December films now on sale
Another great selection of films is lined up for December with the our Under the Radar series continuing to present the pick of world cinema such as French movie The Innocents based on real events in war-time Poland. The forthcoming programme also features the best of the big new releases, including the romantic true story A United Kingdom, starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike, the psychological thriller Nocturnal Animals and Clint Eastwood’s thrilling new drama Sully starring Tom Hanks. Seasonal classics for the festive season include The Muppet Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life, and there will be more from the BFI Black Star season, celebrating the power and versatility of black actors on film. Special events include screenings from NT Live and Met Opera Live.
A highlight of the top foreign language films from around the world is historical drama The Innocents, inspired by the true story of a French Red Cross medic in Poland in 1945 who discovers a number of pregnant nuns in a convent. Q-Film present another French drama, Theo and Hugo, which follows two men who meet in a Paris club, only to have an unexpected event cause them to question their ideas about love and responsibility.
Our Under the Radar season also includes the delightful comedy Hunt For The Wilderpeople from Taika Wahiti (What We Do in the Shadows). The film follows a defiant city kid and his grouchy new foster father, played by Sam Neill, as they accidentally spark a national manhunt when they go missing in the New Zealand bush. Adam Driver stars in Paterson, the new Palme d’Or-nominated film from Jim Jarmusch, a funny, moving and philosophical story about a bus driver in Paterson, New Jersey, who writes poetic observations about this daily life. The fascinating documentary Life, Animated tells the inspirational story of young autistic man, who as a child was unable to speak until he and his family discovered a unique way to communicate by immersing themselves in Disney animated films.
The latest big releases coming up include the romantic drama A United Kingdom, from director Amma Asante (Belle). Starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike, it tells the true story of Prince Seretse Khama, later to become the first president of Botswana, who caused a diplomatic stir when he married a London office worker in the 1940s. Haunting romantic thriller Nocturnal Animals, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2016 Venice Film Festival, stars Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal as a divorced couple discovering dark truths. Tom Hanks stars in the thrilling drama Sully, directed by Clint Eastwood, and telling the true story of Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who safely crash-landed a passenger plane on the Hudson River in 2009. Also based on true events, romantic thriller Allied sees Brad Pitt play an intelligence officer who in 1942 encounters a French resistance fighter (Marion Cotillard) on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Based on Philip Roth’s novel, emotive drama Indignation takes place in 1951, following a brilliant working class Jewish boy from New Jersey who heads to a small, conservative college in Ohio to avoid being drafted into the Korean War. American Honey sees a young girl run away with a travelling magazine sales crew, soon getting into the teenage gang’s lifestyle of hard-partying nights, law-bending days and young love. Spike Lee’s acclaimed new comedy drama Chi-Raq follows a group of Illinois women who trigger a global peace movement when they pledge to withhold sexual contact from their partners, in protest against an endless cycle of violence. The cast includes Wesley Snipes, Angela Bassett, Samuel L Jackson and John Cusack. Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi thriller Arrival stars Amy Adams as an expert linguist leading a team of investigators racing against time to find a way to communicate with extra-terrestrial visitors who have landed on earth. Benedict Cumberbatch stars in Marvel’s latest superhero action film, Doctor Strange, playing a surgeon who turns to mystical forces after losing the use of his hands in an accident. For family audiences, Disney’s sweeping new animated adventure Moana follows a spirited Polynesian teenager who sails out on a daring mission to prove herself a master wayfinder and fulfil her ancestors’ unfinished quest.
As ever, we will be bringing back some of the most popular films from recent months with further chances to see Ken Loach’s scathing look at the benefits system, I, Daniel Blake, the adaptation of James Bowen’s much-loved book, A Street Cat Named Bob, the next chapter in the life of the world’s favourite singleton, Bridget Jones’s Baby, and the thrilling adaptation of The Girl on the Train starring Emily Blunt.
Concluding its season of films shown as part of the BFI Black Star season celebrating black actors on screen, the cinema presents two more films from the Black Musicians on Film selection. The 1984 cult classic Purple Rain stars Prince as a young singer on the rise to stardom. The 1978 urban re-imagining of The Wizard of Oz, The Wiz, featuring Diana Ross, Michael Jackson and Richard Pryor, sees a New York school teacher is swept off to Oz in a snowstorm.
Screenings for the festive season include the beloved 1992 adaptation of Charles Dicken’s classic tale, The Muppet Christmas Carol, starring Michael Caine. There will also be a chance to see the 1954 musical White Christmas, starring Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney in the tale of a successful song-and-dance team who pair up with a sister act to save a failing Vermont inn. Christmas at the Errol Flynn Filmhouse would not be the same without Frank Capra’s 1946 classic, It’s A Wonderful Life, starring James Stewart in one of his finest, most affecting performances, as the business man who is shown by an angel what life would be like if he never existed. There will be a screening of the Bolshoi Ballet’s enchanting performance of Tchaikovsky’s iconic seasonal favourite The Nutcracker, recorded live in Moscow in 2014, and, to see in the New Year, cinema-goers can join the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle for their rousing annual New Year’s Eve Gala Concert.
December’s live screenings include L’Amour de Loin from Met Opera Live. Commissioned by the Salzburg Festival where it was first seen in 2000, Kaija Saariaho’s breakthrough opera is presented in New York in a dazzling new production by Robert Lepage. NT Live will broadcast Harold Pinter’s classic comedy No Man’s Land, starring Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart, live from the West End’s Wyndham’s Theatre. The live screening is already sold out but there will be an encore screening on 14 January.