106 mins. UK/India 2017. Dir: Gurinder Chadha
Queen Victoria’s great-grandson Lord Mountbatten assumed the responsibility of handing India back to its people. The story unfolds within the Viceroy’s House where Nehru, Jinnah and Gandhi wrangle over the birth of independent India. A decision was taken (consequences reverberate to this day) to divide the country.
117 mins. UK 2016. Dir: Lone Scherfig
This is London, during the Blitz, with the country’s morale at stake. Catrin, an untried screenwriter, and a makeshift cast and crew work under fire to make a film to lift the nation’s flagging spirits and inspire America to join the war. The resulting film warmed the hearts of the nation and captured the imagination of the American population.
113 mins. France/Germany 2016. Dir: Francois Ozon
Anna is a bereft young German woman whose fiance, Frantz, was killed in the trenches of WW1. Adrien, a French veteran makes a mysterious appearance in her town by placing flowers on Frantz’s grave. Adrien’s presence is met with resistance by the community, but Anna develops a friendship as she learns of his association with Frantz.
89 mins. UK 2017. Dir: William Oldroyd
Lady Macbeth is a British drama film based on the novel Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District by Nikolai Leskov. It was adapted for the opera by Shostakovich in 1934. It centres on Katherine stifled by her loveless marriage to a bitter man twice her age. A force is unleashed when she embarks on a passionate affair with a young worker.
100 mins. USA 2017. Dir: Lasse Hallstroem
A devoted dog discovers the meaning of its own existence through the lives of the humans it teaches to laugh and love. Reincarnated as multiple canines over five decades the lovable pooch develops an unbreakable bond with a kindred spirit named Ethan. Later Ethan is at a crossroad and the dog comes back to remind him of his true self.
118 mins. USA 2016. Dir: Mike Mills
In 1979 Santa Barbara, California, lives Dorothea Fields, a determined single mother in her mid-50s who is raising her adolescent son. Jamie is a typical rebellious teenager and Dorothea enlists the help of two younger women - Abbie, a free-spirited punk artist and Julie, a savvy and provocative teenager - to help with Jamie’s upbringing.
126 mins. UK 2017. Dir: Terence Davies
This is the story of American poet Emily Dickinson from her early contrary youth to her later years of bitterness. The sharpness of her prose damages her romantic prospects, but deep down Emily knows that marriage would restrict her creativity. This tension is Emily’s main preoccupation: the blunt exhausting pain of living alone.
107 mins. Spain/France 2016. Dir: Pablo Larrain
An inspector hunts down Nobel Prize winning Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda, who becomes a fugitive in his home country for joining the Communist party. The film is funny and whimsical, and a very suspenseful game of cat and mouse through the slums and salons of Chile as Neruda (who likes the good life) escapes the authorities.
110 mins. France 2016. Dir: Roschdy Zem
During the 1800s former slave Chocolat is making a living as a circus performer in a provincial town where the people have never seen a black man before. He impresses established performer George and they develop a routine which makes them famous. However this satisfaction can only last until Chocolat’s desire for equality takes hold.
98 mins. UK 2017. Dir: Jonathan Teplitzky
Ninety six hours before WWII invasion of Normandy British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill struggles with his severe reservations about Operation Overlord and his increasingly marginalized role in the war effort. Only the support of Churchill’s brilliant, yet exasperated wife Clementine can halt the PM’s physical and mental collapse.
106 mins. USA/UK 2017. Dir: Roger Michell
‘My Cousin Rachel’ is a dark romance that tells the story of a young Englishman who plots revenge against his mysterious, beautiful cousin, believing that she murdered his guardian. But his feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling under the beguiling spell of her charms.
101 mins. USA 2017. Dir: Craig Johnson
Wilson is a lonely, neurotic and hilariously honest middle-aged misanthrope who reunites with his estranged wife and gets a shot at happiness when he learns he has a teenage daughter he has never met. In his uniquely outrageous and slightly twisted way, he sets out to connect with her.
103 mins. Ger/France/UK 2016. Dir: Vincent Perez
This true story unfolds against the tumultuous backdrop of Berlin in 1940. When Anna and Otto’s son is killed their world changes from no war involvement, to carrying out small acts of subversion such as posting anti-Nazi slogans. This rattles the regime, including a police officer who will not rest until the ‘culprits’ have been caught.
83 mins. USA 2016. Dir: Nicole Lucas Haimes
Chicken may be just food for most people, but raising the perfect chicken is an all-consuming passion for some. ‘Chicken People’ documents the colourful and hugely competitive world of champion show chicken breeders. There are many struggles and triumphs, both humans and their chickens, on the road to the National Poultry Show.