Cinema takes us from the West Wing to Yorkshire, via Wakanda


Still missing The West Wing? Waiting for that sequel to The Post*?

The Final Year might be just the fix of behind-the-scenes Washington politicking you need, if lacking somewhat in Martin Sheen… but then, you get the Real Thing itself, in President Barack Obama.

There was always going to be a problem for a US President and an administration that won the Nobel Peace Prize early in its first term: what to do for an encore? The Final Year, shot in 21 countries over the last 90 days of a presidency as Obama and John Kerry sought to cement their internationalist mission, gives the impression of providing great access to film-maker Greg Barker and his crew. But as the Variety review suggests, the problem was that they’d gone into the final scenes without the script.

Barker and the film-makers, Variety says, “…surely believed they were making a documentary about the merits of diplomatic engagement, which led to hard-won achievements like the Iran nuclear deal, the Paris climate accord, and the normalisation of relations with Cuba. But Donald Trump’s shocking victory in the 2016 presidential election casts the film in a different light, exposing the fragility of policies and agreements that can be upended with the stroke of a pen”. Yup… don’t bother pinching yourself, that nightmare in the White House is real.

As Variety warns, “Political junkies, particularly those pining for the last eight years, may want to see Obama’s ideals in action, but any election-year tension is conspicuously absent.”

The Final Year is the first film scheduled for the David Lean Cinema in April, but sets the well-travelled, internationalist tone for a programme which also includes two of the movies nominated for the Best Foreign Language Oscar.

There’s also a Easter holiday-time dose of Nick Park fun with Early Man, the Yorkshire darkness and beauty of Dark River, and a couple of American crowd-pleasers in the acclaimed Lady Bird and I, Tonya, the latter which should suit anyone already having Winter Olympic withdrawal symptoms.

Oh, and there’s also Black Panther, which may, or may not, be a film for Marvel fans only.

* PS… that sequel to The Post so heavily hinted at in the final frames of Spielberg’s latest? It was made in 1976 by Alan J Pakula…

  • Such has been the popularity with DLC regulars of the multi-BAFTA winner Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, the campaign has announced an extra screening for Tuesday March 27 at 2.30pm. Tickets may be booked through the link to the Box Office, below.
  • Unless otherwise stated, tickets for all screenings are £8.50. Concessions (Freedom Pass-holders, full-time students, claimants and disabled) £7. Rush tickets may also be available for under-25s.
  • Bookings can be made by clicking here

David Lean Cinema programme for April

All films are at 2.30 and 7.30pm unless stated

Tue Apr 3 THE FINAL YEAR (12A) (7.30pm)
2017 USA 89min. Director: Greg Barker
Features: Barack Obama, John Kerry, Samantha Power

In the final 12 months of the Obama administration, the White House’s foreign policy team criss-crossed the world seeking to mediate in crises and spread their internationalist values. Seeking to secure their legacy, they reflect on America’s place in the world – and eventually have to come to terms with who will succeed them. With unprecedented access granted to the President and those around him, The Final Year yields compelling and unique insights on how an open-minded, internationalist political philosophy was put into practice.

Thu Apr 5 EARLY MAN (PG) (2.30pm)
2018 UK/Fr 89min. Director: Nick Park
Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston, Maisie Williams, Timothy Spall

A tribe of primitive hunters face a grave threat to their existence when they are driven from their homes by Lord Nooth (Hiddleston) and his emissaries. But one tribesman, Dug (Redmayne) refuses to go down without a fight. Uniting his people, he embarks on an epic quest to defeat the mighty enemy and win back his home. This stop-motion animated comedy is the latest from Aardman Studios and Nick Park, creator of the beloved Wallace and Gromit.

Thu Apr 5 BLACK PANTHER (12A) (7.30pm)
2018 USA 134min. Director: Ryan Coogler
Stars: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Daniel Kaluuya

After his father’s unexpected death, T’Challa returns home to Wakanda, an isolationist African nation with vast hidden resources, to take his place as king. After a powerful enemy appears, T’Challa’s resolve as both king and protector is tested when he’s drawn into a conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Black Panther boasts a wide array of acting talent – Londoner Letitia Wright, as the king’s tech-savvy sister Shuri, takes the cake!

Sat April 7 EARLY MAN (PG) (2.30pm)
2018 UK/France 89min. Director: Nick Park
Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston, Maisie Williams, Timothy Spall

As Apr 5 above.

Tue Apr 10 ON BODY AND SOUL (18) (7.30pm)
2017 Hungary 116min (subtitled). Director: Ildikó Enyedi
Stars: Géza Morcsányi, Alexandra Borbély, Zoltán Schneider

A lonely middle-aged man is drawn to a new colleague. Struggling to communicate by day, they share nightly dreams in which they fall in love, in the form of deer wandering in a snowy forest. Not so strange, perhaps, compared with the peculiar ways of their workplace – an abattoir. Winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, and the first of this month’s films to be nominated for the Best Foreign Language Academy Award, this unique and surreal story is ultimately “a slow, quiet and beautifully composed story about human connection” (Time Out).

Thu Apr 12 LADY BIRD (15)
2017 USA 94min. Director: Greta Gerwig
Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges

Set in 2002, Greta Gerwig’s Oscar-nominated directorial debut follows Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson, an outspoken and artistically inclined 17-year-old, and her loving but turbulent relationship with her mother.

A senior student at a Catholic high school, Lady Bird wishes to attend an Ivy League college despite her mother’s protests, and undergoes a journey of self-discovery over the course of her senior year. An intimate portrait of adolescence, family and friendship with an impeccable performance from Ronan.

Tue Apr 17 DARK RIVER (15) (7.30pm)
2017 UK 89min. Director: Clio Barnard
Stars: Ruth Wilson, Mark Stanley, Sean Bean

Loosely based on Rose Tremain’s novel Trespass, Barnard’s film follows Alice, a professional sheep shearer, who returns to the family farm after her father’s death. Alice is haunted by the darkness of her teenage years, and is forced to fight with her brother, who has let the farm fall into debt. The run-down farm and bleak Yorkshire countryside are well captured, and Wilson gives a powerful performance as a young woman ground down by the injustices of her past life and present situation.

Thu Apr 19 I, TONYA (15) (11am and 7.30pm)
2017 USA 120min. Director: Craig Gillespie
Stars: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney

While she was one of the world’s most talented ice skaters as the 1994 Winter Olympics approached, Tonya Harding became infamous when her rival was attacked on the orders of her ex-husband. This “bleakly hilarious” (The Guardian) mockumentary is framed around Tonya and her family’s conflicting accounts of her rise from an impoverished, abusive background and her chaotic fall from grace. Giving uninhibited performances as Tonya and her hard nosed mother LaVona, Robbie and Janney both richly deserve their Academy Award nominations.

Tue Apr 24 A FANTASTIC WOMAN (15) (7.30pm)
2017 Chile/Ger/Sp/USA 104min (subtitled). Director: Sebastián Lelio
Stars: Daniela Vega, Francisco Reyes, Luis Gnecco

Marina’s life falls apart on the death of her mature lover Orlando. His family take over arrangements, exclude her, and treat her with contempt because she was born a man. Everything they shared including the dog are removed and she is forced to move in with her sister, but Marina will not go quietly and is prepared to fight for what is hers and her right to mourn the love of her life. Exuberant and life-affirming in the style of Pedro Almodóvar’s earlier work, A Fantastic Woman is our second Best Foreign Language Oscar nominee of the month.

Thu April 26 FINDING YOUR FEET (12A)
2017 UK 111min. Director: Richard Loncraine
Stars: Imelda Staunton, Timothy Spall, Joanna Lumley, Celia Imrie

On the eve of retirement, Sandra (Staunton) discovers that her husband has been having an affair with her best friend, and is forced into exile with her Bohemian sister Bif (Imrie). Middle class and snobbish, Sandra is slow to adapt to life on an inner-city council estate, but trips to the local dance club begin to raise her mood… With its excellent veteran British cast, this gentle romcom is an endearing, escapist delight.
* The 2.30pm screening will be subtitled for those with hearing loss.

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2 Responses to Cinema takes us from the West Wing to Yorkshire, via Wakanda

  1. You do not need to wait for a sequel to The Post – it is actually a prequel called ‘All The President’s Men’.

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