Arthouse cinema picks its Oscar-winners well by Moonlight

There’s no Oscar envelope bungling at the David Lean Cinema, where the first film up for viewing in April at the arthouse cinema (and chosen by the David Lean Cinema campaigners before Sunday night’s embarrassment) is the Best Picture-winner, Moonlight. Warren Beatty would be so pleased.

Yes, Warren. This is the right one...

Yes, Warren. This is the right one…

The winner of two further Oscars, Moonlight begins another packed month of high-achieving movies, plus one or two slightly more quirky choices.

The David Lean’s March programme has already broken the volunteer-run cinema’s pre-sales record, so early booking for April is advised to avoid disappointment.

There’s a rerun of Lion, and a first screening here for Fences, Denzil Washington’s latest powerful drama where Viola Davis gave an Oscar-winning performance.

And, also among the Oscar nominees, Elle is a rarity in being a foreign language film with a Best Actress nomination, for Isabelle Huppert.

Elsewhere in the programme, fans of British cinema will be pleased to see Hugh Bonneville and Gillian Anderson in the Indian Partition drama Viceroy’s House, and there’s another opportunity to watch the popular Denial.

David Lean Cinema programme April

All films are at 2.30 and 7.30pm unless stated

Tue Apr 4 MOONLIGHT (15)
2016 USA 111min. Director: Barry Jenkins
Stars: Mahershala Ali, Shariff Earp, Duan Sanderson, Naomie Harris
A beautiful and sensitive film about growing up black and sexually confused on the urban streets of Miami. In three parts, we see Chiron, a child from a deprived background who is taken under the wing of the local drug dealer, a positive male role model for him, then as a troubled and confused youth, and finally the adult who has to face the truth of his feelings. Independent filmmaker Jenkins has achieved one of the great breakthroughs of recent years with this impressive drama, which was nominated for eight Academy Awards and which won Best Picture.

lion-movie-posterWed Apr 5 LION (PG) (2.30pm)
2016 Australia/USA 118min (partially subtitled). Director: Garth Davis
Stars: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara
Saroo and his family live a hand-to-mouth existence in a small Indian village. One night while out scavenging, he gets separated from his brother and after climbing into a train, ends up utterly lost and alone in Calcutta. Having been adopted by an Australian couple, the adult Saroo begins a search for his family, but the clues he has to their whereabouts are sketchy. Ravishing photography of India and Australia, together with standout performances by the star actors, make this a truly heart-rending, true-life story.

denialjpgWed Apr 5 DENIAL (12A) (7.30pm)
2016 UK/USA 109min. Director: Mick Jackson
Stars: Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Spall, Andrew Scott
American historian Deborah Lipstadt is shocked when British academic David Irving interrupts her lecture – and her professional future is threatened when she is the target of his libel suit. With the burden of proof upon her, Lipstadt’s legal team, led by Anthony Julius QC (Scott), must demonstrate that Irving knowingly obscured evidence of the Holocaust. Weisz and Spall both excel as the stubborn intellectuals, with Irving’s arrogance and self-deception especially showing Spall at the height of his powers.

Thu Apr 6 20TH CENTURY WOMEN (15)
2016 USA 119min. Director: Mike Mills
Stars: Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig, Elle Fanning, Lucas Jade Zumann
Santa Barbara, 1979. A mother at 40, Dorothea (Bening) doesn’t quite know what to do with her teenage son, so she enlists their punky lodger (Gerwig) and his best friend (Fanning) to help him understand the world. With engaging characters, wry humour and a superb ensemble cast, Mills draws us into this slice of Californian life while deftly exploring the late 1970s as a social, cultural and political turning point. Nominated for the Best Original Screenplay Oscar, this is a must for anyone who enjoys character-driven drama.

certain-women-posterTue Apr 11 CERTAIN WOMEN (12A) (7.30pm)
2016 USA 107min. Dir: Kelly Reichardt
Stars: Laura Dern, Michelle Williams, Kristen Stewart, Lily Gladstone
In a small Montana town, three women are facing crises large and small. One is a lawyer with a troubled client, another is seeking to build a family home, and the third is a horse rancher looking for companionship. Reichardt excels in careful observations of women’s emotions and relationships, and is joined by a superb cast – newcomer Lily Gladstone, as the rancher, is a worthy match for her celebrated co-stars. Awarded Best Film at the 2016 London Film Festival.

Thu Apr 13 FENCES (12A)
2016 USA 139 mins. Director: Denzil Washington
Stars: Denzil Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen Henderson
Once a promising baseball player, Troy (Washington) is haunted by resentment at the racist treatment that has left him earning a living as a garbage collector. While he’s often charming, Troy’s tight grip over his family has deepening consequences. While Washington is excellent in this adaptation of August Wilson’s play, Viola Davis’s stunning performance as wife Rose won her the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award.

Sat Apr 15 ZIP & ZAP AND THE MARBLE GANG (U) (2.30pm)
2013 Spain 97min (subtitled). Director: Oskar Santos
Stars: Javier Gutiérrez, Raúl Rivas, Daniel Cerezo
Zip and Zap is an adventure story set in a boring summer school which becomes much less boring after a group of friends discover something secret is going on. It is exciting, with a few scary moments. Suitable for children who know a few words of Spanish or would like to learn some, or for those to see their first film with subtitles. Because of the subtitles and a couple of slightly rude words, we think it is most suitable for age 8+.

Tue Apr 18 ELLE (18) (7.30pm)
2017 Fr/Ger/Bel 130min (subtitled). Director: Paul Verhoeven
Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Laurent Lafitte, Anne Consigny, Charles Berling
Michèle (Huppert, Oscar-nominated) is the head of a leading video game company, and brings a hard-headed attitude to both her personal and business lives. Attacked in her home by an unknown assailant, she seems at first to be little affected. Eventually, though, Michèle resolutely tracks the man down… Verhoeven casts an unsettling spell, varying the mood from scene to scene, in this widely praised, “electrifying and provocative comeback” (The Guardian).

hidden-figures-posterThu Apr 20 HIDDEN FIGURES (PG)
2016 UK/USA 127min. Director: Theodore Melfi
Stars: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst
Behind the public face of NASA’s triumphant Space Race victory, a small army of human “computers” performed the calculations vital to astronauts such as John Glenn being able to travel into space and back safely. One of the most important was a black woman, Katherine Johnson (Henson). Following Johnson and her colleagues as they strive to overcome the limitations of segregations and the doubts of many white colleagues, this Best Picture nominee is a hugely enjoyable and inspirational tribute to these pioneering talents.

Tue Apr 25 DANCER (12A) (7.30pm)
2016 UK/Rus/Ukr/USA 85min (partially subtitled). Director: Steven Cantor
Features: Sergei Polunin, Jade Hale-Christofi
The focus of his family’s ambitions from a young age, Sergei Polunin moved from Ukraine to the Royal Ballet school at 13, and became the company’s youngest ever principal dancer at 19. By 22, he walked away from the company, isolated in his personal life and feeling constrained by the routine. Through interviews with Polunin and his family, and footage from throughout his remarkable life, Dancer explores what drives this troubled and brilliantly talented young man.

Thu Apr 27 VICEROY’S HOUSE (12A)
2017 UK/India 106min. Director: Gurinder Chadha
Stars: Hugh Bonneville, Gillian Anderson, Michael Gambon, Om Puri
The campaign for Indian independence culminated in a decision that the end of British rule would be accompanied by Partition – the separation of India and Pakistan, East and West, with bloody consequences which would last for decades to come. The suddenness of this process would cause huge unrest and bloodshed, and while Viceroy Mountbatten (Bonneville; can you hear a touch of the Downton theme in the title track?) and his wife Edwina (Anderson) prepared for the transition, its impact was greatest among their staff, such as Jeet (Dayal), a Hindu, and Aalia (Qureshi), a Muslim. Chadha (Bride and Prejudice, Bend It Like Beckham) brings her characteristic keen eye and storytelling flair to this vital episode from the recent past.
* The 2.30pm screening will be subtitled for those with hearing loss.

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