Cinema Select: January 13-19
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Hollywood's awards season is officially upon us, and if you're anything like us, with it comes a hefty dose of anguish over all the nominated films which you still haven't seen. Cue movie marathons and more than one night of eating cinema popcorn for dinner. Luckily, you can catch some of the top contenders this week with the release of Manchester by the Sea, a special preview of Fences, and La La Land finally hittin' up all the major theatres after a smaller release last week. Happy viewing!
Manchester By The Sea
This is the film Jimmy Fallon called "the only thing from 2016 more depressing than 2016," but don't let that dissuade you. One of the most emotional films of the year, Casey Affleck's performance won him the Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama. With sweeping cinematography across a cold, desolate town, the visuals match the whole soul-in-pieces vibe of the storyline in a way that lends palpability to Affleck's character's emptiness.
Showing at Curzon Bloomsbury, Canterbury, Chelsea, Soho, Sheffield, and Wimbledon; Picturehouse Central, Ritzy Picturehouse, Hackney Picturehouse, ICA, BFI Southbank, Rio Cinema, The Barbican Centre, and pretty much everywhere else.
Exploring the trials and tribulations of being a country doctor in France, Irreplaceable has a very Loachian feel to it. When the doctor (Francois Cluzet, who looks eerily like Dustin Hoffman) who has served a rural community for over 20 years falls ill, he enlists a young city doctor to help him take over his practice. As much about vocation and humanity as it is about healthcare politics, this is a thoughtful piece that is worth a watch.
Showing at Cine Lumiere.
With Tonys and Golden Globes under the belts of both director-star Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, this eagerly anticipated adaptation of August Wilson's play about race relations and one family's struggle to make ends meet more than lives up to expectations. Set in 1950s Pittsburgh, Fences' theatrical roots are kept very much intact with minimalistic scenery which serves to highlight the stellar performances of the cast.
Special preview at Curzon Mayfair, Jan. 14 at 6:20pm, which will be followed by a Q+A with Viola fucking Davis herself.
Still Showing and Worth Seeing
La La Land
This year's top contender for the Oscars sees Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone channel Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in this wistfully romantic musical that recalls the golden days of Hollywood. This sometimes sad, sometimes funny, and altogether sweet film is smart and, despite being firmly rooted in Old Hollywood musicals, wholly refreshing.
Showing pretty much everywhere.
With a Felini-esque flair and a whole lot of whimsy, Alejandro Jorodowsky transports audiences on his self-inspired journey through Santiago's bohemian art scene in the 1940s and '50s. This visually stunning and fantastical film is at once accessible and definitively arthouse - there's dwarves, there's opera, there's people throwing streamers in the air at more than one interval, there's temptresses, magic, and clowns - but beneath it all is a sense of very poetic melancholy that will resonate with tortured souls everywhere.
Showing at ICA and Curzon Bloomsbury.
Scorcese's ode to Christian martyrdom sees Eastern faith conflated against Western on the stage of 17th century Japan. In what is actually the third adaptation of Shūsaku Endō's 1966 novel by the same name, this (in part due to its A-list director/producer) is the most successful one yet. Scorsese explores themes of silent faith with poetry and fervour, backed by the stellar performances of Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield.
Showing at Tricycle Cinema, Curzon Bloomsbury and Mayfair, Rio Cinema, The Barbican Centre, and BFI Southbank.
The Eagle Huntress
Aisholpan, a young teen from the remote nomadic Kazakh community in Mongolia, is the first girl to partake in the ancient father-to-son tradition of capturing and training eagles to help them with their hunts. Aisholpan's dream to be the first girl to enter the Golden Eagle competition is one of a trailblazer, coming of age and carving out her own place in a patriarchal society. With breathtaking cinematography and narrated by Daisy Ridley, Otto Bell's gamble of a first film pays off.
Showing at BFI Southbank, Picturehouse Central, and Ritzy Picturehouse.