In the forests of the Pacific Northwest a father, devoted to raising his children with a rigorous physical and intellectual severity, is forced to leave his paradise and enter the outside world, presenting great challenges to himself and his sheltered family. The ensuing culture clashes are both funny and thought-provoking.
Cert 15 – USA 2016
Director: Matt Ross – Running time: 119 minutes – Language: English
Cast: Viggo Mortensen, George McKay
A 5 year old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, and after facing severe challenges he is adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty five years later he attempts to trace his original family. Based on a true story, Lion treats profound themes of home and identity with a light but authentic touch.
Cert PG – UK/Australia 2016
Director: Garth Davis – Running time: 118 minutes
Cast: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara
After a heart attack a 59 year old carpenter faces an impenetrable jungle of regulations when he attempts to claim benefits. A searing indictment of the system and its effects on both claimants and the staff who have to administer them. The human tragedies depicted reflect the director’s humanity and his skill at avoiding political clichés whilst leavening the tragic with black humour.
Cert 15 – UK 2016
Director: Ken Loach – Running time: 100 minutes – Language: English
Cast: Dave Johns, Hayley Squires
The story of the relationship between Karamakate, an Amazonian shaman, the last survivor of his tribe, and two European scientists who work together over 40 years to locate a secret healing plant. The breath-taking cinematography and dreamlike pace of the film do not overshadow the theme of conflict between an ancient civilisation and modern western economic pressures.
Cert 12 – Colombia/Venezuela 2016
Director: Ciro Guerra – Running time: 123 minutes – Language: Spanish, Aboriginal (English subtitles)
Cast: Jan Bijvoet, Brionne Davis
The story of a team of African-American women mathematicians who played a vital role in the NASA space programme during the early years of the US space programme. A touching, sobering and often funny lesson in racial history.
Cert PG – USA 2016
Director: Theodore Melfi – Running time: 127 minutes
Cast: Tareji P Henson, Octavia Spencer
Thirteen-year-old Connor is lonely, bullied at school and trying to cope with his single mother’s terminal illness. Help arrives in the unlikely shape of a fantastic tree spirit. Light-years away from a conventional monster movie, this is more an allegory of grief and despair and the human ability to overcome them
Cert 12 – UK 2016
Director: J. A. Bayona – Running time: 108 minutes – Language: English
Cast: Lewis McDougall, Felicity Jones, Sigourney Weaver
The story of New England poet Emily Dickinson. Thoughtful, emotional and often surprisingly funny, the film explores her struggles within the confines of straight-laced nineteenth century small town life.
Cert 12A – UK/USA 2016
Director: Terence Davies – Running time: 125 minutes
Cast: Cynthia Nixon, Jennifer Ehle, Keith Caradine
A boy and his foster-father become the subject of a man-hunt when they get stranded in a New Zealand forest. This ultimate odd-couple film explores the meaning of masculinity in an engagingly fresh and often hilarious manner.
Cert 12A – New Zealand 2016
Director: Taika Waititi – Running time: 101 minutes
Cast: Sam Neill, Julian Dennison
Thirteen-year-old Aishopen trains to be the first female to adopt the historic tradition of her family to become a hunter with eagles. We see the endearing heroine catching and training the eagle while coping with the normal pressures of school and family and the hostility of older hunters who think this is no task for a girl.
Cert PG – UK/USA/Mongolia 2016
Director: Otto Bell – Running time: 87 minutes – Language: Kazakh (English subtitles)
Cast: Kuksyegyen Almagul, Daisy Ridley
Ricardo, 42, is living in the shadow of his father, guilty about not visiting his aged mother, hearing his ex-wife complain about his lack of contact with the children and then having a looming health crisis. Yet this grim subject matter becomes the stuff of hilarious comedy as Rafael turns out to be in the words of one reviewer ‘The most sympathetic ass-hole in cinema history’
Cert 15 – Argentine 2001
Director: Juan Jose Campanello – Running time: 123 minutes – Language: Spanish (English subtitles)
Cast: Ricardo Darin, Eduardo Blanco