Now showing at Brewery Arts Centre 122a,Highgate,Kendal,Cumbria LA9 4HE firstname.lastname@example.org 01539 725133
- A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
- Hand Gestures
- Horse Money (Cavalo Dinheiro)
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 2
- The Lady In The Van
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night 4 stars
In the fictitious Iranian community of Bad City, handsome Arash dreams of a brighter future over the horizon, far from his drug-addicted father, Hossein. Debt mounts and Arash works as a pimp for a prostitute called Atti, who is past her prime. In his search for a new trick, Arash stumbles upon a seemingly quiet and assuming girl. He underestimates the girl at his peril and quickly learns that you shouldn't judge a voracious bloodsucking vampire by her demure appearance.
- GenreHorror, Romance, Thriller, World
- CastSheila Vand, Arash Marandi, Marshall Manesh.
- DirectorAna Lily Amirpour.
- WriterAna Lily Amirpour.
- Duration101 mins
- Official sitewww.facebook.com/AGirlWalksHomeAloneAtNight
- Release22/05/2015 (selected cinemas)
Shot in arresting black and white, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night is a grisly love story with bite, literally, set in the fictitious Iranian community of Bad City. In this godforsaken outpost, handsome Arash (Arash Marandi) dreams of a brighter future over the horizon, far from his drug-addicted father, Hossein (Marshall Manesh), who owes a small fortune to violent dealer Saeed (Dominic Rains). The debt mounts and Saeed seizes Arash's beloved vintage car as part-payment, preventing the young man from exiting this hellhole. In order to make ends meet, Arash works as a pimp for a prostitute called Atti (Mozhan Marno), who is past her prime. In his search for a new trick, Arash stumbles upon a seemingly quiet and assuming girl (Sheila Vand), who he is sure he can overpower and dominate. However, Arash underestimates the girl at his peril and quickly learns that you shouldn't judge a voracious bloodsucking vampire by her demure appearance.
Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)
- Thursday 3rd December 2015
Hand Gestures 3 stars
A documentary about a bronze foundry in Milan that still uses techniques dating back to the 4th-century BC. Eschewing voiceover narration in favour of natural sound effects, the film ventures inside the historic Battaglia Artistic Foundry where Italian artist Velasco Vitali is about to make one of his famous dog sculptures in glazed bronze with the help of the resident craftsmen. Cameras capture each stage of the meticulous process inside the 100-year-old building.
- GenreDocumentary, World
- CastNicolae Ciortan, Elia Alunni Tullini, Mario Conti.
- DirectorFrancesco Clerici.
- WriterMartina De Santis, Francesco Clerici.
- Duration77 mins
- Official site
- Release20/11/2015 (selected cinemas)
For his debut feature, documentary filmmaker Francesco Clerici chooses a most unusual subject: a bronze foundry in Milan that still uses techniques dating back to the 4th-century BC. Eschewing voiceover narration in favour of natural sound effects, Hand Gestures ventures inside the historic Battaglia Artistic Foundry where Italian artist Velasco Vitali is about to make one of his famous dog sculptures in glazed bronze with the help of the resident craftsmen. Cameras capture each stage of the meticulous process inside the 100-year-old building as the dog metamorphoses from wax to metal, using traditions that have been passed down to this group of skilled artisans through apprenticeships.
Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)
- Wednesday 2nd December 2015
Horse Money (Cavalo Dinheiro) 3 stars
Sixty-year old non-professional actor Ventura takes a stroll down memory lane. His recollections are occasionally shrouded in uncertainty as if he is suffering from the first glimmers of dementia. In more lucid moments, Ventura encounters friends and family from his past including a woman called Vitalina, who has made the trek from Cape Verde to Lisbon to bury her husband, and a doctor at a hospital in the aftermath of the Carnation Revolution.
- GenreDrama, World
- CastTito Furtado, Vitalina Varela, Ventura, Antonio Santos.
- DirectorPedro Costa.
- WriterPedro Costa.
- Duration105 mins
- Official site
- Release18/09/2015 (selected cinemas)
Fiction and reality blue in Portuguese filmmaker Pedro Costa's drama, which centres on a 60-year old man taking a stroll down memory lane. Non-professional actor Ventura (playing himself), worked with Costa on his film Colossal Youth and engages in a conversation with the director about his life. His hands shake, perhaps the result of a nervous condition, and his recollections are occasionally shrouded in uncertainty as if he is suffering from the first glimmers of dementia. In more lucid moments, Ventura encounters friends and family from his past including a woman called Vitalina (Vitalina Varela), who has made the trek from Cape Verde to Lisbon to bury her husband, and a doctor at a hospital in the aftermath of the Carnation Revolution. By navigating this mosaic of memories, Costa paints a haunting portrait of his country's history and the suffering of an entire generation, who lived through various conflicts and recriminations.
Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)
- Tuesday 1st December 2015
Spectre 3 stars
The newly appointed M, Gareth Mallory, battles with political forces to protect the integrity of MI6. A cryptic message reveals ghosts from Bond's past and 007 realises he must protect Dr Madeleine Swann, daughter of fugitive Mr White, in order to unravel the mystery. Aided by MI6 technical wizard Q, Bond criss-crosses the globe in his Aston Martin DB10 and discovers that a menacing organisation named SPECTRE, fronted by the diabolical Franz Oberhauser, is behind the global threat.
- GenreAction, Adventure, Romance, Thriller
- CastDaniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Christoph Waltz, Monica Bellucci, Ben Whishaw, Lea Seydoux, Andrew Scott, Dave Bautista, Naomie Harris.
- DirectorSam Mendes.
- WriterNeal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan, Jez Butterworth.
- Duration148 mins
- Official sitewww.007.com
Daniel Craig's licence to kill as Ian Fleming's suave secret agent comes full circle in Spectre, a robust yet emotionally underpowered tale of espionage and dark family secrets that ends with a series of whimpers rather than an almighty bang.
If Skyfall popped a cork on a muscular new era for 007, becoming the highest grossing film of all time in the UK, then Spectre is the morning after, when the champagne has gone flat, leftover snacks are starting to go stale and someone has fallen asleep face down on the sofa.
That could be any of the four screenwriters, who doze off after the tour-de-force opening sequence at a Mexican day of the dead parade, and allow plot holes and lapses in logic to pock their narrative.
How can Bond travel around the globe unseen when he has nanobots in his bloodstream so MI6 and the enemy can track his movements? Would a brilliant operative like Q really whip out his laptop on public transport and conduct vital forensic analysis without a second thought for security protocols?
Death sequences are anti-climaxes and the central love story, which is supposed to kindle doubts in Bond's mind about his loyalty to Queen and country, barely smoulders, let alone melts celluloid.
The newly appointed M, Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes), battles with political forces, including Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott), to protect the integrity of MI6 following a merger with MI5.
A cryptic message reveals ghosts from Bond's past and 007 (Craig) follows a chain of evidence that leads to Dr Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux), daughter of fugitive Mr White (Jesper Christensen), who was last seen in Quantum Of Solace.
Aided by technical wizard Q (Ben Whishaw) and plucky agent Eve Moneypenny (Naomie Harris), Bond criss-crosses the globe in his Aston Martin DB10 and infiltrates a menacing organisation named SPECTRE, fronted by the enigmatic Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz).
Rome, Tokyo, Altaussee in Austria, Tangier and London provide a picturesque backdrop to Bond's escapades as he meets his physical match in hulking henchman Mr Hinx (Dave Bautista).
Spectre was always going to struggle to meet expectations, but it's disappointing how far short this 24th big screen mission falls. At 148 minutes, the film overstays its welcome and a number of key scenes overrun, particularly the introduction of Waltz's shadowy archvillain.
Action set pieces, apart from the glorious opening salvo, lack power, sacrificing slam-bang thrills for ponderous exposition. Craig struts and swaggers through the melee, bedding beauties who seemingly self-combust with a single glance. He also endures a wince-inducing torture sequence that warrants the film's 12A certificate.
Dame Judi Dench's absence is palpable but Fiennes and Whishaw are gifted expanded roles and come into their own, while Harris is surplus to requirements. When one of the characters rebukes Bond's recklessness and tells the agent he has gone too far, nothing could be further from the truth. Spectre doesn't go far enough.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 2 4 stars
Katniss Everdeen recovers after her bruising encounter with brainwashed Hunger Games competitor Peeta. President Snow is preparing for the rebels' assault on the Capitol and has planted pods as booby traps around the evacuated city to annihilate invaders before they can reach his mansion stronghold. Katniss, Peeta and other allies venture behind enemy lines to launch a covert strike on Snow and bring about lasting peace. However, the casualties of war are high.
- GenreAction, Adaptation, Adventure, Drama, Family, Romance, Science Fiction
- CastJennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Josh Hutcherson, Jeffrey Wright, Donald Sutherland, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Stanley Tucci.
- DirectorFrancis Lawrence.
- WriterDanny Strong, Peter Craig.
- Duration137 mins
- Official sitewww.thehungergames.co.uk
At a critical juncture in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, Woody Harrelson's grizzled mentor Haymitch Abernathy pays tribute to his battle-scarred protegee, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence). "I'll say this Katniss, you don't disappoint," he beams. Similar praise could almost be lavished on the concluding chapter of the dystopian saga, based on the novels by Suzanne Collins. This bruising battle royale remains faithful to the books and largely justifies the decision to cleave the final salvo in two a la Harry Potter and Twilight. A nail-biting subterranean set piece, pitting the rebels against a horde of snarling creatures called mutts, is a thing of terrifying beauty reminiscent of Ellen Ripley's hellish encounters with aliens. And Danny Strong and Peter Craig's muscular script doesn't shy away from the moral conundrum of conflict for a generation, whose childhood innocence has been stained with blood. "It's war. Sometimes killing isn't personal," suggests one teenager, trying to make sense of the carnage. If Mockingjay - Part 1 dragged its feet, trading glancing verbal blows between Katniss and Machiavellian warmonger President Snow (Donald Sutherland), the concluding salvo lands one devastating blow after another as simmering animosity ignites full-blown slaughter. Without any fanfare, Part 2 opens on Katniss' anguished face as she recovers from a skirmish with brainwashed Hunger Games competitor Peeta (Josh Hutcherson). The unified Districts are preparing for an assault on the Capitol and Katniss must lead the charge, guided by District 13's crusading President, Alma Coin (Julianne Moore), gamesmaker Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and lovestruck childhood friend Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth). Intelligence reveals that President Snow has planted booby traps known as pods around the ruined city in order to annihilate the rebels before they reach his fortified mansion. Katniss, Peeta, Gale and other valiant allies including Hunger Games victor Finnick (Sam Claflin) venture behind enemy lines to launch a covert strike on Snow. "He needs to see my eyes when I kill him," snarls Katniss. However, casualties are high and the gung-ho heroine must watch as the people she loves, including her plucky sister Primrose (Willow Shields), risk everything in the name of liberty. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 is a fitting and relentlessly grim conclusion, distinguished by breathless action sequences that recall the first film back in 2012, before leading lady Lawrence became an Oscar-winning powerhouse. She delivers another emotionally wrought and beautifully measured performance, torn between Hutcherson and Hemsworth's rival suitors for Katniss' hardened heart. Director Francis Lawrence signs off in downbeat style but does make a couple of notable missteps. The most gut-wrenching death in the book is an anti-climax on screen and a wistful yet melancholic coda might have been axed entirely by a braver filmmaker.
The Lady In The Van 3 stars
Playwright Alan Bennett moves into a house in Camden and is befriended by well-to-do neighbours. Soon after, a cantankerous vagrant called Miss Shepherd bullies Alan into letting her take up temporary residence in his driveway. Months turn into years and the playwright despairs as he becomes Miss Shepherd's guardian and suffers regular visits from interfering social services worker Miss Briscoe.
- GenreAdaptation, Comedy, Drama
- CastDame Maggie Smith, Alex Jennings, Jim Broadbent.
- DirectorNicholas Hytner.
- WriterAlan Bennett.
- Duration104 mins
- Official site
Teasingly billed as "a mostly true story", The Lady In The Van is an entertaining screen adaptation of Alan Bennett's award-winning 1999 play, based on his experiences of a sharp-tongued vagrant called Miss Shepherd, who camped outside his driveway for more than 15 years.
The playwright has lovingly adapted his stage work, employing the same cute theatrical device of the real Alan and an internal self, who endlessly pontificate on the tramp's shady past as they mooch about a north London home.
"Writing is talking to oneself and I've been doing it all of my life," quips the real Alan to neatly explain the duelling on-screen narrators, both played with warmth and wit by Alex Jennings.
Dame Maggie Smith reprises her eye-catching stage role as the eponymous and fragrant tramp, unleashing an array of withering putdowns that would surely have her imperious Dowager in Downton Abbey clucking with approval. It's a tour-de-force performance from the national treasure, tinged with pathos and regret, which reminds us that Smith is a gifted physician comedian as well as a twinkly-eyed sniper with a sardonic one-liner.
Alan (Jennings) moves into a house in Camden and is befriended by well-to-do neighbours including opera fans Rufus (Roger Allam) and Pauline (Deborah Findlay), who live opposite, and statuesque Ursula Vaughan Williams (Frances de la Tour).
Soon after, a cantankerous woman called Miss Shepherd (Smith) settles in their street in her ramshackle vehicle and bullies Alan into pushing her transport, when it refuses to start during a downpour. "You wouldn't see Harold Pinter pushing vans down the street!" Alan berates himself.
When council bureaucracy threatens the old woman's future, the playwright foolishly agrees to let her take up temporary residence on his driveway for a few weeks. Months turn into years and the playwright despairs as he becomes Miss Shepherd's guardian and suffers regular visits from interfering social services worker Miss Briscoe (Cecilia Noble).
When a police officer called Underwood (Jim Broadbent) begins to harass the old woman late at night, Alan speculates about her former life. Meanwhile, Miss Shepherd seeks forgiveness for unspoken sins in the confessional of the local priest (Dermot Crowley). "Absolution is not like a bus pass," the holy man tenderly proclaims. "It does not run out."
The Lady In The Van is an amusing and heart-warming tonic for these cold winter months. Director Nicholas Hytner, who helmed the Olivier Award-nominated stage production, reunites with his leading lady with obvious relish.
He also includes cameos for most of the cast of The History Boys, his last collaboration with Bennett, including James Corden as a market trader, whose cheeky banter fails to curry favour with Miss Shepherd. Supporting characters are sketched lightly in comparison, but all observe Smith's virtuoso performance with admiration.