale follows a Victorian family as they prepare a toy theatre for their annual performance of “A Christmas Carol.”
This animated version seeks both to exhume the original story's gritty commentary on social inequality and the corrupting influence of greed, and to breathe new life into the lyricism of the original text by setting its scenes to extraordinary tableaux of modern dance. A Victorian family prepare a toy theatre for their annual performance of ‘A Christmas Carol’ when the audience enters the imagination of one of the children as the cardboard stage transforms into a magical world. The familiar characters are voiced by Carey Mulligan, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Simon Russell Beale and Andy Serkis. The magnificent choreography is courtesy of Russell Maliphant.
UK 2020 Jacqui Morris 96m
In 1971, journalist Linda Kuehl set out to write the definitive biography of Billie Holiday. The book was never finished and the 200 hours of extraordinary interviews remained unheard until now.
Billie Holiday’s remarkable career was cut short in 1959 aged 44 with 77 cents in her bank account. Interviews with friends and family, insight from Tony Bennett and even an arresting officer from one of her notorious drug busts provide unprecedented appraisal of the legendary jazz singer. Testimony from a chuckling pimp who pressed her into prostitution at the age of 16 is particularly troubling. Holiday died of cirrhosis having been arrested in her hospital bed just a month earlier. A fascinating documentary about a troubled genius.
USA 2019 James Erskine 96m
A festive tradition for the whole family, the timeless classic The Nutcracker is broadcast live from the Bolshoi stage for two hours of enchantment and magic on 23 December 2018.
On Christmas Eve, Marie’s Nutcracker doll magically transforms into a prince taking them both on a wonderful adventure. Along with Tchaikovsky’s cherished score, Yuri Grigorovich’s choreography, the Bolshoi’s Principals, Soloists and the accomplished Bolshoi corps de ballet this promises to be the perfect pre-Christmas treat for the whole family. Taking audiences of all ages on a magical journey through a world of enchantment complete with dancing snowflakes and dolls that have come to life, accompanied by Tchaikovsky’s beloved score. Once again audiences have the opportunity of also seeing or choosing the Royal Ballet’s production earlier on 9th December. 140m approx including interval.
Tickets £17.50 (Friends/Students £15; Children £10)
ODE TO JOY
Classical Concert with the Vienna Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra.
Before the end of Beethoven’s 250th Anniversary Year celebration we present a live recording (2010) of his greatest and most enduring masterpiece.
Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, performed by the Vienna Philharmoniker, conducted by Christian Thielemann, one of the most recognised conductors of our time, leading the legendary Vienna Philharmonic orchestra. With Annette Dasch, Mihoko Fujimura, Piotr Beczala and George Zeppenfeld.
There is perhaps no other musical ensemble more consistently and closely associated with the history and tradition of European classical music than the Vienna Philharmonic. In the course of its over 170 year history, the musicians of this most prominent orchestra of the capital city of music have been an integral part of a musical epoch which, due to an abundance of uniquely gifted composers and interpreters, is widely regarded as unique.
80m no interval
An enchanting and timeless adventure celebrating friendship, nature and the limitless power of childhood imagination, where an orphaned girl discovers a magical garden hidden at her strict uncle's estate in Yorkshire.
‘The Secret Garden’ tells the story of Mary Lennox (Dixie Egerickx), a prickly and unloved 10-year-old girl, born in India to wealthy British parents. When she is sent back to England to live with her uncle, Archibald Craven (Colin Firth) at Misselthwaite Manor, under the watchful eye of Mrs. Medlock (Julie Walters) Mary dreams of company. She begins to uncover many family secrets, particularly after meeting her sickly cousin Colin (Edan Hayhurst), and through her discovery of a wondrous garden, locked away and lost within the grounds of Misselthwaite Manor. While searching for Hector, the stray dog who had led Mary to the garden walls, she befriends local boy Dickon (Amir Wilson). Together, these three damaged, slightly misfit children heal each other as they delve deeper into the mysteries of the garden – a magical place of adventure that will change their lives forever. From the producer of ‘Paddington’ and ‘Harry Potter’ comes a visionary adaptation of one of the world’s most enduring children’s stories.
UK/France 2020 Mark Munden
Om Det Oändliga
Lost souls and lonely hearts populate Roy Andersson’s deliciously odd follow-up to ‘A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence’.
Roy Andersson delivers a sad, sweet film spliced with devilish wit. The director revels in the humdrum in this series of vignettes that focus on ordinary people in ordinary situations. A priest suffers a loss of faith, an old waiter distractedly pours wine on a table, a man lashes out at his wife in the market. Love, life and death and the banalities of each are exposed. If you haven’t seen a Roy Andersson film then prepare yourself for a unique cinematic experience.
Sweden 2019 Roy Andersson 78m
Live Opera Broadcast from Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, sung in Italian with English subtitles.
Verdi’s 'La Traviata' is famous for its complex and sympathetic portrayal of tragic heroine Violetta, a Parisian courtesan who recounts her life through a series of memories on her deathbed. It is a celebration of life itself, but in a society obsessed with class, qualities such as generosity, compassion and self-sacrifice are frowned upon. As a product of this society, Alfredo, the passionate, spellbound lover is torn between his love for Violetta and conformity to stifling social mores. Despite its period setting, David McVicar’s enduring production of 'La Traviata' invites a new reading of the plot, exploring the psychology and innermost feelings of the characters in intimate moments. These scenes are contrasted with decadent turn-of-the-century set pieces in Verdi’s tragedy of a noble love sacrificed on the altar of bourgeois morality.
170m approx including 2 intervals
Tickets £17.50 (Friends/Students £15)
A crackerjack performance from Isabelle Huppert with one of her most relatable characters - a police translator turned drug dealer.
A French-Arabic police translator specialises in phone tapping for the anti-narcotics unit. One day, while listening to wanted drug dealers, she discovers one of them is the son of the fantastic woman who takes care of her mother. She decides to protect him and is brought into the middle of a drug network. When she gets her hands on a huge load of hash, with the help of her new partner, the former police dog called DNA, she seizes the opportunity and becomes “Mama Weed”, drug wholesaler. (Subtitles)
France 2020 Jean-Paul Salomé 104m
Celebrate the conclusion to 2020 with the Berliner Philharmoniker’s glittering New Year’s Eve Concert broadcast live from the Berliner Philharmonie.
This fantastic event will bring the diversity of Spanish music to life. The virtuoso guitarist Pablo Sáinz-Villegas will play Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, and Chief Conductor Kirill Petrenko will lead his orchestra into the New Year with a programme full of atmosphere consisting of familiar favourites and rediscoveries.
Kirill Petrenko Conductor
Pablo Sáinz-Villegas Guitar
Berliner Philharmoniker Orchestra
Opening Programme Introduction (approx. 30 mins)
Manuel de Falla El amor brujo: Introduction and “Ritual Fire Dance”
Joaquín Rodrigo Concierto de Aranjuez for guitar and orchestra
Mozart Camargo Guarnieri 3 Dances for Orchestra: Dansa Brasileira
Heitor Villa-Lobos Bachianas Brasileiras No. 4
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov Capriccio on Spanish Themes, op. 34
120m - No Onterval
Tickets £15.00 (Friends/Students £12.50)
Hollywood auteur David Fincher’s take on screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz's tumultuous development of Orson Welles' iconic masterpiece ‘Citizen Kane.’
Fincher’s first film since 2014’s ‘Gone Girl’. There is serious Oscar buzz surrounding ‘Mank’ in which 1930s Hollywood is re-evaluated through the eyes of scathing social critic and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he races to finish the screenplay of 'Citizen Kane' for Orson Welles. Gary Oldman plays Mank, while Tom Burke is totally convincing as Welles. Charles Dance is William Randolph Hearst, the barely concealed subject of ‘Kane’ and Amanda Seyfried is Hearst’s girlfriend memorably lampooned in Welles’s film. Aaron Sorkin has pronounced the film as ‘freaky good’, which has to be worth something from the writer of ‘The Social Network’.
USA 2020 David Fincher 131m
Gerard Depardieu stars in this damning portrait of ordinary racism and its deep roots in French history.
In 1960 Bernard, Rabut, Février and many others were called up to ﬁght in the Algerian War. Two years later , they returned to France. They said nothing and got on with their lives. But forty years on, it takes only very little – a birthday party, a gift found in someone’s pocket for the past to overwhelm those who have denied it for so long. Adapted from the eponymous novel by Laurent Mauvignier. Part of the oﬃcial selection, Cannes Film Festival 2020 and selected as one of the ten Cannes 2020ﬁlms screened at the 2020 Deauville American Film Festival. (Subtitles)
France/Belgium 2020 Lucas Belvaux 101m
The movie version of August Wilson’s story of the blues is a ferocious opera of passion and pain.
Chadwick Boseman gives a glorious performance in his final film role. He plays Levee, a horn player in Ma Rainey’s band. Viola Davis is Ma Rainey, the legendary blues singer who is due to record an album. Levee has ambitions of his own as well as plans to make the lead track a crossover hit. Davis and Boseman are the immoveable object and irresistible force in human form in this contest of wills. The music is of course tremendous while the snappy dialogue explores themes of race, class and sex. ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ will endure not just because it is Boseman’s last performance but also of just how damn good he is in it.
USA 2020 George C Wolfe 94m
Broadcast live from The Old Vic in London, Academy Award-winner Sally Field ('Steel Magnolias', 'Brothers & Sisters') and Bill Pullman ('The Sinner', 'Independence Day') star in Arthur Miller’s blistering drama 'All My Sons'.
America, 1947. Despite hard choices and even harder knocks, Joe and Kate Keller are a success story. They have built a home, raised two sons and established a thriving business. But nothing lasts forever and their contented lives, already shadowed by the loss of their eldest boy to war, are about to shatter. With the return of a figure from the past, long-buried truths are forced to the surface and the price of their American dream is laid bare. Jeremy Herrin (NT Live: This House) directs the cast, which also includes Jenna Coleman (Victoria), and Colin Morgan (Merlin) alongside Bessie Carter, Oliver Johnstone, Kayla Meikle and Sule Rimi.
165m approx including interval.
Tickets £17.50 (Friends/Students £15)
Tue 14 May 19:00 (Live)
The story charts the life of Charles Foste Kane based on the life of media baron William Randolph Hearst. Told in flashbacks, a reporter attempts to decipher Kane’s dying word, Rosebud. Interviews with friends reveal fragments of Kane’s life from boyhood to emerging newspaper magnate and ultimately a lonely old man dying in his cavernous home. ‘Citizen Kane’ is noted for its story structure, visual trickery and cinematographic innovation. But what is often overlooked is Welles’s performance as Kane. Welles is magnificent. He demands your complete attention at every swaggering moment he is on screen. Truly worth multiple viewings, ‘Citizen Kane’ is ‘a terrible tragedy of ownership and egotism - a narcissistic drowning.’ (The Guardian)
USA 1941 Orson Welles 119m
This brilliant coming-of age-film shows a young girl’s abrupt conversion from teenage innocence to adulthood and responsibility. Authentic and honest, Rocks received a 5-star review from Empire The Guardian and The Telegraph.
Set amongst the concrete council houses of a vibrant Hackney, a young teenage girl finds herself struggling to take care of herself and her younger brother after being abandoned by their single mother. Determined not to be taken into care, the titular 'Rocks' attempts to fend for herself. The film could easily have taken a turn for the miserable but instead director Sarah Gavron delivers a surprising portrait of resilience that avoids all the usual tropes of poverty porn. This is the must-see British film of 2020. ‘A wonderful, heart-breaking, life-affirming gem of a movie’ - Mark Kermode.
UK 2019 Sarah Gavron 93m
From Francois Ozon the director of ‘Potiche’ and ‘Frantz’. A coming-of-age story of two teenage boys who fall in love at the coast during the hot cruel summer of 1985.
Not since the summer of 2003, when François Ozon unveiled the noirish erotic sizzler “Swimming Pool” at the Cannes Film Festival, has the French director seduced audiences quite as brazenly as he does in ‘Summer of 85’. In the opening scene Alex is being arrested for the murder of his friend David — at least that’s what Ozon wants us to think. Via voiceover Alex transports us back to 1985 and the burgeoning love affair between the pair that crackles and spits with passionate energy. It’s an effervescent account of two souls who found one another for a single season, and how that shaped a young man’s sexual identity going forward. (Subtitles)
France/Belgium 2020 Francois Ozon 101m
'Cyrano de Bergerac' gets the 'Shakespeare in Love' treatment in this entertaining and unashamedly entertaining backstage farce.
Alexis Michalik’s period-set biopic reveals the drama behind the playwright’s most famous work Cyrano de Bergerac. We meet Edmond Rostand (Thomas Solivérès) during the explosion of artistic production that marked the Belle Époque in late 19th-century France. Despite being a clearly gifted writer, his career has yet to take off, and his bruised ego makes it difficult for him to find further inspiration. But, with the support of the legendary Sarah Bernhardt (Clémentine Célarié), stage legend Constant Coquelin (Olivier Gourmet) approaches Edmond and demands to star in his next play. With only three weeks to write it and only the title – Cyrano de Bergerac – to work with, can he accomplish the impossible? (Subtitles)
France 2018 Alexis Michalik 112m
Gemma Arterton gives a knockout performance as a crotchety loner who takes in a child evacuee. Director Jessica’s uplifting debut film.
Gemma Arterton is Alice a reclusive writer living on the south coast who is regarded with suspicion by the village. One morning she finds herself burdened with a young London evacuee, Frank. Her initial hostility turns to grudging affection for the boy against the background of the war and the antipathy of the village. Haunted by memories of a painful break-up Alice begins to discover a shared history with Frank. Filmed in Kent and Sussex, ‘Summerland’ delivers nostalgia, humour and melancholy while never straying into the sentimental. Arterton and young Lucas Bond are a triumph as the odd couple while Tom Courtney, Penelope Wilton and the coastal landscape co-star.
UK 2020 Jessica Swale 99m
Viggo Mortensen stars, writes and directs this beautifully controlled drama about age, memory and forgiveness.
Lance Henrikson will forever be remembered as the benign android in ‘Aliens’ but in ‘Falling’ he gives the performance of his career. He plays Willis, cantankerous father of Mortensen’s John. Willis lives alone on an isolated farm where John grew up. Willis’s mind is declining so John brings him west to look after him. Needless to say, Willis is not impressed with LA as father and son struggle to tolerate each other. Inspired by Mortensen’s own experience of his parents and the time he spent looking after them. ‘Falling’ is enthralling, at times abrasive, often jumping back and forward in time. But it is Henrikson’s you will remember – truly a performance fashioned in darkness.
Canada 2020 Viggo Mortensen 112m
Director Matteo Garrone returns to the source material for this defiantly un-Disney adaptation of Carlo Collodi’s classic tale.
It’s easy to forget what a bizarre story ‘Pinocchio’ is; carved from an enchanted log, he’s a sentient wooden puppet who dreams of becoming a real boy. A frequent liar, this tendency causes his nose to grow. ‘Gomorra’ director Matteo Garrone has previously shown his diversity with the charming ‘Mid-August Lunch’ and here he reimagines the classic children’s tale while retaining the dark and nasty bits. There are another two versions on the way courtesy of Robert Zemeckis and Guillermo del Toro. However, neither will boast the presence of Roberto Benigni as the downtrodden Geppetto. Weird and wonderful.
Italy 2019 Matteo Garrone 125m
Salvatore returns to his hometown to attend the funeral of Alfredo the town’s projectionist and surrogate father to Salvatore. A piece of cinematic escapism that explores the very reasons we escape to the cinema.
Sentimental is too often used pejoratively. Cinema Paradiso is sentimental in that it conjures feelings of tenderness, sadness and nostalgia. And in the hands of director Giuseppe Tornatore these emotions are front and centre as Salvatore recalls his childhood and adolescence. Of course it looks gorgeous and has a wistful soundtrack by Ennio Morricone. But it’s the wonderful chemistry between Alfredo (Philippe Noiret) and the young Salvatore that tends to leave such an impression on all who see it. Bring tissues.
Italy 1988 Giuseppe Tornatore 124m
Costa Gavras’s twisty whodunnit is pure Agatha Christie with bundles of camera trickery and an ingenious final act.
This ﬁrst feature by Franco-Greek director Costa-Gavras was adapted from a novel by Sébastien Japrisot and is a humorous, visually punchy take on the murder mystery Six people share a sleeping compartment on a Paris-bound train. After they arrive, one of them is found strangled, and before long, the killer starts bumping off the remaining passengers. Yves Montand is superb as a harried police inspector coming down with the ﬂu, who doggedly follows up every lead. Red herrings abound and the twists and thrills are masterfully executed with a dream cast including the late, great Michel Piccoli who died earlier this year.
France 1965 Costa Gavras 135m
This early Puccini masterpiece makes a welcome return to Covent Garden after an absence of over 20 years, in a new production by Jonathan Kent under the baton of Music Director Antonio Pappano. The exciting Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais sings the title role. A consummate Puccini soprano, Opolais caused a sensation as Madama Butterfly in 2011, and with Manon Lescaut, the bold but impressionable heroine, we will see a very different side of her character. She is matched in star power by Jonas Kaufmann as her lover, Des Grieux, and Christopher Maltman as her cynical brother Lescaut. This is a much-anticipated new production, and Kent’s vision of a young girl who faces temptation in the big city will surely resonate with today’s audience.
Notre Dame is a crackling, offbeat comedy that follows Maud a frazzled architect as she attempts to fulfil her latest challenging project.
This light-hearted film follows an architect in disarray as she works on redesigning the cathedral which was granted unexpected relevance when the beloved Paris icon was devastated by fire in April 2018, just as the director was finalising the project. Valérie Donzelli directs and stars as Maud Crayon, a single mother and struggling architect who wins a competition to redesign the Notre Dame esplanade. What should be a career-defining opportunity, however, only brings more drama when the project becomes a media scandal. Juggling her professional challenges with the complications presented by her ex-fiancé, Bacchus (Pierre Deladonchamps), Maud’s quest to find a sense of balance is easier said than done. Notre Dame succeeds as both a love letter to Paris and to one of its most famous landmarks. (Subtitles)
France 2020 Valérie Donzelli 88m