With British performers and film-makers winning seven Golden Globes on Sunday, the screen industry in this country appears to be in rude health, and in Oscar month, the programme at the David Lean Cinema – with its new, cut-price ticketing policy – goes some way to celebrate just that.
Tickets go on sale for February this Thursday (Jan 10) on the David Lean Cinema website, offering the usual eclectic selection, from the ubiquitous Olivia Colman in Academy Award-tipped The Favourite, to Keira Knightly in Colette, through a bit of Scandic noir with The Guilty, and even a some high-risk rock climbing in Yosemite National Park in Free Solo.
There’s also a chance to see comic genius Steve Coogan playing a comic genius, Stan Laurel, in what might just be the thoughtful and inventive performer’s finest role yet.
There’s two special events planned during February.
Comedian Kevin Day pays a visit on February 13 to introduce one of his favourite movies, as part of the Croydon Comedy Festival, and on February 26 the former Bafta chairman Sir Sydney Samuelson will be on hand to introduce a 1923 feature, A Couple Of Down And Outs, which was produced by his father.
- Tickets for screenings are £7.50. Concessions (Freedom Pass-holders, full-time students, claimants and disabled) £6; Under-25s are £5.
David Lean Cinema programme for February
All films are at 2.30 and 7.30pm, unless stated
Tue Feb 5 THE GUILTY (15) (7.30pm)
2018 Den 85min (Danish with subtitles). Dir: Gustav Möller
Stars: Jakob Cedergren, Jessica Dinnage, Omar Shargawi
When Danish police officer Asger Holm is embroiled in controversy, he is demoted to an Emergency Services call centre until it subsides. The calm dissipates when he answers a call from a distressed woman who claims she’s been kidnapped. Asger takes it upon himself to singlehandedly rescue her and her daughter, and a telephonic race-against-time ensues. Powered by Cedergren’s performance, with suspense galore, The Guilty is a thriller reminiscent of Hitchcock’s Rear Window.
Thu Feb 7 MARY POPPINS RETURNS (U)
2018 USA 130min. Dir: Rob Marshall
Stars: Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer
53 years after the Oscar-winning original, the world’s favourite nanny floats on to the big screen once again in this musical reboot. Set in 1930s depression-era London, Poppins – delightfully portrayed by Blunt – visits the grown-up Banks children after Michael suffers a personal loss. Inexplicably ageless, she uses her magical knowhow to help the family rediscover their sense of wonder, along with jolly lamplighter Jack. Richly nostalgic, and full of supercalifragilisticexpialidocious fun, Mary Poppins Returns is a rapturous sequel.
Tue Feb 12 POLINA (12A) (7.30pm)
2016 Fr 108min (French with subtitles). Dirs: Valérie Müller, Angelin Preljocaj
Stars: Anastasia Shevtsova, Niels Schneider, Juliette Binoche
Rigorously trained from an early age, with a family who have sacrificed everything for her, Polina is on the brink of joining the Bolshoi Ballet. Discovering contemporary dance, she moves instead to the Aix-en-Provence studio led by Liria (Binoche, showing her dance experience with London’s Akram Khan) but, once there, Polina quickly realises that determination and hard work don’t always lead to success. This is a fascinating alternative to a traditional ballet coming-of-age story, compellingly led by Shevtsova, a professional dancer who has performed with St Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre.
Wed Feb 13 SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS (PG) (7.30pm)
1941 USA 90min. Dir: Preston Sturges
Stars: Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake, Robert Warwick
Stand-Up Film Club screening with comedian Kevin Day (pictured right). John Sullivan (Joel McCrea) travels around the US in disguise as a tramp to research his upcoming film about the common man, entitled O Brother Where Art Thou?. With poignant satire and themes of self-reflection and introspection, this is one of Preston Sturges’ landmark pieces of cinema. In partnership with The Croydon Comedy Festival.
Thu Feb 14 THE FAVOURITE (15)
LGBT History Month Screening
2018 Ire/UK/USA 119 mins. Dir: Yorgos Lanthimos
Stars: Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz
While her armies war with France, Queen Anne’s courtiers are more interested in satisfying the whims of their frail monarch (Colman). Lady Sarah Churchill (Weisz) is firmly ensconced as the queen’s favourite, but her young cousin Abigail (Stone) is upwardly mobile. Lanthimos (The Lobster) and his fantastic cast ensure that this is no typical period drama, revelling in the smut, scandal and perversity of an era where power could not be separated from personality.
Tue Feb 19 FREE SOLO (12A) (7.30pm)
2018 USA 100min. Dir: Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
Features: Alex Honnold, Tommy Caldwell, Jimmy Chin
Alex Honnold prefers to climb free solo: alone, without ropes. The mortality rate of elite free solo climbers is huge, but Honnold is driven by a desire to achieve the near-impossible, culminating in an attempt to ascend the sheer rock face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, despite the fears of his partner and friends. At once a heart-stopping adventure documentary and a detailed character study, Free Solo examines a man who very literally lives on the edge.
Thu Feb 21 COLETTE (15)
LGBT History Month Screening
2018 UK/USA 111 mins. Dir: Wash Westmoreland
Stars: Keira Knightley, Dominic West, Denise Gough, Fiona Shaw
Kiera Knightley plays Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, a young country innocent who marries the much older Willy (Dominic West), a Parisian literary lion. She soon discovers that he in fact runs a writer’s factory, passing off other’s work as his own. When she writes a semi-autobiographical novel for him, their financial worries appear to be over. But as she rejects her philandering husband for lovers of her own, can she discover her own personality and voice? The two leads are excellent, and fin de siècle Paris is lovingly created (in Leeds).
*The 2.30pm screening will be subtitled for those with hearing loss
Tue Feb 26 A COUPLE OF DOWN AND OUTS (U) (7.30pm)
1923 UK 68min. Dir: Walter Summers
Stars: Edna Best, Rex Davis, George Foley
Homeless and workless on his return from the front, a decorated corporal rescues one of his wartime horses from imminent slaughter, knocking over a police sergeant while escaping. A young woman takes pity on the desperate pair, and romance ensues. Davis was awarded the Military Cross for his WWI service, while Best went on to Broadway stardom. This charming picture was created by the GB Samuelson studio, and recently restored with a recorded score by John Sweeney.
We are delighted that this screening will be introduced by the producer’s son, former Bafta chairman Sir Sydney Samuelson.
Thu Feb 28 STAN & OLLIE (PG)
2018 UK/Can/USA 97min. Director: Jon S Baird
Stars: Steve Coogan, John C. Reilly, Shirley Henderson
Sixteen years after a contract dispute knocked them off their Hollywood pedestal, Lancashire-born Stan Laurel, a veteran of northern Music Hall, and Oliver Hardy are touring English theatres in a bid to raise interest (and funds) for a new movie venture. While publicity stunts make a success of their tour, Ollie’s health is failing and long-buried resentments rise to the surface. Capturing the duo’s stage magic in an evocative 1950s setting, Stan & Ollie is also blessed by superb turns from Nina Arianda and Henderson as Mr Laurel and Mrs Hardy – “Two double acts for the price of one”, as they say in the film.
*The 2.30pm screening will be subtitled for those with hearing loss.
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