Your weekly look at the new releases, including Gifted, starring Chris Evans as a single dad raising a child prodigy; Brian Cox as Britain’s war time prime minister in the days leading up to the D-Day Landings in Churchill, and Nick Broomfield’s insightful documentary about the last days of one of the world’s greatest singers in Whitney: Can I Be Me.
Kids will love the animated musical canine capers Rock Dog, while singer Neneh Cherry makes her acting debut in Mark Cousins’ Stockholm My Love.
By The Time It Gets Dark (12A)
Dir. Anocha Suwichakornpong, Thailand/France/Qatar/Netherlands, 2016, 105 mins
Cast: Arak Amornsupasiri, Apinya Sakuljaroensuk,Achtara Suwan
A film director and her muse who was a student activist in the 1970s, a waitress who keeps changing jobs, an actor and an actress, all live loosely connected to each other by almost invisible threads. The narrative sheds its skin several times to reveal layer upon layer of the complexities that make up the characters’ lives.
Centre Of My World
Dir. Jakob M. Erwa, Germany/Austria, 2016, 105 mins, Subtitles
Cast: Bendix Hansen, Sarah Fuhrer, Louis Hofmann
After a summer spent with his his best friend Kat to escape his family, Phil goes back to school and starts to question his feelings towards Nicholas, a new classmate.
Biography | Drama | Thriller
Dir. Jonathan Teplitzky, UK, 2017, 98 mins
Cast: Brian Cox, Miranda Richardson, John Slattery
Tensions mount for the beleaguered British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Brian Cox) in the days leading up to infamous Allied D-Day landings in Normandy, France in June, 1944.
Fearful of repeating his deadly mistakes from World War I in the Battle of Gallipoli, exhausted by years of war, plagued by depression and obsessed with his historical destiny, Churchill is reluctant to embark on the large-scale campaign, one that the entire war effort hinges upon.
Clashing with his Allied political opponents U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower (John Slattery) and British Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery (Julian Wadham), the troubled Churchill receives support and devotion from his wife, the brilliant and unflappable Clementine Churchill (Miranda Richardson).
With her strength and shrewdness, “Clemmie” halts Winston’s physical, mental spiritual collapse and inspires him on to greatness.
Destination Unknown (12A)
Documentary | History | War
Dir. Claire Ferguson, UK/Austria/Poland/USA, 2017, 81 mins
Twelve survivors, twelve families torn apart by the Holocaust, twelve people striving to build a new future after the war.
Blending unique and intimate testimony with immersive archive, DESTINATION UNKNOWN unveils the human stories underlying the events of the Holocaust. These include one of the few escapees from the terror of Treblinka, and an exclusive interview with Mietek Pemper, who helped Oskar Schindler compile his List.
The film traces the narrow paths to survival, whether in hiding, fighting as partisans, or through enduring the camps such as Kraków-Płaszow, Mauthausen and Auschwitz-Birkenau. While a few managed to escape, most had to try to find a way to stay alive until the end of the war.
Their stories do not end with liberation. We see how they had to survive the chaos that came afterwards, and their attempts to build new lives.
Dir. Marc Webb, US, 2017, 101 mins
Cast: Chris Evans, Mckenna Grace, Lindsay Duncan
Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy – his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) in a coastal town in Florida. Frank’s plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the
Frank’s plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the seven-year old’s mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank’s formidable mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary.
Octavia Spencer plays Roberta, Frank and Mary’s landlady and best friend. Jenny Slate is Mary’s teacher, Bonnie, a young woman whose concern for her student develops into a connection with her uncle as well.
Dir. Dennis Bartok, Ireland, 2017, 85 mins
Cast: Shauna Macdonald, Ross Noble, Steve Wall
After surviving a near-fatal accident, track coach and mother Dana awakens in the hospital, paralysed and imprisoned in her own body.
Whilst struggling to regain control of her life, Dana is confronted with a vindictive spirit; a terrifying presence called Nails, whom she is convinced exists inside her hospital room.
Faced with scepticism from her husband, doctors and the staff, and believed to be suffering from a mental breakdown, Dana is left struggling to keep her grip on reality as the targeted attacks grow increasingly violent.
To save her marriage and her life, Dana must find a way to convince her family that Nails is real before he succeeds in destroying her and everyone who stands in his way.
Rock Dog (PG)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
Dir. Ash Brannon, China/US, 2016, 90 mins
Cast: Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard, J.K. Simmons
Bodi, a wide-eyed Tibetan Mastiff, is expected to become the next village guard to a group of fun-loving, country-side sheep, but fears he doesn’t have the passion to assume the role from his dad, Khampa. Everything changes when a radio literally falls out of the sky and Bodi hears a song by rock legend Angus Scattergood, opening his heart to a musical world he must explore.
Leaving home to chase his destiny in the big city, Bodi attracts the attention of Khampa’s nemesis, Linnux. The leader of a hungry wolf pack, Linnux believes that Bodi is his ticket back into the village and closer to delicious sheep. It is up to Bodi to save his family and friends from harm without giving up his newfound dream.
Slack Bay (15)
Dir. Bruno Dumont, France/Germany/Belgium, 2016, 90 mins, Subtitles
Cast: Fabrice Luchini, Juliette Binoche, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi
Summer 1910. Several tourists have vanished while relaxing on the beautiful beaches of the Channel Coast. Infamous inspectors Machin and Malfoy soon gather that the epicenter of these mysterious disappearances must be Slack Bay, a unique site where the Slack river and the sea join only at high tide. There lives a small community of fishermen and other oyster farmers. Among them evolves a curious family, the Bréfort, renowned ferrymen of the Slack Bay,
There lives a small community of fishermen and other oyster farmers. Among them evolves a curious family, the Bréfort, renowned ferrymen of the Slack Bay, led by the father nicknamed “The Eternal”, who rules as best as he can on his prankster bunch of sons, especially the impetuous Ma Loute, aged 18.
Towering high above the bay stands the Van Peteghems’ mansion. Every summer, this bourgeois family – all degenerate and decadent from inbreeding – stagnates in the villa, not without mingling during their leisure hours of walking, sailing or bathing, with the ordinary local people, Ma Loute and the other Bréforts.
Stockholm My Love (PG)
Drama | Musical
Dir. Mark Cousins, Sweden/UK, 2016, 88 mins
Cast: Neneh Cherry
Stockholm My Love is a city symphony, a love letter to Stockholm, the fiction debut of director Mark Cousins and the acting debut of musician Neneh Cherry.
It follows one woman’s footsteps through the streets of her native city, on a journey of recovery from a bad thing that happened to her exactly one year before.
It’s an exploration of grief, identity and the power of architecture and urbanism to shape lives, and a celebration of the power of walking and looking to make us all feel just a little bit better.
With new music by Neneh Cherry, old music by Benny Andersson (of ABBA) and Franz Berwald, and images by Christopher Doyle and Mark Cousins.
Whitney: Can I Be Me (15)
Documentary | Music
Dirs. Nick Broomfield & Rudi Dolezal, UK/US, 2017, 105 mins
Cast (as themselves): Whitney Houston, Bobby Brown, Bobbi Kristina Brown, Cissy Houston
From acclaimed director Nick Broomfield comes a new film about one of the greatest singers of all time, the story of Whitney Houston’s extraordinary life and tragic death.
Whitney Houston was the epitome of superstar, an “American Princess”, the most awarded female artist ever. Even though Whitney had made millions of dollars, had more consecutive number ones than The Beatles, and became recognized as having one of the greatest voices of all time, she still wasn’t free to be herself and died at just 48 years old. Made with largely never-seen before footage and exclusive live recordings, WHITNEY ‘Can I Be Me’ tells Whitney Houston’s incredible and poignant life story with insights from those closest to her.