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Past Films

MARY POPPINS RETURNS

3rd May 2019

Directed and produced by Rob Marshall, "Mary Poppins Returns" also stars Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer and Julie Walters with Colin Firth and Meryl Streep. The film, which introduces three new Banks children, played by Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh and newcomer Joel Dawson, also features Dick Van Dyke and Angela Lansbury. The film is set in 1930s depression-era London (the time period of the original novels) and is drawn from the wealth of material in PL Travers' additional seven books. In the story, Michael (Whishaw) and Jane (Mortimer) are now grown up, with Michael, his three children and their housekeeper, Ellen (Walters), living on Cherry Tree Lane. After Michael suffers a personal loss, the enigmatic nanny Mary Poppins (Blunt) re-enters the lives of the Banks family, and, along with the optimistic street lamplighter Jack (Miranda), uses her unique magical skills to help the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives. Mary Poppins also introduces the children to a new assortment of colorful and whimsical characters, including her eccentric cousin, Topsy (Streep). The film is produced by Marshall, John DeLuca and Marc Platt. The screenplay is by David Magee based on The Mary Poppins Stories by PL Travers with Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman writing all new songs and Shaiman composing an original score. PG 130 minutes

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

5th April 2019

Bohemian Rhapsody is a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury, who defied stereotypes and shattered convention to become one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. The film traces the meteoric rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound, their near-implosion as Mercury's lifestyle spirals out of control, and their triumphant reunion on the eve of Live Aid, where Mercury, facing a life-threatening illness, leads the band in one of the greatest performances in the history of rock music. In the process, cementing the legacy of a band that were always more like a family, and who continue to inspire outsiders, dreamers and music lovers to this day. PG13

FIRST MAN

1st March 2019

Oscar (R)-winning director Damien Chazelle and star Ryan Gosling reteam (following La La Land) for Universal Pictures' First Man, the riveting story of NASA's mission to land a man on the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the years 1961-1969. A visceral, first-person account, based on the book by James R. Hansen, the movie will explore the sacrifices and the cost on Armstrong and on the nation of one of the most dangerous missions in history. PG13 138 minutes

MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN

1st February 2019

Five years after the events of Mamma Mia! (2008), Sophie prepares for the grand reopening of the Hotel Bella Donna as she learns more about her mother's past. PG13

BOMBSHELL - THE HEDY LAMARR STORY

2nd November 2018

When Nazi U-Boats torpedo a ship carrying 83 school children during World War II, Hollywood movie star, Hedy Lamarr, decides to exact revenge. At night, after shooting her scenes on set, she works on a secret radio system that will allow the Allies to torpedo Nazi U-Boats with deadly accuracy. Her sketches remain ideas until a chance encounter with an eccentric composer enables her to transform them into useful technology. The secret communication system she creates is groundbreaking and eventually changes the course of history. It would make a terrific fictional film, but this story happens to be true. Hedy Lamarr, the screen siren who was called "the most beautiful woman in the world" and starred alongside Hollywood giants like Spencer Tracy, Jimmy Stewart and Clark Gable, invented a wireless form of communication called "frequency hopping" that revolutionized mobile communications all over the world, a feat that would directly lead to the creation of secure communications for wireless phones, Bluetooth, GPS and WiFi technology itself. (Running time 90min. NR)

LADY BIRD

5th October 2018

Going by the name of "Lady Bird", the outspoken Catholic high school senior student, Christine McPherson, is dreaming big of finally leaving her hometown of Sacramento, practically on pins and needles to attend a sophisticated New York City college. However, with her average grades and her family struggling to keep afloat, attending a public university closer to home would be a lot cheaper and safer, especially after last year's devastating 9/11 attack. In the end, amid grades, numerous college applications, a blooming teenage sexuality, and a strong-willed mother who is a real mother hen, Lady Bird must find a way to make her dreams happen. Can she survive life's bumps and cracks? (Running time 94min. Rated R)

HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE

7th September 2018

Raised on hip-hop and foster care, defiant city kid Ricky gets a fresh start in the New Zealand countryside. He quickly finds himself at home with his new foster family: the loving Aunt Bella, the cantankerous Uncle Hec, and dog Tupac. When a tragedy strikes that threatens to ship Ricky to another home, both he and Hec go on the run in the bush. As a national manhunt ensues, the newly branded outlaws must face their options: go out in a blaze of glory or overcome their differences and survive as a family. Equal parts road comedy and rousing adventure story, director Taika Waititi (WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, upcoming THOR: RAGNORAK) masterfully weaves lively humor with emotionally honest performances by Sam Neill and Julian Dennison. A hilarious, touching crowd-pleaser, HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE reminds us about the journey that growing up is (at any age) and those who help us along the way. (Running time 101 minutes: PG-13)

DARKEST HOUR

6th July 2018

During the early days of World War II, with the fall of France imminent, Britain faces its darkest hour as the threat of invasion looms. As the seemingly unstoppable Nazi forces advance, and with the Allied army cornered on the beaches of Dunkirk, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the leadership of the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Academy Award nominee Gary Oldman). While maneuvering his political rivals, he must confront the ultimate choice: negotiate with Hitler and save the British people at a terrible cost or rally the nation and fight on against incredible odds. Directed by Joe Wright, DARKEST HOUR is the dramatic and inspiring story of four weeks in 1940 during which Churchill's courage to lead changed the course of world history.

THE POST

1st June 2018

Steven Spielberg directs Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks in The Post, a thrilling drama about the unlikely partnership between The Washington Post's Katharine Graham (Streep), the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, and editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks), as they race to catch up with The New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spanned three decades and four U.S. Presidents. The two must overcome their differences as they risk their careers - and their very freedom - to help bring long-buried truths to light. The Post marks the first time Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg have collaborated on a project. In addition to directing, Spielberg produces along with Amy Pascal and Kristie Macosko Krieger. The script was written by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer, and the film features an acclaimed ensemble cast including Alison Brie, Carrie Coon, David Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Tracy Letts, Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Paulson, Jesse Plemons, Matthew Rhys, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bradley Whitford and Zach Woods. Rated PG-13

FILM STARS DON'T DIE IN LIVERPOOL

4th May 2018

Based on Peter Turner's memoir, the film follows the playful but passionate relationship between Turner (Bell) and the eccentric Academy Award (R)-winning actress Gloria Grahame (Bening) in 1978 Liverpool. What starts as a vibrant affair between a legendary femme fatale and her young lover quickly grows into a deeper relationship, with Turner being the person Gloria turns to for comfort. Their passion and lust for life is tested to the limits by events beyond their control.

VICTORIA AND ABDUL

9th March 2018

The extraordinary true story of an unexpected friendship in the later years of Queen Victoria's (Academy Award winner Judi Dench) remarkable rule. When Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal), a young clerk, travels from India to participate in the Queen's Golden Jubilee, he is surprised to find favour with the Queen herself. As the Queen questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance with a loyalty to one another that her household and inner circle all attempt to destroy.
As the friendship deepens, the Queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes and joyfully reclaims her humanity.
(PG-13. 111 minutes)

DUNKIRK

2nd February 2018

Acclaimed auteur Christopher Nolan directs this World War II thriller about the evacuation of Allied troops from the French city of Dunkirk before Nazi forces can take hold. Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh and Mark Rylance co-star, with longtime Nolan collaborator Hans Zimmer providing the score. One of the most indelible images in “Dunkirk”  is of a British plane in flames. The movie recounts an early, harrowing campaign in World War II that took place months after Germany invaded Poland and weeks after Hitler’s forces started rolling into the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France. The plane, having glided to a stop, has been defiantly set ablaze by the pilot to avoid its being captured. It’s an image of unambiguous defeat but also an emblem of resistance and a portent of the ghastly conflagrations still to come. (PG-13. 107 minutes.)

NEBRASKA

3rd November 2017

Bruce Dern stars as a disreputable old man who is convinced he needs to go to Nebraska to claim a million-dollar prize.  His son (Will Forte) realises it’s a scame designed to get people to sign up for a magazine subscription, but eventually gives in and grudgingly drives his father there.  Shot in atmospheric black-and-white- this classic road trip movie is both touching and funny, inviting us to reflect on themes of ageing, family dynamics and missed opportunities.  Cert. 15 Run time 110 minutes.

HIDDEN FIGURES

6th October 2017

HIDDEN FIGURES is the incredible untold story of Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe)-brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation's confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big. Running time 127 minutes. PG.

HANDSOME DEVIL

1st September 2017

Ned, the bullied outsider, and Conor, a new boy and star athlete, are forced to room together at their cloistered boarding school. Conor is drafted into the senior rugby team, whose actions dominate school life and whose privilege and entitlement have made Ned's life to date at the school a misery. The boys take an instant and visceral dislike to each other, and Ned and Conor seem destined to remain enemies until an English teacher, Mr. Sherry (Andrew Scott), begins to drill into them the value of finding one's own voice. This lesson isn't appreciated by everyone though, not least the rugby coach, Pascal (Moe Dunford), who has his own agenda, and who harbours some deep suspicions about Sherry. Running time 95 minutes.

LION

1st July 2017

Every year, Saroo Brierley celebrates his birthday on May 22. But that wasn’t the day he was born. It was the day he was found.

As a 5-year-old boy growing up in rural India, Brierley would often join his older brother as they scrounged for coins and food on trains to help their impoverished mother and siblings. One day in 1986, Brierley fell asleep inside an empty train stationed a few stops away from their hometown while waiting for his brother to fetch him. When he awoke hours later, he was hundreds of miles away, careening on an out-of-service train eventually headed for Calcutta. “The panic set in,” Brierley tells PEOPLE of waking up to find himself hungry, locked inside and hurtling toward an unknown destination. “I was crying for my mom and my brother and my sister.” Bierley would spend several terrifying weeks surviving on the streets of Calcutta before eventually being placed in an orphanage and adopted by an Australian couple. He’d go on to chronicle the ordeal in his memoir A Long Journey Home — and his story is now the subject of the new film Lion, starring Dev Patel as Brierley and Nicole Kidman as his adoptive mom, Sue. Even more astonishing, Brierley’s journey would take him full circle: More than two decades after he was torn from his Indian family, Brierley would reunite with his birth mother following a painstaking search for a hometown he barely remembered, using Google Earth.

Lion is a 2016 biographical film directed by Garth Davis (in his feature debut) and written by Luke Davies, based on the non-fiction book A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley with Larry Buttrose. The film stars Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, David Wenham and Nicole Kidman. Running Time 1hr. 58m. Rated PG.

THE EAGLE HUNTRESS

2nd June 2017

THE EAGLE HUNTRESS follows Aisholpan, a 13-year-old girl, as she trains to become the first female in twelve generations of her Kazakh family to become an eagle hunter, and rises to the pinnacle of a tradition that has been handed down from father to son for centuries. Set against the breath-taking expanse of the Mongolian steppe, THE EAGLE HUNTRESS features some of the most awe-inspiring cinematography ever captured in a documentary, giving this intimate tale of a young girl's quest the dramatic force of an epic narrative film. While there are many old Kazakh eagle hunters who vehemently reject the idea of any female taking part in their ancient tradition, Aisholpan's father Nurgaiv believes that a girl can do anything a boy can, as long as she's determined. The story begins after Aisholpan has been training with her father's eagle for many months. As every eagle can only have one master, the time has come for Aisholpan to capture an eagle of her own. Clambering down a sheer rock cliff with a rope, Aisholpan retrieves a fledgling eagle from its nest as its mother circles overhead. Her eagle will live, train, and hunt with her, until she releases it into the wild years later, so the cycle of life can continue. After months of training her eagle with her father, Aisholpan is ready to test her abilities. She enters a renowned competition, the Golden Eagle Festival, and faces off against 70 of the greatest Kazakh eagle hunters in Mongolia. The most arduous challenge is yet to come, as the rite-of-passage for every young eagle hunter is to take part in a hunt. Aisholpan must ride with her father deep into the frigid mountains and endure 40 below zero temperatures and perilous landscapes to prove she is a true eagle huntress. THE EAGLE HUNTRESS is executive produced and narrated by STAR WARS's Daisy Ridley. Like Ridley's character "Rey," Aisholpan never doubts her ability to be as strong or brave as any boy. She recognizes no obstacles and refuses to have her ambition denied. While she practices an ancient art, Aisholpan's story is a modern and inspiring one because she represents a world where a young girl's dreams-no matter how challenging-can come true. Directed by Otto Bell, THE EAGLE HUNTRESS is narrated by Daisy Ridley, executive produced by Ridley, Morgan Spurlock and Jeremy Chilnick, and produced by Stacy Reiss, Sharon Chang and Otto Bell. The director of photography is Simon Niblett, the editor is Pierre Takal and the film features a stirring end credits song, "Angel by the Wings," by Sia. Running Time 87 minutes. Rated U.

A UNITED KINGDOM

5th May 2017

 

A UNITED KINGDOM is based on extraordinary true events. In 1947, Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo), the King of Botswana, met Ruth Williams (Rosemund Pike), a London office worker. They were a perfect match, yet their proposed marriage was challenged not only by their families but by the British and South African governments. The latter had recently introduced the policy of apartheid and found the notion of a biracial couple ruling a neighboring country intolerable. South Africa threatened the British: either thwart the couple or be denied access to South African uranium and gold and face the risk of South Africa invading Botswana. Running Time 111 minutes. Rated PG-13.

THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST

14th April 2017

 

This was not part of the village hall film night programme but a Church event film-lovers might be interested in.

On Good Friday the Church remembers Jesus' suffering and death on the cross, known as "The Passion”, usually through quiet contemplation and worship.  However, this year we wanted additionally to take the opportunity offered by the facilities at Freckenham Village Hall to show a film depicting these events. 

The Passion of The Christ, released in 2004 depicts the last 12 hours of Jesus' life as they are told in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  The dialogue is entirely reconstructed Aramaic, Vernacular Hebrew and Latin with subtitles.  Due to the graphic nature of some scenes this film is rated 15.  The film runs for 126 minutes.  There is no entrance fee but donations are invited towards the cost of the licence and the hire of the hall, with any profit to be given to charity. 

SULLY

4th April 2017

Sully is a 2016 film about Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the remarkably courageous airline captain who in 2009 managed to land his damaged plane on New York’s Hudson river after geese flew into both his engines – and then got all his passengers off unharmed. Tom Hanks stars as Sully supported by  Aaron Eckhart and Laura Linney. Directed by Clint Eastwood. Running time 96 minutes. Rated 12A.

A STREET CAT NAMED BOB

3rd March 2017

A Street Cat Named Bob is a 2016 British family comedy-drama film directed by Roger Spottiswoode and written by Tim John and Maria Nation. It is based on the book of same name by James Bowen. Homeless and a recovering drug addict, James Bowen (Luke Treadaway) is running low on his luck. He’s given a last chance to turn his life around by his support worker, Val (Joanne Froggatt), who helps him to finally be given his own flat to live in. As James attempts to build a life and future for himself by busking in Covent Garden, he struggles to gain any traction as the London crowd passes him by. Whilst in the bath one day, he hears a break-in and finds a ginger cat in his kitchen eating the corn flakes. Thinking it belongs to a neighbour, he sets out to find the owner but with no luck concluding that it must be a stray. Over the next few days, the cat continues to linger on the estate, and James discovers an infected wound on the animal’s leg. He takes the cat to be treated by a charity vet and from that point onwards, the two lives become entwined.

BRIDGET JONES'S BABY

3rd February 2017

Oscar (R) winners Renée Zellweger and Colin Firth are joined by Patrick Dempsey for the next chapter of the world's favorite singleton in Bridget Jones's Baby. Directed by Sharon Maguire (Bridget Jones's Diary), the new film in the beloved comedy series based on creator Helen Fielding's heroine finds Bridget unexpectedly expecting. After breaking up with Mark Darcy (Firth), Bridget Jones's (Zellweger) "happily ever after" hasn't quite gone according to plan. Fortysomething and single again, she decides to focus on her job as top news producer and surround herself with old friends and new. For once, Bridget has everything completely under control. What could possibly go wrong? Then her love life takes a turn and Bridget meets a dashing American named Jack (Dempsey), the suitor who is everything Mr. Darcy is not. In an unlikely twist she finds herself pregnant, but with one hitch...she can only be fifty percent sure of the identity of her baby's father. The much-anticipated third installment of the Bridget Jones's franchise welcomes fellow Academy Award (R) winner Emma Thompson to the cast. Longtime collaborators Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner of Working Title Films produce alongside Debra Hayward. Universal Pictures will distribute Bridget Jones's Baby in North America and select international territories. Running time 122 minutes.

I DANIEL BLAKE

6th January 2017

Ken Loach's latest film "I, Daniel Blake" (2016) took home the most prestigious film award of the year, Palme d'Or, at Cannes during the summer of 2016.
Daniel Blake (59) has worked as a joiner most of his life in Newcastle. Now, for the first time ever, he needs help from the State. He crosses paths with a single mother Katie and her two young children, Daisy and Dylan. Katie's only chance to escape a one-roomed homeless hostel in London has been to accept a flat in a city she doesn't know, some 300 miles away. Daniel and Katie find themselves in no-man's land, caught on the barbed wire of welfare bureaucracy as played out against the rhetoric of 'striver and skiver' in modern day Britain. Running time 100 minutes.

AKENFIELD

4th November 2016

 

A film depicting the rural lives of Suffolk villagers in the 20th Century.

Akenfield, a fictional account of life from 1900, using local people as actors, was first shown in 1975 and The British Film Institute has now digitising it for a new release. Based on Ronald Blythe's 1969 book of the same name, Akenfield was filmed by Sir Peter Hall in Charsfield and neighbouring villages. An East Anglian Film Archive spokesman called it "a drama about change and a significant record of Suffolk life". "One of the great pleasures of the film was the loose outline, with no written dialogue and people invented roles for themselves." Tom (Garrow Shand) is a young farmer who lives in Akenfield, a small village in England. In 1974, Tom attends his grandfather's funeral and finds himself questioning his oppressive family history and his role within it. Will he, like his grandfather and father before him, never escape the secure but dreary existence that farming life in Akenfield holds in store for him? Or will he take a chance and venture out into the world beyond and possibly suffer as a consequence? Peggy Cole, now 80, played the Dulcie Rouse - the mother of the film's central character Tom. She said: "It showed how times were hard and people forget today, that years ago we relied on the farmer to grow all we eat and that houses were poor with no electric or running water”.

EDDIE THE EAGLE

7th October 2016

Inspired by true events, Eddie the Eagle is a feel-good story about Michael "Eddie" Edwards (Taron Egerton), an unlikely but courageous British ski-jumper who never stopped believing in himself - even as an entire nation was counting him out. With the help of a rebellious and charismatic coach (played by Hugh Jackman), Eddie takes on the establishment and wins the hearts of sports fans around the world by making an improbable and historic showing at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics.

FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS

2nd September 2016

An evening showing of the true story of Florence Foster Jenkins, starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant. The story of Florence Foster Jenkins, a New York heiress who dreamed of becoming an opera singer, despite having a terrible singing voice. Meryl Streep takes centre stage in this very likable, frequently hilarious, yet still poignant tragi-comedy from director Stephen Frears. Streep plays the titular songbird, a New York socialite and eager patron of the arts whose enthusiasm for a good tune is matched only by her inability to sing one. Not that it stops her from trying. Inspired by the “profound communion” of a performance by soprano Lily Pons, Madame Florence resumes her own singing lessons, her private recitals leading to 78rpm recordings and even an October 1944 concert at Carnegie Hall, which has since passed into legend. The real Florence Foster Jenkins was one of those larger than life characters you just couldn’t make up. No wonder, then, that she has inspired numerous theatrical and cinematic productions. Preparing to play the “diva of din” on stage in Peter Quilter’s 2005 play Glorious!, Maureen Lipman called her story “one of triumph over embarrassment”, and insisted that one must “learn to sing well before you can sing badly”. Earlier this year, Catherine Frot won a best actress César for playing a fictionalised version of “the first lady of the sliding scale” in Marguerite, a film whose central character’s name, “Marguerite Dumont”, alludes to the longstanding comic foil of the Marx Brothers’ movies. Frears himself says that Jenkins “reminded me of Margaret Dumont… just preposterous, but touching at the same time”, an assessment that perfectly sums up both Streep’s performance and the overall tone of Frears’s film. Running time: 1 hour 50 minutes

THE JUNGLE BOOK

25th August 2016

A matinee showing of the acclaimed 2016 film of the Jungle Book.

ROOM

5th August 2016

In August we are showing the award-winning, Room. Both highly suspenseful and deeply emotional, this is a unique and touching exploration of the boundless love between a mother and her child. After 5-year-old Jack (Jacob Tremblay) and his mother (Brie Larson) escape from the enclosed surroundings that Jack has known his entire life, the boy makes a thrilling discovery: the outside world. As he experiences all the joy, excitement, and fear that this new adventure brings, he holds tight to the one thing that matters most of all--his special bond with his loving and devoted Ma, his mother. Larson won rave reviews and an Academy Award for Best Actress. And as top critic, Mark Kermode, says in his review that it is so much, much more than a woman and a child in a room and is one of the best films that he has seen in years. Running time: 1 hour 53 minutes

BROOKLYN

1st July 2016

In July we showied Brooklyn. In a drama first released in cinemas in November 2015 the film tells the profoundly moving story of Eilis Lacey, a young Irish immigrant navigating her way through 1950s Brooklyn. Lured by the promise of America, Eilis departs Ireland and the comfort of her mother's home for the shores of New York City. The initial shackles of homesickness quickly diminish as a fresh romance sweeps Eilis into the intoxicating charm of love. But soon, her new vivacity is disrupted by her past, and Eilis must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within. The consensus of top film critics is that “Brooklyn buttresses outstanding performances from Saoirse Ronan and Emory Cohen with a rich period drama that tugs at the heartstrings as deftly as it satisfies the mind.” Also in the cast are ever-popular actors Julie Walters and Jim Broadbent. Running time: 1 hour 51 minutes

SPECTRE

3rd June2016

 

In June, our cinema in the Village Hall showed the latest Bond thriller, Spectre (PG 2015). After the events of Skyfall, Bond has come out a troubled man. His mentor, M, is dead. MI6 is crumbling under a newer, high-tech organisation led by the mysterious Max Denbigh. However, while in Mexico City, Bond finds an Italian hitman trying to bomb a major parade, and stops him. He finds a ring on his finger with a strange symbol on it. When he soon realises that this symbol is showing up at terrorist attacks all over the world, he must traverse the world to find out the truth behind the chilling organization known as SPECTRE and his blood-curdling connection to it and its leader. Spectre is from the pen of acclaimed director, Sam Mendes and stars Daniel Craig in what is rumoured to be his last appearance as Bond. As one top critic says “With a perfect blend of a compelling narrative and breathtaking action sequences, Spectre marks a return to greatness for the James Bond franchise.” The film lasted 2 hours 30 minutes and there was a 15 minute interval during the film.

MR HOLMES

6th May 2016

The well-acted drama Mr Holmes (PG) was shown in May. Starring Ian McKellen as Sherlock Holmes, in a twist to the story, Holmes is a lonely recluse, slowly succumbing to senility. The year is 1947, nearly 30 years after the troubling events which ultimately caused the sleuth to retreat to the country, and to care for his beloved bees. This retired Holmes, with a failing memory, tries to remember his final case and a woman, the memory of whom still haunts him. He also befriends a fan, the young son of his housekeeper, who wants him to work again. Running time 1hr 44 minutes.

THE LADY IN THE VAN

1st April 2016

In the evening for April we screened The Lady in the Van which tells the true story of Alan Bennett's strained friendship with Miss Mary Shepherd, an eccentric homeless woman whom Bennett befriended in the 1970s before allowing her temporarily to park her Bedford van in the driveway of his Camden home. She stayed there for 15 years. As the story develops Bennett learns that Miss Shepherd is really Margaret Fairchild (died 1989), a former gifted pupil of the pianist Alfred Cortot. She had played Chopin in a promenade concert, tried to become a nun, was committed to an institution by her brother, escaped, had an accident when her van was hit by a motorcyclist for which she believed herself to blame, and thereafter lived in fear of arrest.

PADDINGTON

1st April 2016

In April we screened during the afternoon the delightful family film Paddington (PG) — coinciding with the Easter school holiday. This film tells the story of the comic misadventures of a young Peruvian bear who travels to the city in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone, he begins to realise that city life is not all he had imagined - until he meets the kindly Brown family who read the label around his neck that says "Please look after this bear. Thank you," and offer him a temporary haven. It looks as though his luck has changed until this rarest of bears catches the eye of a museum taxidermist. Taking a consensus of views of the top critics they say: Paddington brings a beloved children's character into the 21st century without sacrificing his essential charm, delivering a family-friendly adventure as irresistibly cuddly as its star”Stars Ben Whishaw (voice), Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Nicole Kidman, Peter Capaldi, Julie Walters and Jim Broadbent. Running time 1 hr 36 minutes.

ADDICTED TO SHEEP

4th March 2016

In a slight diversion from the normal films, we screened the documentary Addicted to Sheep (PG). A sell-out in three showings in a mainstream Suffolk cinema in November/December, this terrific independent film tells a year in the life of North Pennines’ tenant farmers, Tom and Kay Hutchinson and their family, following their quest to rear the perfect sheep. Told with affection but without sentimentality (life and death are unflinchingly intertwined) this feature film gets under the skin of its subjects and the tough lives they lead. While Tom and Kay joke about the devotion to rearing the perfect prize-winning sheep, their children reflect on the ups and downs of rural life with a wonderful blend of innocence and experience. The whole family are terrific company and the director, Mageli Pettifer, herself a farmer’s daughter, captures both the beauty and the bleakness of the environment in which they live and work. With over 79 screenings UK-wide and 36 more booked, this is a film not to be missed — an Indie film and sheep!  As well-known film critic, Mark Kermode says it is “a rare treat”, while another believes “it could be one of the best films of 2015”. Running time 1 hour 15 minutes.

SUFFRAGETTE

5th February 2016

Suffragette (12) was the first film of the 2016 season This acclaimed true-story drama tracks the story of the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal State. These women were not primarily from the genteel educated classes, they were working women who had seen peaceful protest achieve nothing. Radicalised and turning to violence as the only route to change, they were willing to lose everything in their fight for equality - their jobs, their homes, their children and their lives. Boasting a stellar group of actors, including Carey Mulligan, Anne-Marie Duff, Helen Bonham-Carter, Brendan Gleeson and Meryl Streep.

BILLY ELLIOT

4th December 2015

To get the Christmas festivities underway, we showed the feel-good movie Billy Elliot (15). Billy (Jamie Bell) will be dancing his way across the screen in this charming movie that can produce both laughter and tears from the audience. The life of a miner's son in Northern England in the 80s, with the backdrop of the coal miners’ strike, is forever changed one day when he stumbles upon a ballet class (instructor, Julie Walters) on his way to boxing lessons. Although many of you will know this film well, come along and celebrate for a fun evening. Running time: 1hr 50mins.

THE HELP

6th November 2015

Racially themed drama The Help, the big screen adaptation of Kathryn Sockett 's period novel. Set in Mississippi during the 1960s, The Help stars Emma Stone as Skeeter, a southern society girl who returns from college determined to become a writer, but turns her friends’ lives – and a small Mississippi town – upside down when she decides to interview the black women who have spent their lives taking care of prominent southern families. Running time: 2hrs 17mins.

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD

2nd October 2015

Although some of you will remember the 1967 version starring Terence Stamp and Julie Christie. This is the 2015 remake and thanks to strong direction and a talented cast stands up well to the original. Based on the literary classic by Thomas Hardy, the beautifully made drama, set in the Victorian age, Far from the Madding Crowd follows the story of independent, beautiful and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan) who attracts three very different suitors in Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts) a sheep farmer, smitten by her fetching willfulness; Frank Troy (Tom Sturridge), a handsome and reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood (Michael Sheen) a prosperous and mature bachelor. A story of lust, doomed romance and how not to pick a husband! This film was only in cinemas in May this year, so is very recent and beautiful to watch set in the lovely Dorset countryside. Running time: 1hr 59 mins.

INVICTUS

4th September 2015

Coincided perfectly with the Rugby World Cup.   Directed by Clint Eastwood, the film tells the inspiring, uplifting,  true story of how Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) joined forces with the captain of South Africa's rugby team (Matt Damon) to help unite their country. Newly elected President Mandela knows his nation remains racially and economically divided in the wake of apartheid. Believing he can bring his people together through the universal language of sport, Mandela rallies South Africa's underdog rugby team as they make an unlikely run to the 1995 World Cup Championship match. And according to many critics “Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman inhabit their real-life characters with admirable conviction".   (PG)

SAVING MR BANKS

7th August 2015

The story of P L Travers, author of Mary Poppins, starring Emma Thompson (as Travers) and Tom Hanks (as Walt Disney). The film (Banks is Travers’ father’s name)  is inspired by the extraordinary, untold backstory of how Disney's classic "Mary Poppins" made it to the screen. When Walt Disney's daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, "Mary Poppins" he made them a promise — one that he didn't realise would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine.   (PG)

THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL

3rd July 2015

A talented and charming cast includes actors Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Penelope Wilton, Judi Dench, Dev Patel, Ronald Pickup and Richard Gere. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is now full up with its long-term residents, co-managers Muriel Donnelly and Sonny Kapoor have a dream of expansion, and they've found just the place: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.   Affable, picturesque and enjoyable comedy. (PG)

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING

5th June 2015

A multiple award-winner. Subtitled, ‘Stephen Hawking in Love’ the drama tells the story of renowned Cambridge astrophysicist Professor Stephen Hawking - “one of the most exceptional figures of the last half-century”.  

Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) falls deeply in love with fellow Cambridge student Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones). A gifted but unfocused graduate student, the romance must survive his devastating diagnosis of motor neurone disease as he begins the work that will consume him

Lauded by critics worldwide from Australia to the United Kingdom, comments have included “Eddie Redmayne plays Stephen Hawking brilliantly” “an inspiring look at an extraordinary life, anchored by two of the best performances of the year.”

THE IMITATION GAME

1st May 2015

In 1939, newly created British intelligence agency MI6 recruits Cambridge mathematics alumnus Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) to crack Nazi codes, including Enigma -- which cryptanalysts had thought unbreakable. Turing's team, including Joan Clarke (Keira Knightley), analyze Enigma messages while he builds a machine to decipher them. Turing and team finally succeed and become heroes, but in 1952, the quiet genius encounters disgrace when authorities reveal he is gay and send him to prison.

PRIDE

6th March 2015

The 2014 film Pride (15) is inspired by an extraordinary true story. It's the summer of 1984, Margaret Thatcher is in power and the National Union of Mineworkers is on strike, prompting a London-based group of gay and lesbian activists to raise money to support the strikers' families. Initially rebuffed by the Union, the group identifies a tiny mining village in Wales and sets off to make their donation in person. As the strike drags on, the two groups discover that standing together makes for the strongest union of all.  Stellar cast includes Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton. Running time 2 hours.

THE LIGHTHORSEMEN

6th February 2015

As part of the WW1 commemorations, the film series kicks off with The Lighthorsemen (PG) — a 1987 Australian film   about four gallant men of a WW1 Australian Light Horse Regiment who are thrust into the last great cavalry charge when the British campaign in Palestine becomes stalemated in 1917. In a desperate attempt to aid the Allies' cause, 800 young Australian horsemen set off against gunfire and insurmountable odds in a last ditch attempt to save the attacking British soldiers from imminent annihilation by the Turco-German Army. With themes that include the Australian identity, such as mateship and the loss of innocence in war, and also the continued coming of age of the Australian nation and its soldiers (the ANZAC spirit) this is a must to see. Running time 1hr 56mins

   

As part of the WW1 commemorations, the film series kicks off with The Lighthorsemen (PG) — a 1987 Australian film   about four gallant men of a WW1 Australian Light Horse Regiment who are thrust into the last great cavalry charge when the British campaign in Palestine becomes stalemated in 1917. In a desperate attempt to aid the Allies' cause, 800 young Australian horsemen set off against gunfire and insurmountable odds in a last ditch attempt to save the attacking British soldiers from imminent annihilation by the Turco-German Army. With themes that include the Australian identity, such as mateship and the loss of innocence in war, and also the continued coming of age of the Australian nation and its soldiers (the ANZAC spirit) this is a must to see. Running time 1hr 56mins