Set in Santa Barbara, 1979, 20th Century Women focuses on a game matriarch and her efforts to raise her boy into a man. She rents out rooms 9in her house and enlists the help of two women, her photographer lodger and one of her son's teenage peers to “help raise him” - ignoring the more obvious male role model of the amiable mechanic who rents a room. Thus the 15-year-old in question adds feminist philosophy to his reading list and finds himself on the frontline of some peculiarly female dramas. Annette Bening is a hoot as the capricious protagonist and there's room for her co-stars to shine. The highlight, however, is the sparkling screenplay, blending wry observation, provocative conversation and frequent hilarity. It also affectionately pokes fun at liberal parenting and other intergenerational clashes as the players try to better understand each other, and ultimately themselves.
Thu 23 Nov
Based on events leading up to and including the 2000 trial where American Jewish academic Deborah Lipstadt was sued for libel by Holocaust-denying British historian David Irving, this thought-provoking film brings factual weight to a narrative as gripping as any fictional courtroom drama. Lipstadt (Rachel Weisz) is advised by her legal team to use the case as an opportunity to denounce Irving's work, although she is reluctant to, in her own words, "put the Holocaust on trial." David Hare's script, based on Lipstadt's book, is responsible and rarely preachy, paying close attention to historical detail without drowning in legalese. Weisz's portrayal of New York Jewish abrasiveness is neatly counterbalanced by Timothy Spall as the arrogant and unapologetic Irving and Tom Wilkinson as Lipstadt's wise and level-headed (if mildly eccentric) barrister Richard Rampton.
Sun 26 Nov
The year is 1919. Anna (Paula Beer), a young German woman, visits the grave of her fiancé who died in the war. There, she discovers fresh flowers have already been laid. To her shock, she discovers that a Frenchman is grieving for the man she lost to a French bullet in an anonymous trench. The opening gambit of François Ozon’s elegant interwar mystery invites us to second-guess the story that links the Frenchman to Anna’s late love, Frantz.
Thrilling, mysterious, moving and utterly beguiling, this film teases us with Hitchcockian ambiguities. Stunningly shot in monochrome and with beautifully judged performances, this is a film that will stay with you.
Thu 9 Nov
In the early 1970’s, a group of IRA operatives meet a South African gun runner and his crew, planning to take a cache of M16 rifles back to Ireland, but the arms deal goes spectacularly and explosively wrong. Bold, breathless and wickedly fun, Free Fire is an electrifying action comedy in which filmmaker Ben Wheatley propels the audience head-on into quite possibly the most epic shootout ever seen on film. He has crafted a spectacular parody – and biting critique – of the insanity of gun violence. Everyone's got a gun, and absolutely no one is in control. The story of double and triple double cross is as old as the hills, but Free Fire tells it in a refreshingly new and original way which is subtly complex; it is a grin inducing, nail-biting chess game where there are only pawns in play.
Fri 27 Oct
Fresh, cunning, utterly gripping and completely unflinching, this isn't Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth but debut director William Oldroyd's stark depiction of a young woman taking control in rural Scotland at the turn of the last century. Based on a Russian novella, Lady Macbeth gives Florence Pugh her first leading role as Katherine, a woman trapped in an abusive arranged marriage and we will her to escape. The spare setting adds to the sense of desperation, making us understand her decisions such as taking a handsome but hapless groom (Cosmo Jarvis) as her lover. Flaunting convention cannot go unpunished, however, pushing Katherine further and further to maintain any kind of freedom. Lady Macbeth is daring cinema that will chill you to the bone and leave you rooting for its understandably immoral heroine.
Wed 11 Oct
- Directed by: Tracie Bennett, Janie Dee, Imelda Staunton
Stephen Sondheim’s musical is staged for the first time at the National Theatre and broadcast live to cinemas.
Thu 16 Nov
- Directed by: Nicholas Hytner
- Cast: Ben Whishaw, Michelle Fairley
Ben Whishaw and Michelle Fairley play Brutus and Cassius in Nicholas Hytner’s production of Shakespeare's political drama.
Thu 22 Mar
Billie Piper returns in her Evening Standard Best Actress award-winning role. A young woman is driven to the unthinkable by her desperate desire to have a child in Simon Stone’s radical production of Lorca’s masterpiece.
Thu 31 Aug
Tell us more about this venue.