Nestled in the mountains somewhere between North Africa and the Middle East, the women of one village are on strike. Fed up of trekking miles every single day to the nearest well, newly-wed Leila leads a campaign to force the men to share the duty of bringing water to the village. Overcoming the wrath of the village elders and an unexpected visit from an old flame, Leila brings the colourful local traditions face-toface with the modern world. Another jewel from director Radu Mihaileanu who delighted us in the past with incredibly beautiful and powerful movies such as The Concert and Live and Become. The music composed by Armand Amar is superb.
15 cert – Morocco 2011 – Director: Radu Mihaileanu
Running time: 135 minutes – Language: Arabic
Cast: Leila Bekhti, Hafsia Herzi, Biyouna
Ken Loach’s latest film is more feel-good than usual but still retains a background of harsh reality alongside the humour and optimism. Robbie, a young Glaswegian hell-raiser, avoids prison for a violent attack because the judge wants to give him one last chance as his girlfriend has just had a baby. Robbie wants to prove he can turn over a new leaf and be a responsible father. On the community service scheme he is sentenced to attend, the group of odd-balls and petty criminals are persuaded by their kindly supervisor that there is more to life than drugs and thieving – namely the appreciation of fine malt whisky. The group embark on a remarkable and hilarious whisky-themed adventure which introduces them to a world light years away from their gritty home lives.
15 cert – UK 2012 – Director: Ken Loach
Running time: 101 minutes – Language: English
Cast: Paul Brannigan, John Henshaw, Jasmin Riggins
Swashbuckling hero of the silent film, Georg Valentin, faces his greatest challenge when the arrival of the innovative talking pictures, turns his life upside-down. Frustratingly one of his admirers shoots to stardom in this new world, Georg falls into despair, abandoned by all except his faithful hound. Winner of a swathe of Academy Awards, including best film and best actor, The Artist has amazed and enchanted audiences world-wide.
12A cert – France/Belgium 2011 – Dir: Michel Hazanavicius
Running time: 100 minutes – Language: English
Cast: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo
An entourage of British hopefuls in their late middle-age come to Jaipur, India to eke out their pensions. The hotel is portrayed in advertisements as a dream of pampered luxury a place where dreams can come true. The reality, however, is very different. The beautifully observed portraits and emotional upheavals of the characters, portrayed by a stellar cast, make this film a delight to watch.
12A cert – UK 2011 – Director: John Madden
Running time: 118 minutes – Language: English
Cast: Bill Nighy, Celia Imrie, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Ronald Pickup, Dev Patel, Tom Wilkinson
Bob Marley’s universal appeal, impact on musical history and role as a social and political prophet is both unique and unparalleled. Marley is the definitive life story of the musician, revolutionary and legend, from his early days to his rise to international superstardom. Made with the support of the Marley family, the film features rare footage as yet unseen in mainstream media, incredible performances and revelatory interviews with the people that knew him best.
15 cert – USA/UK 2012 – Director: Kevin MacDonald
Running time: 145 minutes – Language: English
Cast: Bob Marley, Rita Marley, Ziggy Marley
After the tragic death of their well-liked teacher, a school class is left shaken and fragile. A new primary teacher is appointed, the mysterious and charming Bachir Lazhar who, as each day passes, earns the trust of the class and allows them to grieve. Lazhar’s compassion has a huge impact on the most sensitive pupils, but unbeknown to them, he is also fighting his own personal battles that have left him emotionally vulnerable.
12A cert – Canada 2012 – Director: Philippe Falardeau
Running time: 94 minutes – Language: French
Cast: Mohamed Fellag, Emilien Neron, Marie-Eve Beauregard
Emphatically NOT a sequel to Jurassic Park! Tyrannosaur is a film about a man addicted to rage and whose life’s downward spiral is suddenly halted. He unexpectedly begins a relationship with a woman he meets when he is forced to seek refuge in a charity shop where she volunteers. However, this is no conventional tale of a wild and violent man saved by the love of a good woman and we are confronted by a much more complex development.
18 cert – UK 2011 – Director: Paddy Considine
Running time: 92 minutes – Language: English
Cast: Peter Mullan, Olivia Coleman, Eddie Marsan
Based on the true story of Caroline Mathilda, the English princess who married King Christian VII of Denmark in the early 1770s. A Royal Affair is a bold, sumptuous tale of illicit love and political passion on a sweeping, epic scale. Keen to be a dutiful wife and Queen, Caroline’s hopes are soon dashed when she discovers the King’s true madness. Turning away from the King she finds herself in the arms of the King’s physician – a radical libertarian – with whom she embarks upon a passionate affair that would bring the kingdom to the brink of a revolution. Winner of two Silver Bears at the Berlin Film Festival 2012, A Royal Affair is a stunningly powerful portrait of love, lust and betrayal, told here for the very first time.
15 cert – Denmark 2012 – Director: Nikolaj Arcel
Running time: 128 minutes – Language: Danish
Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Alicia Vikander, Mikkel Følsgaard
Hugo is an orphan who lives in a railway station in 1930’s Paris. His father had maintained the station’s large and varied network of clocks and Hugo takes on this job unofficially. There is a sinister edge to this film as Hugo is continually forced to escape from the station inspector (played by Sacha Baron Cohen) who wants to send Hugo to an orphanage. A magical story which is also homage to the pioneers of cinema, a theme which is close to Scorsese’s heart.
U cert – USA 2011 – Director: Martin Scorsese
Running time: 126 minutes – Language: English
Cast: Asa Butterfield, Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Ray Winstone
Set in 1960’s Jackson, Mississippi, The Help describes how a young, white, would-be writer persuades two black maids to work with her secretly on a book. The hardships and injustice suffered by the maids at the hands of their wealthy white employers were common in a segregated society where the Civil Rights Movement was only just beginning to make an impact. The story charts the impact of standing up for a community who have no voice and is charming in its representation of love and friendships.
12A cert – USA 2011 – Director: Tate Taylor
Running time: 146 minutes – Language: English
Cast: Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer