BRITISH FILM FESTIVAL
This year’s British Film Festival program is once again brimming with a must-see offering of the latest films from the UK. It commences in Sydney on 24 October, running through to 15 November, and screens at the Palace Norton Street cinema in Leichhardt and both the Verona and Chauvel cinemas in Paddington. The Festival also runs in tandem with these dates in the other state and territory capital cities around Australia, with the exception of Hobart and Darwin.
Opening night in Sydney is the premiere of Andy Serkis’ (of Gollum in Lord of The Rings and Caesar in Planet of the Apes fame) incredibly moving directorial debut, Breathe. The film is based on the true-life story of Robin Cavendish (Andrew Garfield) and his wife Diana (Claire Foy), whose lives were overturned when Robin was diagnosed with polio but who never gave up their struggle to provide Robin with a fulfilled life. It’s an inspiring love story and one of sheer determination and courage and it’s guaranteed to make you reach for your tissues and applaud at the end of the screening, as happened at the press preview.
Closing night is Richard Loncraine’s heart-warming romantic comedy Finding Your Feet, featuring an all-star cast of well-known British actors that includes the fabulous Imelda Staunton, Celia Imrie, Timothy Spall, Joanna Lumley, David Hayman and John Sessions. This wonderful film shows that retirement can be a new beginning and divorce can provide a whole new lease on life.
There’ s a wide variety of titles to choose from including a trio of biography drama/docos, namely Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes For Lizards, an in-depth documentary portrait of Manolo Blahnik, the famous shoe designer; England Is Mine, described in the program as “an amusing and evocative depiction of the early years of singer/songwriter Steven Morrissey,” the front man of cult ‘80s band The Smiths; and a chronicle of the work and career of one of the greatest British guitarists of all time, Eric Clapton: Life In Twelve Bars.
Other highlights include Goodbye Christopher Robin, starring Australian ‘it girl’ Margot Robbie and Domhnall Gleeson; On Chesil Beach, with Emily Watson and Saoirse Ronan; That Good Night, featuring John Hurt in one of his final roles; The Bookshop, with Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson and Bill Nighy; The Journey, with Timothy Spall (again), Colm Meaney and John Hurt (also again) and even a punk film called How To Talk To Girls At Parties, starring ‘our’ Nicole… Kidman, that is.
Lovers of Agatha Christie can re-view four classics: Death On The Nile (1978), Evil Under The Sun (1882), Murder On The Orient Express (1974) and The Mirror Crack’d (1980). There are also two gems from the 1960s in the Classic Clues: Solving A British Mystery section, Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-Up and Basil Dearden’s Victim.
For a full listing of sessions and locations, go to britishfilmfestival.com.au.