February season on sale
As the awards season gets underway, we have another exciting selection of films lined up for February and early March. We will be showing the best of the current mainstream releases, including Oscar front-runners such as the powerful drama Whiplash, rights of passage story Wild and Martin Luther King biopic Selma. Movie-goers will also get a second chance to see some of the most successful titles of past months such as The Theory of Everything and Boyhood. Our Under The Radar series continues to present brilliant new independent films including Stephen Daldry’s compelling adventure Trash. Classics include David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, and there are more live broadcasts to look forward to from the Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre and Metropolitan Opera.
New releases with awards in their sights include epic drama Wild, with screenplay by Nick Hornby, based on the written memoir by Cheryl Strayed. Reese Witherspoon puts in a sterling performance as the woman who sets out on a 1,100 mile solo hike across America to exorcise her personal demons, and is nominated for her second Academy Award for Best Actress. In historical drama Selma, British actor David Oyelowo’s performance as Martin Luther King gained him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor while the film is in the running for Best Picture at the Oscars. Nominated for six Oscars, American Sniper is directed by Clint Eastwood and stars Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in US military history. The emotionally powerful drama Whiplash received top awards at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival alongside its five Oscar and BAFTA nominations. The film follows a promising young jazz drummer who is mentored by a tough instructor in the form of Golden Globe-winning J K Simmons.
The Errol Flynn Fimhouse also offers repeat screenings of some of the most successful recent films, including romantic biopic The Theory of Everything, telling the extraordinary story of Stephen Hawking and his wife Jane. Having won the Golden Globe for Best Actor for his stunning portrayal of the brilliant scientist, Eddie Redmayne is a strong contender for an Oscar. The film has ten BAFTA and five Oscar nominations in total. Biographical thriller The Imitation Game has received nine BAFTA and eight Oscar nominations including Best Picture and could provide Benedict Cumberbatch with his first Oscar for his performance as World War II code-breaking mathematician, Alan Turing. Mike Leigh’s hugely popular biopic Mr Turner starring Cannes Best Actor winner Timothy Spall, has received four Oscar nominations. The savagely funny black comedy Birdman has already won Michael Keaton a Golden Globe for his performance as a washed-up actor famed for playing a superhero, and is up for nine Academy Awards and ten BAFTAs. Richard Linklater’s seminal film Boyhood, filmed over 12 years as a boy grows up, has already won Best Director and Best Drama at the Golden Globes, with five BAFTA and six Oscar nominations in hand. With its magical blend of CGI, animatronics and live action, Paddington is in the running for Outstanding British Film at the BAFTAs, as Britain’s favourite bear is brought to the big screen in a delightful family film.
Other new releases coming to the Errol Flynn Filmhouse include the action-packed family adventure Night at the Museum 3: Secret of the Tomb, where museum security guard Larry (Ben Stiller) and friends travel to the British Museum, uniting in a magical quest. Another trilogy is concluded with The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies which sees Martin Freeman’s Bilbo Baggins and his dwarf comrades caught up in an epic battle of goblins, elves, orcs, wargs, men and giant eagles. In Tim Burton’s latest offering, the colourful biopic Big Eyes, Amy Adams plays the successful 1950s painter Margaret Keane. J C Chandor’s latest drama, A Most Violent Year, is set in New York in 1981, following an ambitious immigrant (Oscar Isaacs) as he fights to protect his business and family in what was the most dangerous year in the city’s history. With a star-studded cast that includes Michael Caine, Samuel L Jackson and Mark Hamill, comedy-action film Kingsman: The Secret Service follows an unrefined by savvy street kid who is recruited in to a top secret spy agency by Colin Firth. In Denis Villeneuve’s surreal psychological thriller Enemy, Jake Gyllenhaal learns he has a doppelgänger and must fight to survive. Oscar Isaacs gets another outing in Alex Garland’s stylish thriller Ex Machina about a young programme (Domhall Gleeson) who is chosen to assist a reclusive genius (Isaacs) with his breakthrough experiment in artificial intelligence.
Looking ahead to March, tickets are now on sale for grown-up romcom The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the sequel to the 2012 smash hit, starring Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Richard Gere and Bill Nighy
One of the highlights of the Under The Radar selection of independent films and world cinema is Trash, a compelling adventure written by Richard Curtis and directed by Stephen Daldry. Echoing the feel-good elements of Slumdog Millionaire, the film follows three young boys who make a chance discovery on a Brazilian rubbish dump. From Venezuela, Pelo Malo (Bad Hair) is a tender coming-of-age story about a boy who wants his stubbornly curly hair to be straightened, while his mother becomes increasingly concerned about his obsession with his looks. Winning Best Documentary at the 2014 Berlin Film Festival, German docu-drama The Circle depicts the social network revolving around a gay magazine in 1950s Zurich, and is screened in association with Q-Film. Documentaries include the fascinating Love is All, which explores love and courtship on screen, from the very first filmed kisses, to the birth of youth culture, gay liberation and free love, using archive footage and a stunning new score by Richard Hawley. The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness offers a rare fly-on-the-wall glimpse of the workings of Studio Ghibli in Japan – one of the world’s most celebrated animation studios – in the wake of the retirement of legendary director Hayao Miyazaki.
February’s programme of classic films starts with a Valentine’s weekend screening of the 1953 romantic classic Roman Holiday, starring Audrey Hepburn in her breakthrough role as a princess who sneaks off and explores Rome for a day. From 1987, Au Revoir Les Enfants draws on director Louis Malle’s own childhood experience, in a moving story of a Catholic boarding school in France, that defies the Nazis by quietly enrolling Jewish children under assumed names. Presented by The University of Northampton and open to everyone, February’s Cult Film Club screening is David Lynch’s neo-noir thriller Blue Velvet, which sees Kyle MacLachlan and Laura Dern led into the seedy underworld of their quiet town following the discovery of a severed ear.
Live screenings for the coming month include a pair of sparkling Shakespearean comedies from RSC Live, Love’s Labour’s Lost and Love’s Labour’s Won, directed by Christopher Luscombe and broadcast live from Stratford-upon-Avon. From Met Opera Live comes a double-bill of Tchaikovsky’s fairytale Iolanta and Bartok’s psychological thriller Bluebeard’s Castle, screened live from New York.
There will be a special repeat screening NT Live’s Treasure Island, the National Theatre’s adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s pirate adventure, which along with other family films in the half term holiday can be enjoyed with special Family Ticket Offer of one adult and one child for just £10. This offer applies to screenings of Paddington, Night at the Museum and Treasure Island during the week Monday 16 to Friday 20 February.