M A I N   F E A T U R E S

Still from film• Friday 5 August for 2 weeks

SARAH'S KEY (12A) see trailer

(France 2010) dir. Gilles Paquet-Brenner 110m. Subtitles. Digital.
Kristin Scott Thomas, Mélusine Mayance, Niels Arestrup, Frédéric Pierrot, Aidan Quinn.

As a journalist investigates a hidden story of wartime occupied Paris, SARAH'S KEY moves compulsively and with effortless intensity through events, characters, secrets and lies set seventy years apart. It's a riveting story of a woman who must must come to terms with unimaginable guilt told alongside the poignant but unsentimental tale of a young girl confronted by the madness of history. Kristin Scott Thomas gives yet another absorbing performance as the journalist who discovers an uncomfortable link to the events of 1942 close to home. Equally remarkable is 10-year-old Mélusine Mayance as Sarah whose incredible story from the past resonates so strongly with the present.

Still from film• Friday 12 August for 1 week

PROJECT NIM (12A) see trailer

(UK 2011) dir. James Marsh 99m. Digital.
Nim Chimpsky, Stephanie Lafarge, Herbert Terrace, Bob Angelini, Bern Cohen, Reagan Leonard.

Chimps versus Chumps. Nature versus Nurture. The director of the brilliant Oscar winning MAN ON WIRE tells the equally absorbing story of Nim plucked from his mother at birth, raised as part of an extended hippy family on New York's Upper West side and then thrust into a succession of experiments that ranged from the pseudo-scientific to something altogether more disturbing. Interviews, archival footage and reconstructions create an epic drama that spans 26 years and reveals the failings and foibles of both man and beast: adorable, playful, stubborn, vulnerable and possessive. But which is which?

Still from film • Friday 19 August for 1 week

THE GUARD (15) see trailer

(Ireland 2011) dir. John Michael McDonagh 96m. Digital.
Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Liam Cunningham, David Wilmot, Rory Kiernan, Mark Strong.

THE GUARD is the ultimate fish-out-of-water/odd couple/cop comedy/buddy movie and much more besides. Confrontational, vulgar, hooker-frequenting, heavy-drinking, contraband pill-popping policeman Sgt. Gerry Boyle clearly does not take his job very seriously. But then along comes the complete opposite FBI Agent Wendell Everett, on the unlikely trail of some international drug dealers on Boyle's quiet coastal beat in the West of Ireland. Outstanding performances from Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle deliver a script that blends melancholy sweetness with a caustic wit that's as black as Guinness.(*)

Still from film• Friday 26 August for 2 weeks

THE SKIN I LIVE IN (15) see trailer

(Spain 2011) dir. Pedro Almodóvar 120m. Subtitles. Digital.
Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, Marisa Paredes, Jan Cornet.

Pedro Almodóvar is a master of the edgy suspense thriller and THE SKIN I LIVE IN, based on Thierry Jonquet's novel 'Mygale' (Tarantula), exquisitely opens another vein of obsessional intensity. Antonio Banderas is the Madrid plastic surgeon who is haunted by the death of his wife and the controversial advocate of heretical skin creation techniques. The mysterious human subject of his experiments is seemingly a prisoner in his palatial mansion. The best of the director's sleek, stylish and sensual trademarks, including flashbacks that reveal the family secrets, are on hypnotic display as Almodóvar reveals the identities and passions that chronicle a descent into violence and madness. Quite simply superb. (*)

Still from film• Friday 9 September for 2 weeks

JANE EYRE (PG) see trailer

(UK/US 2011) dir. Cary Fukunaga 121m. Digital.
Michael Fassbender, Mia Wasikowska, Jamie Bell, Judi Dench, Sally Hawkins.

The world of the Gothic novel is one of repressed passions, chaste heroines, brooding heroes, wild landscapes, nightmarish shadows and buried secrets. Charlotte Bronte's 'Jane Eyre' is one of the greatest of Gothic novels and SIN NOMBRE director Cary Fukunaga's fiery, elegant, atmospheric and bold new adaptation of the Victorian page turner is the best yet. The tale of young governess Jane and Mr Rochester, the moody master of Thornfield Hall, combines voluptuous visuals and ambitious art direction but remembers that the emotional intensity between the characters is the key to the story and the dark secret that lurks beneath all the propriety. Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska lead a pitch perfect ensemble cast and when all is said and done dear reader, it's a veritable triumph.

Still from film• Friday 23 September for 1 week

DRIVE (18) see trailer

(US 2011) dir. Nicolas Winding Refn 100m. Digital.
Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Christina Hendricks, Bryan Cranston, Ron Perlman, Albert Brooks, Tina Huang.

Ryan Gosling stars as Driver, movie stunt driver and occasional getaway man for some of L.A.'s more dangerous criminal fraternity. An encounter with nearly-divorced neighbour Irene (Carey Mulligan), one last heist and soon he's on his way to Hell with a pair of gangsters (Ron Perlman and Albert Brooks) right behind. It all adds up to a glorious mix of existential thriller and return to the terse action B-movies of yesteryear. Danish film-maker Nicolas Winding Refn captures the torpid atmosphere of California's freeways and strip-malls to perfection and a narcotic synth-pop soundtrack tops off an exhilarating, stylish and hard-edged ride on the wild side.up

Still from film• Friday 30 September for 1 week

MELANCHOLIA (15) see trailer

(2011) dir. Lars Von Trier 136m. Digital.
Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, Alexander Skarsgård, Stellan Skarsgård.

The End of the World or the End of Lars von Trier? Which ever disaster is impending, there's still a film-making talent like no other at work and an astonishing ensemble cast lining up to tell his tale of two sisters, their relationship with each other and the rest of the world as the Earth moves ever closer to complete destruction from Planet Melancholia. Cannes Best Actress Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg (who should have won) are more than a match for veterans Charlotte Rampling and John Hurt as they play out some of von Triers's most audacious hyper-real set-pieces. Mad masterpiece or cosmic catastrophe? You decide.up

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