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Now showing at ArtHouse Crouch End 159A,Tottenham Lane,London N8 9BT 020 8245 3099

  • Big Hero 6
  • Birdman
  • Boyhood
  • Catch Me Daddy
  • Catch Me Daddy (Subtitled)
  • Exhibition On Screen: Girl With A Pearl Earring And Other Treasures From The Mauritshuis
  • Ida
  • Ida (Parent And Baby Screening)
  • Love Is Strange
  • No Manifesto: A Film About Manic Street Preachers + Q&A
  • Rastamouse
  • RSC Live: Love's Labour's Won
  • Selma
  • Shaun The Sheep Movie
  • The Duke Of Burgundy
  • The Rugrats Movie
  • The Theory Of Everything
  • The Theory Of Everything (Parent And Baby Screening)
  • Whiplash

Big Hero 6 4 stars

movie title

Fourteen-year-old Hiro Hamada idolises his older brother Tadashi, who is one of the star pupils of Professor Robert Callaghan, head of the robotics program at San Fransokyo University. A fire at the university ends in tragedy and poor Hiro is consumed with grief until his brother's greatest creation, a self-inflating personal healthcare robot called Baymax, helps the teenager to come to terms with his loss.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Animation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family, Science Fiction
  • CastRyan Potter, Scott Adsit, Jamie Chung, TJ Miller, Daniel Henney, James Cromwell, Genesis Rodriguez, Damon Wayans Jr.
  • DirectorDon Hall, Chris Williams.
  • WriterRobert L Baird, Daniel Gerson, Jordan Roberts.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration114 mins
  • Official sitemovies.disney.com/big-hero-6/
  • Release30/01/2015

Never underestimate the soothing power of a hug. With one simple squish, you can provide comfort, encouragement or a simple how-do-you-do that transcends a thousand well-chosen words. Big Hero 6 is the cinematic equivalent of a warm hug, embracing the old-fashioned family values of the Walt Disney brand alongside cutting-edge computer technology that audiences now expect to dazzle their senses.

Directors Don Hall and Chris Williams marry dizzying action sequences that look even more spectacular in 3D to an emotionally rich story of a lonely boy's unshakable bond with his self-inflating robot protector, recalling the magical 1999 animated feature The Iron Giant.

The inquisitive automaton Baymax is the stuff that sweet celluloid dreams are made of: tender, loving and unwittingly hilarious. Every child will want their own marshmallow man to snuggle at night and keep them safe from the harsh realities of modern life that weigh heavily on the film's grief-stricken adolescent hero.

"I see no evidence of physical injury," informs the robot as he scans the boy's body.
"It's a different kind of hurt," laments the teenager.

Fourteen-year-old Hiro Hamada (voiced by Ryan Potter) idolises his older brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney), who is a star pupil of Professor Robert Callaghan (James Cromwell), head of the robotics program at San Fransokyo University.

A fire on campus culminates in tragedy and shell-shocked Hiro is inconsolable until his brother's greatest creation, a personal healthcare robot called Baymax (Scott Adsit), helps the teenager to confront his loss. As the boy discovers Baymax's functionality, he also stumbles upon a secret: the fire might not have been an accident.

Indeed, a greedy entrepreneur called Alistair Krei (Alan Tudyk) might have started the blaze. Aided by Tadashi's loyal friends GoGo (Jamie Chung), Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr), Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez) and Fred (TJ Miller) plus an upgraded Baymax, Hiro resolves to discover the truth about the deadly inferno.

Based on an obscure title from the Marvel Comics universe, Big Hero 6 is a rip-roaring opening salvo in a potential new franchise. Directors Hall and Williams orchestrate the requisite thrilling set pieces with brio, including an unconventional dash through the undulating streets of San Fransokyo that knowingly flouts traffic laws.

"There are no red lights in a car chase!" squeals GoGo. The animators and script never lose sight of the central relationship of Hiro and Baymax, sketching that bond in exquisitely deft strokes. Grown men will be choking back tears.

Big Hero 6 is preceded by Patrick Osborne's Oscar nominated short Feast, which charts the relationship between a Boston terrier and his master from puppyhood to middle age in a series of vignettes. It's a pick of the animated litter that leaves an indelible mark on the heart, just like Hall's and Williams' turbo-charged main feature.

Birdman 5 stars

movie title

Riggan Thomson rose to fame playing a superhero called Birdman in three blockbuster films in the 1990s. Twenty years later, his career is stagnant and he is determined to establish himself as a serious artist by directing, writing and starring in a Broadway staging of Raymond Carver's short story What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. As opening night approaches, petty squabbles between Riggan and his cast - including Broadway star Mike Shiner - threaten to derail the vanity project.

  • GenreComedy, Drama, Indie, Romance
  • CastMichael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Andrea Riseborough.
  • DirectorAlejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.
  • WriterAlejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration119 mins
  • Official sitewww.birdmanthemovie.com
  • Release26/12/2014 (selected London cinemas); 01/01/2015 (nationwide)

According to Konstantin Stanislavski and Lee Strasberg, two founding fathers of method acting, the best performers possess the rare ability to channel deeply personal recollections and emotions through their characters. These actors don't just play a role as written, they share every breath and straining sinew with their alter ego.

In Birdman, Michael Keaton inhabits the role of a middle-aged Hollywood star, whose glory days as a big screen superhero are long behind him. It's the role of a lifetime for Keaton - the role of his lifetime, no less, nodding and winking to his two stints behind Batman's cowl under director Tim Burton in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Art and real life playfully blur in Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's technically dazzling comedy, which was shot on location in New York. In one of the film's bravura handheld sequences, Keaton strides purposefully through crowded, neon-lit Times Square in just his underpants as tourists clamour with their mobile devices. Literally and figuratively, he bares his soul.

Inarritu and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, who deservedly won an Oscar for sci-fi thriller Gravity, meticulously splice together each interlude to resemble a single, unbroken 119-minute shot.

If you look closely, you can see the joins but, as a feat of split-second timing, balletic choreography and directorial brio, Birdman is jaw-dropping - right down to the moment the camera casually pans to a drummer on the street playing the same beats and rolls of Antonio Sanchez's improvised jazz score.

Riggan Thomson (Keaton) rose to fame playing a superhero called Birdman in three blockbuster films. Twenty years later, he masterminds a comeback with nervy producer Jake (Zach Galifianakis) by directing, writing and starring in a Broadway production of Raymond Carver's short story What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.

As opening night approaches and revered critics including Tabitha Dickinson (Lindsay Duncan) prepare to deliver their waspish verdict, petty squabbles between Riggan and his cast - popular Broadway star Mike Shiner (Edward Norton), leading lady Lesley (Naomi Watts) and current squeeze Laura (Andrea Riseborough) - threaten to derail the vanity project.

The leading man struggles to keep personal demons at bay, exacerbated by fractious exchanges with his spirited daughter Sam (Emma Stone).

Accompanied by a rambling voiceover from Riggan that reflects the character's mental unravelling, Birdman is a wickedly funny satire of a world of overinflated egos and barely concealed vices.

Performances are uniformly excellent, from Keaton's career-revitalising turn to Stone's fearless portrayal of a recovering drug addict and Norton's hilarious embodiment of an artist, who believes that, "popularity is just the slutty little cousin of prestige".

Peppered with affectionate verbal barbs aimed at Hollywood's current glitterati, Inarritu's picture is crammed to bursting with self-referential treats that demand a second and third viewing. Birdman is the post-Christmas gift that keep on giving.

Boyhood 3 stars

movie title

Drama about a boy's coming of age, shot over 12 years with the same crew and cast. When we first meet Mason Jr, he's preparing to move house with his mother Olivia and precocious older sister, Samantha. Errant father Mason Sr takes the children ten-pin bowling and dispense pithy words of wisdom. As Mason Jr blossoms into a sullen and awkward teenager, Olivia ricochets from a bad marriage to a drunk professor to a bad marriage to one of her students.

  • GenreDrama, Romance
  • CastPatricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater.
  • DirectorRichard Linklater.
  • WriterRichard Linklater.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration166 mins
  • Official sitewww.boyhoodmovie.tumblr.com
  • Release11/07/2014

In 2002, filmmaker Richard Linklater had a dream. The celebrated Texan director of Dazed And Confused and Before Sunrise, whose mother and father separated when he was seven, wanted to make a drama that realistically captured the bonds between parent and child. He announced his intention to create a close-knit family of cast and crew, who would reunite every year to shoot new scenes that accurately reflected the physical and emotional changes of the young stars.

Seven-year-old Ellar Coltrane was cast in the lead role and Linklater chose his then eight-year-old daughter Lorelei to portray the central character's older sister. The result is a directorial doozy of dazzling ambition and scope that falls short in terms of pacing and compelling narrative arcs.

From a technical perspective, Boyhood is a staggering achievement - a testament to Linklater's determination that could have fallen apart at any point in the past 12 years. From the fragments of each annual get-together, the writer-director has fashioned a naturalistic slideshow of the awkward transition from childhood to adulthood that will doubtless garner an Oscar nomination and a deluge of critical plaudits.

When we first meet Mason Jr (Ellar Coltrane), he's preparing to move house with his mother Olivia (Patricia Arquette) and precocious older sister, Samantha (Lorelei Linklater), who keeps him awake with her rendition of Britney's Oops!... I Did It Again.

Errant father Mason Sr (Ethan Hawke) takes the children ten-pin bowling and the boy pleads for the introduction of safeguards to keep his ball out of the gutter. "You don't want bumpers - life doesn't give you bumpers," his old man counsels.

Major pop culture and political events including the publication of Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince and Obama's presidential campaign allow us to date each chapter as Mason Jr blossoms into a sullen and awkward teenager.

En route, Olivia ricochets from a bad marriage to a drunk professor (Marco Perella) to a bad marriage to one of her students (Brad Hawkins), with occasional appearances from Mason Sr to dispense pithy words of wisdom.

By the very nature of its creation, Boyhood unfolds in fits and spurts, some more interesting than others. Coltrane starts the film as a cheeky cherub, who is slightly wooden in front of camera, but he grows in confidence and stature.

Arquette has surprisingly scant screen time considering she is primary care giver and the final edit runs close to three hours, while Hawke could almost have walked off the set of Before Midnight, given his character's penchant for rambling introspection.

It's easy to be blinded by the glorious gimmick that initiated Boyhood but if you judge Linklater's film purely on what made it to the screen, it's a fascinating yet flawed experiment.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 27th February 2015
Tuesday 3rd March 2015

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Catch Me Daddy 3 stars

movie title

Aaron is head over heels in love with a 17-year-old Pakistani girl called Laila. She leaves home and lives with Aaron in a caravan, earning a pittance in a local hairdressing salon, which just about tides the couple over from one day to the next. The girl's enraged father commands her brother Zaheer and a gang of men including Barry to kill his daughter for bringing shame upon the family. The hunters close in on Aaron and Laila.

  • GenreDrama, Indie, Thriller
  • CastGary Lewis, Sameena Jabeen Ahmed, Connor McCarron.
  • DirectorDaniel Wolfe.
  • WriterMatthew Wolfe, Daniel Wolfe.
  • CountryUK
  • Duration112 mins
  • Official sitewww.catchmedaddy.com
  • Release27/02/2015 (selected cinemas)

Shot on location in West Yorkshire, Daniel Wolfe's impressive directorial debut is a tense low budget thriller, which addresses the thorny subject of honour killings through the eyes of fugitive lovers across the racial divide. Aaron (Conor McCarron) is head over heels in love with a 17-year-old Pakistani girl called Laila (Sameena Jabeen Ahmed), whose parents will be horrified when they learn their daughter is fraternising with a white boy. Laila leaves home and lives with Aaron in a caravan, earning a pittance in a local hairdressing salon, which just about tides the couple over from one day to the next. The girl's enraged father commands her brother Zaheer (Ali Ahmad) and a gang of men including Barry (Barry Nunney) to kill his daughter for bringing shame upon the family. The hunters close in on Aaron and Laila, determined the girl should make the ultimate sacrifice for her perceived betrayal.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 27th February 2015
Saturday 28th February 2015
Sunday 1st March 2015
Monday 2nd March 2015
Tuesday 3rd March 2015
Wednesday 4th March 2015
Thursday 5th March 2015

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Catch Me Daddy (Subtitled) 3 stars

movie title

Aaron is head over heels in love with a 17-year-old Pakistani girl called Laila. She leaves home and lives with Aaron in a caravan, earning a pittance in a local hairdressing salon, which just about tides the couple over from one day to the next. The girl's enraged father commands her brother Zaheer and a gang of men including Barry to kill his daughter for bringing shame upon the family. The hunters close in on Aaron and Laila.

  • GenreDrama, Indie, Thriller
  • CastGary Lewis, Sameena Jabeen Ahmed, Connor McCarron.
  • DirectorDaniel Wolfe.
  • WriterMatthew Wolfe, Daniel Wolfe.
  • CountryUK
  • Duration112 mins
  • Official sitewww.catchmedaddy.com
  • Release27/02/2015 (selected cinemas)

Shot on location in West Yorkshire, Daniel Wolfe's impressive directorial debut is a tense low budget thriller, which addresses the thorny subject of honour killings through the eyes of fugitive lovers across the racial divide. Aaron (Conor McCarron) is head over heels in love with a 17-year-old Pakistani girl called Laila (Sameena Jabeen Ahmed), whose parents will be horrified when they learn their daughter is fraternising with a white boy. Laila leaves home and lives with Aaron in a caravan, earning a pittance in a local hairdressing salon, which just about tides the couple over from one day to the next. The girl's enraged father commands her brother Zaheer (Ali Ahmad) and a gang of men including Barry (Barry Nunney) to kill his daughter for bringing shame upon the family. The hunters close in on Aaron and Laila, determined the girl should make the ultimate sacrifice for her perceived betrayal.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Wednesday 4th March 2015

Exhibition On Screen: Girl With A Pearl Earring And Other Treasures From The Mauritshuis 3 stars

Painted in the mid-17th century, Johannes Vermeer's Girl With A Pearl Earring has been in the collection of the Mauritshuis in The Hague since 1902 and continues to intrigue visitors. This documentary goes behind the scenes of the gallery, which has completed extensive renovations, to answer burning questions about Vermeer's enigmatic work and other masterpieces in the collection.

Painted in the mid-17th century, Johannes Vermeer's Girl With A Pearl Earring has been in the collection of the Mauritshuis in The Hague since 1902 and continues to intrigue visitors. This documentary goes behind the scenes of the gallery, which has completed extensive renovations, to answer burning questions about Vermeer's enigmatic work and other masterpieces in the collection.

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Tuesday 3rd March 2015

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Ida 3 stars

movie title

Eighteen-year-old orphan Anna has been raised in a convent in 1960s Poland and she has devoted her life to the Lord under the watchful gaze of the Mother Superior. As Anna prepares to become a nun, Mother Superior insists that the young woman reconnect with her past by visiting her sole living relative. So Anna abandons the safety of the convent and travels to meet her aunt Wanda, who discloses that Anna's real name is Ida and her Jewish parents were murdered during the Nazi occupation.

  • GenreDrama, Romance, World
  • CastJoanna Kulig, Agata Trzebuchowska, Halina Skoczynska.
  • DirectorPawel Pawlikowski.
  • WriterPawel Pawlikowski, Rebecca Lenkiewicz.
  • CountryPol/Den
  • Duration82 mins
  • Official sitewww.ida-movie.com
  • Release26/09/2014 (selected cinemas)

Polish-born British director Pawel Pawlikowski, who won a BAFTA for My Summer Of Love, films in his homeland for the first time in this emotional 1960s-set drama. Eighteen-year-old orphan Anna (Agata Trzebuchowska) has been raised in a convent and she has devoted her life to the Lord under the watchful gaze of the Mother Superior (Halina Skoczynska). As Anna prepares to become a nun, Mother Superior insists that the young woman reconnect with her past by visiting her sole living relative. So Anna abandons the safety of the convent and travels to meet her aunt Wanda (Agata Kulesza), a cynical Communist Party insider, who discloses that Anna's real name is Ida and her Jewish parents were murdered during the Nazi occupation. This revelation devastates Anna and she embarks on a heart-wrenching journey back to her family's house in the countryside to unlock the secrets of her tragic past.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Monday 2nd March 2015
Thursday 5th March 2015

Ida (Parent And Baby Screening) 3 stars

movie title

Eighteen-year-old orphan Anna has been raised in a convent in 1960s Poland and she has devoted her life to the Lord under the watchful gaze of the Mother Superior. As Anna prepares to become a nun, Mother Superior insists that the young woman reconnect with her past by visiting her sole living relative. So Anna abandons the safety of the convent and travels to meet her aunt Wanda, who discloses that Anna's real name is Ida and her Jewish parents were murdered during the Nazi occupation.

  • GenreDrama, Romance, World
  • CastJoanna Kulig, Halina Skoczynska, Agata Trzebuchowska.
  • DirectorPawel Pawlikowski.
  • WriterRebecca Lenkiewicz, Pawel Pawlikowski.
  • CountryPol/Den
  • Duration82 mins
  • Official sitewww.ida-movie.com
  • Release26/09/2014 (selected cinemas)

Polish-born British director Pawel Pawlikowski, who won a BAFTA for My Summer Of Love, films in his homeland for the first time in this emotional 1960s-set drama. Eighteen-year-old orphan Anna (Agata Trzebuchowska) has been raised in a convent and she has devoted her life to the Lord under the watchful gaze of the Mother Superior (Halina Skoczynska). As Anna prepares to become a nun, Mother Superior insists that the young woman reconnect with her past by visiting her sole living relative. So Anna abandons the safety of the convent and travels to meet her aunt Wanda (Agata Kulesza), a cynical Communist Party insider, who discloses that Anna's real name is Ida and her Jewish parents were murdered during the Nazi occupation. This revelation devastates Anna and she embarks on a heart-wrenching journey back to her family's house in the countryside to unlock the secrets of her tragic past.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 27th February 2015

Love Is Strange 4 stars

movie title

Ben and his partner George have spent almost four decades together and they finally decide to legalise their union with a marriage in front of family and friends including Ben's nephew Elliot and wife Kate plus police office neighbours Ted and Roberto. Shortly after the happy day, George loses his job and the couple face the prospect of having to sell their beloved apartment. Unable to find lodgings together, George moves in with Ted and Roberto while Ben seeks shelter with Elliot, Kate and their teenage son Joey.

  • GenreDrama, Gay, Romance
  • CastJohn Lithgow, Alfred Molina, Marisa Tomei, Cheyenne Jackson, John Cullum, Charlie Tahan.
  • DirectorIra Sachs.
  • WriterIra Sachs, Mauricio Zacharias.
  • CountryUS/Fr
  • Duration94 mins
  • Official sitewww.sonyclassics.com/loveisstrange/
  • Release06/02/2015 (London Curzon Soho); 13/02/2015 (selected cinemas)

Strange, enervating, toxic, miraculous, unrequited, redemptive: love exerts an irresistible hold on the human heart. Greek philosopher Plato professed love to be a serious mental disease, while Martin Luther King Jr believed it to be the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.

Shakespeare poetically described love as a smoke made with the fume of sighs and as for songwriters Lennon and McCartney, it is the flower you've got to let grow or, most simply, all you need. For filmmaker Ira Sachs and co-writer Mauricio Zacharias, love is a long-term relationship between two gay men set against the bustling backdrop of modern-day Manhattan.

Underscored predominantly by Chopin, Love Is Strange is an elegant character study, which sketches these middle-aged soul-mates with tenderness and heart-breaking intimacy. Sachs' film is illuminated by two exquisite performances from John Lithgow and Alfred Molina as a married couple who are wary of relying on the kindness of family and friends because "sometimes when you live with people, you know them better than you care to".

Familiarity breeds not just contempt but also disillusionment, suspicion and, ultimately, aching loneliness. Ben (Lithgow) and his partner George (Molina) have spent almost four decades together. They finally legalise their union in front of family and friends including Ben's nephew Elliot (Darren Burrows) and wife Kate (Marisa Tomei), plus police office neighbours Ted (Cheyenne Jackson) and Roberto (Manny Perez).

Shortly after the happy day, George loses his job as a music teacher at St Grace's Church and Catholic school in Manhattan because Facebook pictures of the honeymoon in Petra have been brought to the attention of the Archdiocese. "The Bishop wasn't happy," explains Father Raymond (John Cullum) sympathetically.

Without George's steady income, the couple face the prospect of having to sell their highly desirable apartment. George moves in with Ted and Roberto, while Ben seeks shelter with Elliot, Kate and their truculent teenage son Joey (Charlie Tahan), who is far from thrilled about sharing his bunk bed with an elderly gay uncle.

The separation causes friction between family and friends. "All I know is that after 39 years it's hard to fall asleep without you," laments Ben to George.

Love Is Strange treats all of the flawed characters with a delicate and even hand although our hearts invariably belong to the leads. Lithgow and Molina perform as if they have been sharing the same space for decades, trading gentle touches or longing glances as their carefully ordered world unravels.

Tomei, Jackson, Perez et al offer strong support, enriching their own dysfunctional yet equally loving relationships. Love is a drug and regardless of the withdrawal symptoms, we all want to be addicts.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 27th February 2015
Sunday 1st March 2015
Monday 2nd March 2015
Tuesday 3rd March 2015
Thursday 5th March 2015

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No Manifesto: A Film About Manic Street Preachers + Q&A 3 stars

In 1991, Welsh band Manic Street Preachers burst onto the British music scene with swagger and a strange ambition: to make just one album, sell 16 million copies of the record then split up. More than 20 years later, the band is going strong with nine studio albums and legions of adoring fans. This affectionate documentary juxtaposes archive material with exclusive footage of recording sessions and live performances.

  • GenreDocumentary, Indie, Musical
  • CastJames Dean Bradfield, Richey Edwards, Sean Moore.
  • DirectorElizabeth Marcus.
  • WriterElizabeth Marcus.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration116 mins
  • Official sitewww.facebook.com/NoManifestoFilm
  • Release30/01/2015 (selected cinemas)

In 1991, Welsh band Manic Street Preachers burst onto the British music scene with swagger and a strange ambition: to make just one album, sell 16 million copies of the record then split up. More than 20 years later, the band is going strong with nine studio albums and legions of adoring fans, not to mention a missing member. In this affectionate documentary, director Elizabeth Marcus pays tribute to a group that proclaimed itself a one-hit wonder, juxtaposing archive material with exclusive footage of recording sessions and live performances. With narration by the fans, No Manifesto explores the relationship between the band and its audience and the personalities of the band members, who have endured controversy and heartbreak over the decades.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Monday 2nd March 2015

Rastamouse 3 stars

Animation.

  • GenreAnimation/Cartoon, Children's
  • Official site

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 3rd March 2015

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RSC Live: Love's Labour's Won 3 stars

Benedick and Claudio return from the trenches weary with the world, and find themselves reacquainted with Beatrice and Hero in Shakespeare's comic romance, which has been reset to the autumn of 1918. Christopher Luscombe's production is broadcast live from Stratford-upon-Avon with Edward Bennett as Benedick and Michelle Terry as his sparring partner Beatrice.

  • GenreAdaptation, Comedy, Romance, Special
  • CastMichelle Terry, Tunji Kasim, Flora Spencer-Longhurst, Edward Bennett.
  • DirectorChristopher Luscombe.
  • WriterWilliam Shakespeare.
  • CountryUK
  • Duration140 mins
  • Official siteonscreen.rsc.org.uk/loves-labours-won/
  • Release04/03/2014 (selected cinemas)

Selma 4 stars

movie title

In 1960s America, political bureaucracy and prejudice deny the African-American electorate the chance to vote. Martin Luther King entreats the President to right this democratic wrong but Lyndon Johnson and his adviser Lee C White don't consider voting rights to be high on their list of priorities. So King and his team head to the community of Selma, Alabama to lead a peaceful protest march with their friends from the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

  • GenreDrama, Historical/Period
  • CastCarmen Ejogo, Tom Wilkinson, David Oyelowo, Oprah Winfrey, Giovanni Ribisi.
  • DirectorAva DuVernay.
  • WriterPaul Webb.
  • CountryUK/US
  • Duration128 mins
  • Official sitewww.selmamovie.com
  • Release06/02/2015

More than 45 years after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, director Ava DuVernay honours the memory of the leader of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement with this impassioned biopic. While there are lingering doubts about the historical accuracy of Selma, the emotional wallop the film delivers is beyond question.

In particular, the recreation of the iconic march over the Edmund Pettus Bridge chills the blood. Oxford-born actor David Oyelowo delivers a breakout performance replete with Georgia accent as the activist. He is mesmerising and would surely have been in Oscar contention as Best Actor later this month had Paul Webb's script gifted him a few more barnstorming speeches.

DuVernay opens with a chilling act of violence that exemplifies racial tensions of the era. In 1960s America, political bureaucracy and prejudice deny the African-American electorate the chance to vote in the forthcoming election in which President Lyndon B Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) hopes to be returned to the White House by the people.

Martin Luther King Jr (Oyelowo) entreats the President to right this democratic wrong but Johnson and his adviser Lee C White (Giovanni Ribisi) don't consider voting rights to be high on their list of priorities.

So King and his team head to the community of Selma, Alabama to lead a peaceful protest march with their friends from the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). The President seeks a private audience with J Edgar Hoover (Dylan Baker), the first Director of the FBI, to discuss how to remove this thorn from his side.

"We can weaken the dynamic, dismantle the family," explains Hoover, referring to tensions between King and his wife Coretta Scott King (Carmen Ejogo). In Selma, local police under the jurisdiction of Governor George Wallace (Tim Roth) attack protesters with batons as TV cameras capture the brutality for horrified viewers.

Consequently, pressure grows on Johnson to intervene while King takes temporary leave of his wife and family to spearhead a second march.

Selma skilfully ebbs and flows between events in Alabama and Washington, relentlessly cranking up the tension between figures on both sides of the debate. Oyelowo is supported by a terrific ensemble cast including Ejogo as the dutiful wife, who stands by her man despite his dalliances away from home. "Do you love me?" coolly asks Coretta in one of the film's most memorable scenes. "Do you love the others?"

Roth chews scenery as the Governor who believes resistance should be met with extreme force, while Wilkinson brings a touch of desperation to the most powerful man on Capitol Hill. Luther King Jr had a dream and through the lens of DuVernay's film, we are minded that we must all continue to chase it.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 27th February 2015
Saturday 28th February 2015
Monday 2nd March 2015
Thursday 5th March 2015

This film is also showing at:

Shaun The Sheep Movie 4 stars

movie title

Shaun and the flock grow tired of the daily routine on Mossy Bottom Farm under the watchful eye of Bitzer the sheepdog. So the herd hoodwinks the Farmer into taking a well deserved day. Unfortunately, the cunning plan goes awry and the Farmer ends up in the Big City suffering from a nasty bout of memory loss. Shaun and his fleecy friends head for the metropolis to bring the Farmer back home but they attract the attentions of a nasty animal containment officer called Trumper.

  • GenreAction, Adventure, Animation/Cartoon, Children, Children's, Comedy, Family, Family
  • CastJohn Sparkes, Justin Fletcher.
  • DirectorRichard Starzack, Mark Burton.
  • WriterRichard Starzack, Richard Goleszowski, Mark Burton.
  • CountryUK
  • Duration85 mins
  • Official sitewww.shaunthesheep.com
  • Release06/02/2015

Bristol-based Aardman Studios works its stop-motion animated magic on a colourful big screen adventure for the mischievous sheep, who first appeared in Wallace and Gromit's 1995 escapade A Close Shave and has been baad to the bone in a self-titled CBBC series since 2007.

Drawing loving inspiration from other Aardman films including Chicken Run, Shaun The Sheep Movie is a shear delight, melding slapstick and subtler humour to appeal to young fans and their wranglers.

Directors Mark Burton and Richard Starzack shepherd this boisterous romp through various twists and turns at a breathless pace. They litter the screen with wry visual gags, including an airborne cow clearing the roof of the Over The Moon public house.

Stop-motion visuals burst with colour and action sequences are orchestrated with mind-boggling technical precision. As usual, Shaun is at the centre of the madcap action. The flock grows tired of the daily routine on Mossy Bottom Farm under the watchful eye of Bitzer the sheepdog.

So the animals hoodwink the Farmer into taking a well-deserved day off so they can do the same. Unfortunately, this cunning plan goes awry and the Farmer ends up with a nasty bout of memory loss after a high-speed journey to The Big City inside a runaway caravan.

Off the hoof, Shaun and his fleecy friends board the 62 bus from Mossy Bottom to the metropolis, determined to bring their beloved master back home. Unfortunately, they attract the attention of a nasty animal containment officer called Trumper, who doesn't want any farmyard escapees on the lamb on his patch.

Aided by an orphan dog named Slip, the sheep disguise themselves as humans to pull the wool over the eyes of unsuspecting residents of The Big City and track down the Farmer.

In human form, the sheep enjoy haute cuisine at a bistro called Le Chou Brule, while the Farmer discovers a new calling with hair clippers at an upscale boutique. Back at Mossy Bottom, The Naughty Pigs run amok in the farmhouse, oblivious to the hare-brained antics of the other four-legged residents.

Shaun The Sheep Movie will have families flocking in droves to local cinemas. There's nothing woolly about Burton and Starzack's screenplay, which doesn't pause to bleat between set pieces, propelling the narrative forward without sacrificing the characterisation.

There are some lovely interludes here like Shaun's temporary incarceration in an animal shelter, which also houses a psychotic cat from the same litter as Hannibal Lecter and a dog with BARK and BITE tattooed on its knuckles.

As with other Aardman offerings, the animators' imprints are occasionally visible in the expressive clay protagonists, which is part of the film's undeniable charm. Ewe won't be disappointed.

The Duke Of Burgundy 4 stars

movie title

Imperious butterfly collector Cynthia lectures at a local institute, where she is held in high esteem. Behind the closed doors of her modest home, Cynthia terrorises her pretty maid Evelyn, forcing the skivvy to wash her underwear by hand, pick up discarded sweet wrappers and other indignities. It transpires that this kinky relationship of domination and submission is masterminded by Evelyn, who stokes her lesbian lover's fantasies and constantly pushes the boundaries of their mutual desire.

  • GenreDrama, Romance
  • CastChiara D'Anna, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Monica Swinn, Eugenia Caruso.
  • DirectorPeter Strickland.
  • WriterPeter Strickland.
  • CountryUK
  • Duration104 mins
  • Official sitewww.facebook.com/TheDukeOfBurgundy
  • Release20/02/2015 (selected cinemas)

A twisted romance, far more intense and kinky that the softcore histrionics in Fifty Shades Of Grey, underpins this stylish drama from British writer-director Peter Strickland. Imperious butterfly and moth collector Cynthia (Sidse Babett Knudsen) lectures at a local institute, where she is held in high esteem. Behind the closed doors of her modest home, Cynthia terrorises her pretty maid Evelyn (Chiara D'Anna), forcing her skivvy to wash her underwear by hand, pick up her discarded sweet wrappers and other indignities. It transpires that this kinky relationship of domination and submission is masterminded by Evelyn, who stokes her lesbian lover's fantasies and constantly pushes the boundaries of their mutual depravity. With each passing day, emotions churn and intensify, forcing the two women to find new ways to achieve mutual satisfaction.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Friday 27th February 2015
Saturday 28th February 2015
Sunday 1st March 2015
Monday 2nd March 2015
Tuesday 3rd March 2015
Wednesday 4th March 2015
Thursday 5th March 2015

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The Rugrats Movie 3 stars

The animated toddlers embark on their first big screen adventure with new arrival, Tommy's baby brother Dil, for company.

  • GenreAdventure, Animation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family
  • CastVoices: EG Daily, Christine Cavanaugh, Kath Soucie, Cheryl Chase.
  • DirectorN Virgien/I Kovalyov.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration80 mins
  • Official site
  • Release26/03/1999

The animated adventures of Tommy, Chuckie, Angelica, and the twins Phil and Lil, have become something of a Saturday morning television institution. And the babies' inaugural big screen romp is just as good, operating on two levels - one for the young, one for the young at heart. In the film, Tommy decides to leave home when his new baby brother, Dylan, begins to command all of his parents' attention and (he thinks) affection. Using the trusty Reptar-mobile as transport, Tommy and the other babies get into all manner of scrapes in the wilderness, involving a troupe of escaped circus monkeys. The animation is almost unchanged from the TV series (save a couple of computer enhanced sequences) but it stands up well in widescreen, and the variety of gags all hit the spot (including a great Indiana Jones style opening sequence).

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Saturday 28th February 2015
Sunday 1st March 2015

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The Theory Of Everything 4 stars

movie title

Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking falls head over heels in love with English literature student Jane Wilde at 1960s Cambridge University. Their fledgling romance is tested by his diagnosis with motor neurone disease. Stephen's parents Frank and Isobel try to warn Jane off their son, fearful of emotional devastation that will be wrought if he dies within the two years predicted by doctors. However, she defies everyone, determined to love Stephen for as long as they are together.

  • GenreAdaptation, Biography, Drama, Romance
  • CastEddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox, Emily Watson, Simon McBurney, David Thewlis.
  • DirectorJames Marsh.
  • WriterAnthony McCarten.
  • CountryUK
  • Duration123 mins
  • Official site
  • Release01/01/2015

In Scottish novelist JM Barrie's most beloved work, Peter Pan famously contemplates his mortality on Marooner's Rock and observes, "To die will be an awfully big adventure". For more than half a century since he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease, theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has - happily - pushed aside his awfully big adventure and astounded the medical community.

Defying the short life expectancy associated with the rare condition, he has married twice, raised a family and altered our narrow perception of the universe including the publication of his worldwide bestseller, A Brief History Of Time.

As Hawking remarked at a press conference in 2006, "However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there's life, there is hope." Those inspirational words are repeated verbatim in The Theory Of Everything.

Based on the memoir Travelling To Infinity by Jane Wilde Hawking, James Marsh's deeply moving drama charts the romance of Stephen (Eddie Redmayne) and first wife Jane (Felicity Jones) from fleeting glances at a party at mid-1960s Cambridge University through their subsequent battle against MND.

Stephen's parents Frank (Simon McBurney) and Isobel (Abigail Cruttenden) initially warn Jane off their son, fearful of the emotional devastation that will be wrought if he dies within the two years predicted by doctors. "It's not going to be a fight, Jane. It's going to be a very heavy defeat, for all of us," laments Frank.

Love must find a way and Jane defies everyone, even a pessimistic Stephen, to stand beside her soul mate. "I want us to be together, for as long as we've got," she tells him. "If that's not very long then - well, that's just how it is."

Her resolve inspires Stephen to continue his search for "one single elegant equation to explain everything". Aided by choirmaster Jonathan Jones (Charlie Cox) and carer Elaine Mason (Maxine Peake), Jane raises the couple's three children and holds their marriage together.

The Theory Of Everything is anchored by two of the year's best performances. Redmayne is simply astounding, affecting a mesmerising physical transformation that surely warrants an Oscar. He brilliantly conveys every raw emotion or flash of impish humour with his eyes or the twitch of a facial muscle.

Jones is equally compelling as his soul mate, who sacrifices everything in the name of love. The scene in which she finally acknowledges hard-fought defeat to save the relationship and tearfully tells Stephen, "I have loved you... I did my best," is heartbreaking.

Director Marsh uses simple visual motifs to illuminate the complex cosmology, such as a swirl of cream in a cup of coffee to represent a spiral galaxy in Stephen's mind. With its delicate balance of tear-stained drama, deeply felt romance and comedy, The Theory Of Everything hits upon a winning formula.

The Theory Of Everything (Parent And Baby Screening) 4 stars

movie title

Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking falls head over heels in love with English literature student Jane Wilde at 1960s Cambridge University. Their fledgling romance is tested by his diagnosis with motor neurone disease. Stephen's parents Frank and Isobel try to warn Jane off their son, fearful of emotional devastation that will be wrought if he dies within the two years predicted by doctors. However, she defies everyone, determined to love Stephen for as long as they are together.

  • GenreAdaptation, Biography, Drama, Romance
  • CastCharlie Cox, Emily Watson, Eddie Redmayne, Simon McBurney, David Thewlis, Felicity Jones.
  • DirectorJames Marsh.
  • WriterAnthony McCarten.
  • CountryUK
  • Duration123 mins
  • Official site
  • Release01/01/2015

In Scottish novelist JM Barrie's most beloved work, Peter Pan famously contemplates his mortality on Marooner's Rock and observes, "To die will be an awfully big adventure". For more than half a century since he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease, theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has - happily - pushed aside his awfully big adventure and astounded the medical community.

Defying the short life expectancy associated with the rare condition, he has married twice, raised a family and altered our narrow perception of the universe including the publication of his worldwide bestseller, A Brief History Of Time.

As Hawking remarked at a press conference in 2006, "However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there's life, there is hope." Those inspirational words are repeated verbatim in The Theory Of Everything.

Based on the memoir Travelling To Infinity by Jane Wilde Hawking, James Marsh's deeply moving drama charts the romance of Stephen (Eddie Redmayne) and first wife Jane (Felicity Jones) from fleeting glances at a party at mid-1960s Cambridge University through their subsequent battle against MND.

Stephen's parents Frank (Simon McBurney) and Isobel (Abigail Cruttenden) initially warn Jane off their son, fearful of the emotional devastation that will be wrought if he dies within the two years predicted by doctors. "It's not going to be a fight, Jane. It's going to be a very heavy defeat, for all of us," laments Frank.

Love must find a way and Jane defies everyone, even a pessimistic Stephen, to stand beside her soul mate. "I want us to be together, for as long as we've got," she tells him. "If that's not very long then - well, that's just how it is."

Her resolve inspires Stephen to continue his search for "one single elegant equation to explain everything". Aided by choirmaster Jonathan Jones (Charlie Cox) and carer Elaine Mason (Maxine Peake), Jane raises the couple's three children and holds their marriage together.

The Theory Of Everything is anchored by two of the year's best performances. Redmayne is simply astounding, affecting a mesmerising physical transformation that surely warrants an Oscar. He brilliantly conveys every raw emotion or flash of impish humour with his eyes or the twitch of a facial muscle.

Jones is equally compelling as his soul mate, who sacrifices everything in the name of love. The scene in which she finally acknowledges hard-fought defeat to save the relationship and tearfully tells Stephen, "I have loved you... I did my best," is heartbreaking.

Director Marsh uses simple visual motifs to illuminate the complex cosmology, such as a swirl of cream in a cup of coffee to represent a spiral galaxy in Stephen's mind. With its delicate balance of tear-stained drama, deeply felt romance and comedy, The Theory Of Everything hits upon a winning formula.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Monday 2nd March 2015

Whiplash 5 stars

movie title

Nineteen-year-old Andrew Neiman is determined to be the top drummer at his music conservatory. So he practices night and day and catches the eye of the school's most revered and feared teacher, Terence Fletcher, who is well known for terrorising students that don't meet his idea of perfection. Soon after, Fletcher requests that Andrew transfers into his class and he becomes the alternate drummer. When the opportunity arises for Andrew to prove himself, he rises to the occasion.

  • GenreDrama, Film, Musical, Romance
  • CastMelissa Benoist, Miles Teller, Paul Reiser, JK Simmons, Austin Stowell.
  • DirectorDamien Chazelle.
  • WriterDamien Chazelle.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration106 mins
  • Official sitewww.sonyclassics.com/whiplash/
  • Release16/01/2015

The fresh paint of 2015 has barely dried and already we have a strong contender for the film of the year. Inspired by writer-director Damien Chazelle's experiences in a fiercely competitive high school jazz band, Whiplash is an electrifying tale of a 19-year-old drummer's bruising battle of wits with his monstrous college tutor.

As the title intimates, pain is acute in Chazelle's lean script that pulls no punches in its depiction of the pursuit of musical excellence, which propels the self-destructive student to the brink of a mental and physical breakdown.

Drumming sequences are edited at a frenetic pace, spattered with the real sweat of lead actor Miles Teller, who performs all of the energy-sapping solos as if his life depended on it. It's a bravura performance complemented by JK Simmons' jaw-dropping portrayal of the foul-mouthed, bullying conductor, who verbally abuses students that fall short of his impossible demands for metronomic and percussive perfection.

Staring at his terrified charges, Simmons' musician-turned-mentor preys upon teenage fears and insecurities, kindling intense rivalry between band members for his own sadistic pleasure. Early in the film, he picks on one nervous trombonist's weight and snarls, "I will not let you cost us a competition because your mind's on a Happy Meal and not on pitch." He's just getting warmed up.

Nineteen-year-old Andrew Neiman (Teller) is determined to excel at his Manhattan music conservatory and avoid the regrets which haunt his writer father (Paul Reiser). So he practises night and day and catches the eye of the school's most revered teacher, Terence Fletcher (Simmons).

Soon after, Andrew transfers to Fletcher's class and becomes the alternate drummer in the band behind lead player Carl (Nate Lang). When the opportunity arises for Andrew to impress, he rises to the occasion but alienates himself from the rest of the band.

A fledgling romance with Nicole (Melissa Benoist), who works at Andrew's local cinema, is sacrificed in a cold, cruel fashion that would have Fletcher smacking his lips with glee. The game of one-upmanship between teacher and pupil spirals out of control as Andrew struggles to meet the lofty expectations of his maniacal mentor and earn the right to play at a concert in the rarefied surroundings of Carnegie Hall.

Whiplash delivers one emotional wallop after another as Andrew practises until his hands bleed and Simmons belittles those herculean efforts by growling, "Is that the fastest you can go? It is no wonder Mommy ran out on you!"

We root for the beleaguered 19-year-old with every display of frenzied stick-work, urging Andrew to wipe the smug grin off Fletcher's face. Our investment in the characters is immense and Chazelle rewards us with an astounding denouement that saps every ounce of energy from our bodies. We're delirious, euphoric and physically spent.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Sunday 1st March 2015
Tuesday 3rd March 2015
Wednesday 4th March 2015

This film is also showing at:

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