R I O   P A R E N T S   &  B A B I E S   C L U B

The Parents and Babies Club gives parents with babies a chance to visit the cinema, without having to find a baby sitter or worry about their babies causing a disturbance. The auditorium is lighter than usual, and there is a secure space for pushchairs. The Club is exclusively for parents with babies under one year old. Membership is free but you do need to sign up and receive a membership card to come to these screenings. You may join on the day, or email us: gemma@riocinema.org.uk with your name, address, contact telephone number, your baby's name and date of birth. Tickets are at the normal matinee price of £5.50 and £4.50 Concessions.

BORAT: CULTURAL LEARNINGS OF AMERICA FOR MAKE BENEFIT GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKSTAN• Tue 6 Feb 1.15

BORAT: CULTURAL LEARNINGS OF AMERICA FOR MAKE BENEFIT GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKSTAN (15)

(US 2006) dir. Larry Charles 83m.
Sacha Baron Cohen, Ken Davitian, Luenell, Pamela Anderson.

It would be meaningless hype to describe BORAT as the funniest film ever made, so instead let’s say: BORAT is the funniest film imaginable right now. A perfect storm of comedy, it sucks real people into its hurricane of slapstick, obscenity, wit, explicit nudity and, most shocking of all, racism, before landing on these shores as a devastating cultural event. Genius stuff from Baron Cohen and director Larry Charles.

THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND• Thur 8 Feb 12.00

THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND (15)

(UK 2006) dir. Kevin Macdonald 123m.
Forest Whitaker, James McAvoy, Kerry Washington, Gillian Anderson, Simon McBurney.

Forest Whitaker gives a towering performance as the Ugandan tyrant who becomes an unlikely father figure to an impressionable young doctor.
1971, and young Scottish doctor Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy) sticks a pin in a globe. He ends up in Uganda, working in a small village practice – until he meets Idi Amin, who has recently come to power. Through Nicholas’ eyes we watch as the fuse is lit on a powder keg, Amin revealing the bloodstains beneath the clown veneer in this fictionalised story of the very real dictator who killed 300,000 Ugandans. This is a thoroughly enjoyable, confident, dramatically satisfying movie from Kevin Macdonald. His skills as a documentary maker ensure a sense of urgency, and scenes of intimate dialogue are handled as expertly as those of parties and rallies. McAvoy gives his most confident and screen-filling perfomance yet as the wide-eyed, cocksure doctor. Whitaker endows Amin with quicksilver mood changes, turning on a sixpence from terrifying bluster to grinning seduction and wheedling charm, and then to childlike paranoia and fear. THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND is a riveting satire of white Europe's horrified fascination with Africa as a heart of darkness, which is nevertheless ripe for plunder for a sufficiently cocksure adventurer.

 

A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION• Tue 13 Feb 12.45

A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION (PG)

(US 2006) dir. Robert Altman 106m.
Woody Harrelson, Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Kline, Lily Tomlin, Virginia Madsen, Lindsay Lohan.

It's the final night of Garrison Keillor's live radio variety programme. Sisters Yolanda and Rhonda sing homespun folksongs; Dusty and Rusty perform their ribald country and western act; and Yolanda's daughter Lola might make her debut. Meanwhile backstage, a detective is following a mysterious woman in white…This ode to a bygone style of entertainment is a fitting swan song for Altman – expertly directed and acted, with sharp observational humour and a movingly introspective undertone.

CLIMATES (Iklimler)• Thur 15 Feb 1.00

CLIMATES (Iklimler) (15)

(Turkey/France 2006) dir. Nuri Bilge Ceylan 102m. Subtitles
Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Ebru Ceylan, Nazan Kirilmis, Mehmet Eryilmaz, Arif Asçi.

Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan (UZAK) stars along with his wife in this austere, haunting portrait of a break-up.
During a sweltering summer vacation on the Aegean coast, the relationship between university professor Isa and his younger, television producer girlfriend, Bahar, brutally implodes. Back in Istanbul that Autumn, Isa rekindles a torrid affair with a previous lover. But, when he learns that Bahar has left the city for a job in the snowy East, he follows her there to win her back. Ceylan's previous feature, UZAK (Distant), won the Grand Prix at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival and his growing reputation as a contemporary master is confirmed by the immensely satisfying CLIMATES. This may be his most personal film to date – in addition to directing and starring alongside his own wife, he also wrote and edited. Taking us to stunning locations across Turkey and using the seasons of the year to reveal the characters' often unstated emotions, this achingly poignant film subtly captures the emotional tremors that ripple through a relationship. Seemingly simple, the film's stunning visuals and unusually expressive sound design reveal a far more complex, thoughtful work lurking beneath the surface. With precise, beautiful compositions, it is a highly subdued, deliberately-paced work that conveys more through silence than the script. In his thoughtful, undemonstrative way, Ceylan is making films as rewarding, and as adult, as any director alive. Unmissable.

THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP• Thur 22 Feb 10.45am

THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP (15)

(France/Italy 2006) dir. Michel Gondry 106m. Subtitles
Gael García Bernal, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Alain Chabat, Miou-Miou, Pierre Vaneck, Emma De Caunes.

Surreal, magical love story from director of ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND.
Stéphane (Gael García Bernal) has always had trouble separating real life from dreams. After his father dies in Mexico, he moves in with his mother in Paris and takes a dull job in an office populated by bored but colourful characters. He also starts falling for Stéphanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg), the charming young woman who lives across the hall. But they find it hard to connect, especially when she discovers that he fancies her friend Zoe. Maybe Stephane's dreamland holds the answers? Michel Gondry’s boundless imagination turns this simple story of a young artist trying to woo his soulmate into a raucous visual feast with on-set effects, stop-motion animation and general outrageousness as the action flicks between Stephane’s waking life and his dreams. Those who are familiar with Gondry’s music videos will recognise his amazing visual style as the film plays with textures, colours and periods: Stephane's dream world is made mostly of cardboard and cellophane, with hilarious variations on places and situations both real and imagined. Bernal is at his most relaxed and charming, and he and Gainsbourg share a wonderfully scruffy creativity with a zing of chemistry. A kaleidoscopic concoction, it's busy, charming, and packed with heart and soul – and a lot of fun.

THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP• Tue 27 Feb 12.45

THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP (15)

(France/Italy 2006) dir. Michel Gondry 106m. Subtitles
Gael García Bernal, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Alain Chabat, Miou-Miou, Pierre Vaneck, Emma De Caunes.

Surreal, magical love story from director of ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND.

PAN'S LABYRINTH • Thur 1 Mar 12.30

PAN’S LABYRINTH (15)

(Spain/Mexico 2006) dir. Guillermo del Toro 120m. Subtitles.
Sergi Lopez, Maribel Verdu, Ivana Baquero, Doug Jones, Ariadne Gil.

1944, the Spanish Civil War has just ended and Carmen moves with her daughter Ofélia into the home of her new husband, a captain in Franco’s army hunting the remaining guerrilla fighters in the woods. Ofélia is left lonely and frustrated by her new life and soon discovers a mysterious labyrinth next to her new home. Del Toro and his effects crew have crafted an exquisite fairytale world – an unmissable celebration of cinema's capacity to enthrall.

THE ILLUSIONIST• Tue 6 Mar 12.45

THE ILLUSIONIST (PG)

(US 2006) dir. Neil Burger 109m.
Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti, Rufus Sewell, Jessica Biel.

Edward Norton stars in this elegant fable of art, love and politics set in 19th century Vienna.
The show-stopping trickery of mysterious magician Eisenheim (Edward Norton) is capturing the imagination of the masses. When the Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell) is baffled by the show, he sets out to uncover the reality behind the magic with the help of Vienna’s Chief Inspector Uhl (Paul Giamatti). But the magician refuses to cooperate, leading to a battle of wits. Meanwhile the Prince’s fiancée Sophie (Jessica Biel) realises she knows Eisenheim from childhood…

THE ILLUSIONIST curls around you like a smoke ring. Writer-director Burger compels you to try to peek behind the curtain, but closes it just before you can get close enough to see what’s there. Shot in muted tones that are a throwback to an older era of Hollywood, the costumes and sets are wonderfully crafted. The Philip Glass score is achingly beautiful and special effects give the film a touch of other-worldliness. Edward Norton is at his best as the charismatic Eisenheim. Part love triangle, part police investigation and part magical showcase, THE ILLUSIONIST is an intriguing tale crafted with meticulous care.

CASABLANCA• Thur 8 Mar 12.45

CASABLANCA (U)

(US 1946) dir. Michael Curtiz 107m.
Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Dooley Wilson, Curt Bois.

Voted the most romantic film of all time by a TCM poll, this is also surely one of the greatest films ever made. Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) and her husband, Czech freedom fighter Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), wander into Rick's Cafe in Casablanca. The two are on the run from the Nazis, and have come to the American-owned nightspot to lie low. Little does Ilsa know that the cafe is run by Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), the one true love of her life. When the two see each other, sparks fly, and memories of an enchanted time in Paris come flooding back.

MISS POTTER• Tue 13 Mar 1.00

MISS POTTER (PG)

(UK/US 2006) dir. Chris Noonan 93m.
Renée Zellweger, Ewan McGregor, Emily Watson, Barbara Flynn, Bill Paterson.

Beatrix Potter lived a life marked by struggle against her restrictive upper-class background. The crux of this biopic is her ongoing quest to be taken seriously, and Renee Zellweger’s characteristic pluck sees her shine in the title role, where burgeoning romance with her publisher Norman Warne (Ewan McGregor, delightfully gallant) helps her self-confidence blossom. Sweet but not cloying, it’s a heartening portrait of goodness surmounting the odds.

THE QUEEN• Thur 15 Mar 1.00

THE QUEEN (12A)

(UK/France/Italy 2006) dir. Stephen Frears 103m.
Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell, Sylvia Syms.

Set nine years ago during the aftermath of the death of the Princess of Wales and the rise of Tony Blair, THE QUEEN looks at how Her Majesty dealt with the overwhelming public response to Diana’s death. It’s a film of delicious performances and great wit. Helen Mirren – supported by a terrifying hair-do – leads an impressive cast, and the relationship between the Queen and Blair is painted with wry humour.

INLAND EMPIRE• Thur 22 Mar 11.45am

INLAND EMPIRE (15)

(US/Poland/France 2006) dir. David Lynch 180m. Some subtitles
Laura Dern, Jeremy Irons, Justin Theroux, Harry Dean Stanton, Julia Ormond.

Mind-bending, fascinating epic from the godfather of surrealism David Lynch.
An attractive blonde actress falls down rabbit holes inside rabbit holes in this stunning new feature from the maker of BLUE VELVET, TWIN PEAKS and MULHOLLAND DRIVE (which this film resembles like an evil twin). Nikki Grace (Laura Dern) has just landed the role of Susan Blue in a new film called “On High in Blue Tomorrows”, a romantic melodrama alongside womanising co-star Devon Berk (Justin Theroux). At first delighted with her big role, shadows start to fall when it’s revealed the film is based on a Polish gypsy folktale, and it’s a remake – the first shoot collapsed when the two main actors were murdered. Soon the film-within-a-film casts an enveloping spell over Nikki, as her real life and that of her character begin to merge. So begins a mesmerising, perplexing journey through dark hallways, grand mansions, sleazy LA boulevards and the snowy streets of 1930s Poland, populated by a mysterious weeping woman, a troupe of young prostitutes and three giant rabbits who are starring in their own chilling ‘sitcom’. Despite a different visual quality to his previous films (this was made on consumer digicam), the content is pure Lynch. With shocking changes of pace, terrifying soundscapes and a host of bewildering characters, you are left trying to put the myriad pieces of this huge jigsaw together days later. Alternately beautiful and ugly, funny and horrifying, this may be Lynch’s most incomprehensible film yet. But don’t let that put you off. Sit back and let the cracked Lynchian brilliance wash over you; in this multiplex world films like INLAND EMPIRE are gold dust.

AMAZING GRACE• Tue 27 Mar 12.45

AMAZING GRACE (*)

(UK 2006) dir. Michael Apted 116m.
Ioan Gruffudd, Albert Finney, Michael Gambon, Youssou N’Dour, Romola Garai, Rufus Sewell.

Inspiring story of legendary politician William Wilberforce, detailing his long struggle to abolish the slave trade in the British Empire.
During late 18th century Britain, the political and economical motives for slavery are deeply entrenched: the entire Empire is built on the barbaric transport and sale of slaves. Young William Wilberforce, recently elected to parliament, meets a small group who are campaigning for an end to the slave trade. Joining them, he begins to gain momentum and support for his cause through brilliant oratory, a series of political manoeuvres and his appeal to his fellow man’s better nature. AMAZING GRACE charts his progress over twenty years until abolition on 25 March 1807. Ioan Gruffudd magnificently portrays the complexity and heroism of Wilberforce, with brilliant supporting performances from Albert Finney playing slave-trader turned hymn writer John Newton and Michael Gambon as fellow campaigner Lord Charles Fox. Michael Apted's socially conscious style continually reminds us of the brutality of the slave trade upon which the Empire was built, whilst brilliantly capturing the look and sound of a sumptuous age. A lovely, moving and intelligent film, released almost two hundred years to the day after Wilberforce’s humanitarian victory.

AMAZING GRACE• Thur 29 Mar 12.45

AMAZING GRACE (*)

(UK 2006) dir. Michael Apted 116m.
Ioan Gruffudd, Albert Finney, Michael Gambon, Youssou N’Dour, Romola Garai, Rufus Sewell.

Inspiring story of legendary politician William Wilberforce, detailing his long struggle to abolish the slave trade in the British Empire.

STRANGER THAN FICTION• Tue 3 Apr 10.15am

STRANGER THAN FICTION (12A)

(US 2006) dir. Marc Forster 113m.
Will Ferrell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Queen Latifah, Emma Thompson.

Tax auditor Harold Crick suddenly finds himself the subject of narration only he can hear: narration that begins to affect his entire life, from his work, to his love-interest, to his death. With a sharply clever script, witty direction and terrific performances across the board, the film blurs the line between comedy and tragedy and is a powerful yet understated exploration of how important it is to seize the day.

PERFUME• Thur 5 Apr 10.00am

PERFUME (15)

(Germany/France/Spain 2006) dir. Tom Twyker 147m.
Ben Whishaw, Dustin Hoffman, Alan Rickman, Rachel Hurd-Wood.

Jean-Baptiste Grenouille grows up in a filthy, squalid orphanage in 1740s Paris. He has a special talent: an amazingly developed sense of smell. He uses this skill to create brilliant perfumes, but his obsession to create the world's most powerful fragrance takes a deadly turn. Whishaw plays the sociopath beautifully, with a sense of naivety and yearning with which we easily identify. Tykwer tells the story sumptuously: we can actually smell it. An honourable adaptation of the novel by Patrick Süskind, and magical filmmaking.


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