Cats is not the only option for David Lean cinema-goers

No stars.

How bad can a film be to be rated as “no stars”, as was the case this week when the national newspaper reviews came out for Cats?

You’ll be able to judge for yourself soon enough, as the Lloyd-Webber stage musical makes its way to the big screen at the David Lean Cinema, with the programme for February just released.

Even if the idea of James Corden prowling around in too-tight fury suit does not grab you, there’s plenty more lined up to thrill, intrigue and delight during the month at the art-house cinema in the Croydon Clocktower.

Starting with Harriet, continuing with Little Women, and going all the way through the month to Sam Mendes’ 1917 and into March for Armando Iannucci’s take on David Copperfield.

Tickets go on sale for February screenings on January 9 – but it is advisable to book early. Sorry We Missed You, being screened next month, has already proved very popular and has sold out, so the there will be an additional screening on Wednesday January 22 at 7.30pm. Book using this link.

  • 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 4 HARRIET (12A) (7.30pm)
2019 USA 125min Dir: Kasi Lemmons
Stars: Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr, Joe Alwyn
One of the most important figures in the history of US slave abolitionism is given the spotlight in this biopic. Stunning cinematography of the pastoral deep south provide the backdrop for the story of the activist who freed hundreds of slaves. Cynthia Erivo gives a powerful performance as Harriet Tubman, adding to the genuinely moving and inspiring mood that makes a welcome breath of fresh air in a sea of often joyless historical films.

2019 UK 92min Dir: Lisa Barros D’sa, Glenn Leyburn
Stars: Liam Neeson, Lesley Manville, Amit Shah
The ordinary love of the title is the kind that binds successful, long standing relationships with the insignificant ties of human life. The excellent Lesley Manville as Joan portrays their shared memories and unspoken understandings to perfection. She is ably abetted in this by Liam Neeson as partner Tom and there is plenty to laugh at in their banter. But how will the partnership fare when a cancer diagnosis invades their well-oiled life? Beautiful, resonating portrait of ordinary people.

Tue Feb 11 LITTLE WOMEN (U) (11am)
Babes in Arms Screening
2019 USA 135min Dir: Greta Gerwig
Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Meryl Streep

Louisa May Alcott’s novel has been adapted for the screen before, but never with quite so much excitement and interest surrounding a release. Following on from her wildly impressive and Oscar-nominated directorial debut Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig wrangles an all star cast in this timeless and relevant retelling of a classic story. Expect powerful performances and an engrossing script, as four sisters experience life in America in the aftermath of the Civil War.

Tue Feb 11 MARRIAGE STORY (15) (7.30pm)
2019 USA 137min Dir: Noah Baumbach
Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, Laura Dern

Theatre director Charlie (Driver) and actress Nicole (Johansson) seem the ideal couple to their New York friends, but as Nicole becomes dissatisfied with her lack of career progression, she wants to move back to the west coast. Custody of their eight-year-old son becomes the raw issue between them, made incendiary by the actions of their predatory divorce lawyers. Baumbach manages to bring some humour to an obviously bleak subject, with superb performances from the leads.

Thu Feb 13 LITTLE WOMEN (U)*
2019 USA 135min Dir: Greta Gerwig
Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Meryl Streep

As Feb 11 above.
*The 2.30pm screening will be subtitled for those with hearing loss

Tue Feb 18 JOJO RABBIT (12A) (7.30pm)
2019 USA 108min Dir: Taika Waititi
Stars: Roman Griffin Davis, Taika Waititi, Scarlett Johansson

In Germany in the Second World War, 10-year-old Jojo is a naively enthusiastic young Nazi – and Adolf Hitler is his (imaginary) best friend. His mother is less keen and, as Allied forces draw closer, Jojo discovers that she’s given sanctuary to a Jewish girl. As writer, director and Fuhrer, Waititi recognises that horror and absurdity were the closest of neighbours in the Third Reich, rendering Jojo Rabbit both sidesplitting and deeply sobering.

Thu Feb 20 CATS (U)
2019 UK/USA 110min Dir: Tom Hooper
Stars: James Corden, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical finally gets a feature length movie adaptation, almost 40 years after its stage debut. The film makes use of all-star ensemble cast – including Judi Dench, Idris Elba, and Taylor Swift – a vivid colour palette, and CGI to bring the unapologetically strange and wonderful world of anthropomorphic cats to life.

Sat Feb 22 SO LONG, MY SON (12A) (1.30pm)
2019 China 185min Dir: Xiaoshuai Wang
Stars: Liya Ai, Jiang Du, Zhao-Yan Guo-Zhangn

A close-knit pair of couples each have a son, born on the same day, but tragedy and circumstance push them down very different paths. Flashing back and forth through thirty years of China’s tumultuous recent history, So Long, My Son traces the course of marriage, family life under the One Child policy, and the country’s economic and social transformation, weaving these threads into a “poignant, profound masterpiece” (The Guardian).

Tue Feb 25 BLUE STORY (15) (7.30pm)
2019 UK 91min Dir: Andrew Onwubolu
Stars: Stephen Odubola, Michael Ward, Khali Best

Controversy may surround YouTube star Rapman’s film debut, owing to incidents that broke out in Birmingham upon the film’s release, but the director has repeatedly quoted the film’s message of non-violence. Based on the series of the same name, Blue Story sees two best friends find themselves on opposite sides of a postcode war between gangs from rival boroughs of London. Praised for it’s realism and poetic rap-based narration, Rapman’s film is clearly a relevant comment on the futility of modern gang warfare.

Thu Feb 27 1917 (15)*
2019 UK/USA 119min Dir: Sam Mendes
Stars: Andrew Scott, Benedict Cumberbatch, Richard Madden

In 1917, Sam Mendes has created a thrilling piece of cinematography – a felt experience rather than simply a war story observed. Two young and green soldiers, sent to deliver a warning message that will save a thousand plus lives, negotiate the western front under bombardment. You will likely be convinced you are there with them, as the entire film was shot in one unbroken take, a technique lending a close and mesmerising intensity. Unmissable.
*The 2.30pm screening will be subtitled for those with hearing loss

2019 UK/USA 119min Dir: Armando Iannucci
Stars: Tilda Swinton, Ben Whishaw, Dev Patel

Armando Iannucci follows his The Death of Stalin with a characteristically exuberant reworking of the Dickens classic. Using visual tropes that are more comic-book than Victorian novel, and a varied but vibrant cast headed by Dev Patel in the title role, this is at once funny and colourful, as well as poignant and hard-hitting on the subjects of poverty, class difference and child exploitation. Nothing less than you’d expect from the man who gave us The Thick of It, with well-known characters like Mr Micawber and Uriah Heep given new life by Capaldi and Whishaw.

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