January season now on sale
With films now on sale for January, we continue to present the best new releases, including remarkable love story The Danish Girl, starring Eddie Redmayne, and the much-anticipated new Star Wars film The Force Awakens. Our Under The Radar series continues to present brilliant new independent films, including the heart-warming comedy Grandma, with Lily Tomlin, and moving British drama Radiator, alongside a fascinating selection of documentaries. The programme of classics includes a mini-season of work from French-Swiss auteur Jean-Luc Godard, and there are more live broadcasts from Bolshoi Live, Met Opera Live and NT Live.
One of the highlights of the Under The Radar selection is the comedy Grandma, directed by About a Boy’s Paul Weitz and starring Lily Tomlin as a misanthropic lesbian poet who embarks on a day of visits to old friends and former flames to raise money for her pregnant granddaughter’s abortion. The moving and gentle film Radiator sees a middle-aged teacher summoned to visit and care for his elderly parents in the North of England, where his cantankerous father refuses to move from the sofa. Inspired by events in his own life, director Tom Browne filmed the movie in the cluttered Cumbrian cottage which belonged to his deceased parents. The Forbidden Room is an ode to the lost movies of the silent era – an epic fantasy of stories unfolding within stories. Foreign language movies include Bulgarian film The Lesson, in which a young teacher, troubled by petty theft in her classroom, soon finds herself questioning her principles when she is hit by her own financial woes and romantic French comedy, All About Them, sees a disenchanted couple embark on secret affairs with the same woman, going to desperate lengths to cheat on one another.
An intriguing selection of documentaries starts with Steve McQueen: The Man and Le Mans, chronicling the issues that dogged McQueen’s 1970 box office failure Le Mans, combining newly-discovered footage and private recordings with original interviews. Shown in association with Q-Film, Do I Sound Gay? sees journalist David Thorpe embarking on a hilarious and touching journey of self-discovery, enlisting acting coaches, linguists, friends and celebrities including David Sedaris and George Takei. Bolshoi Babylon offers unparalleled behind-the-scenes access to the Bolshoi Ballet, the world’s most famous ballet company, followed by a live satellite Q&A with principal dancer Anastasia Meskova, historian Simon Sebag Montefiore and other special guests.
The latest big releases include biographical drama The Danish Girl, starring Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander, telling the moving story of artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener as they navigated Lili’s ground-breaking journey as a transgender pioneer. The long-awaited new sequel, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, continues the saga three decades after Return of the Jedi, and sees original cast members Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Marc Hamill return, joined by Oscar Isaac, John Boyega and Daisy Ridley. Based on real events, the thriller Black Mass follows an FBI agent (Joel Edgerton) who persuades Irish mobster Whitey Bulger (Johnny Depp) to become an informant to help eliminate a common enemy, the Italian mafia. The cast also includes Benedict Cumberbatch and Kevin Bacon. Based on a best-selling novel, The Dressmaker is a bittersweet comedy-drama set in early 1950s Australia, starring Kate Winslet as a talented, glamorous misfit who returns to her hometown to right the wrongs done to her in the past, transforming women with her couture skills and in turn exacting sweet revenge. David O. Russell (American Hustle) directs the biographical comic-drama Joy, following a family through four generations, centring on entrepreneur Joy Mangano (played by Jennifer Lawrence) as she creates a business dynasty. The film also features Robert de Niro and Bradley Cooper.
There will be further chances to see recent popular releases including Steven Spielberg’s drama Bridge of Spies, starring Tom Hanks as a Brooklyn lawyer who finds himself thrust into the centre of the Cold War when he is sent by the CIA to rescue a pilot. The moving drama Carol follows a married woman in 1950s New York, played by Cate Blanchett, who risks everything when she embarks on a romance with a young department store clerk. The Lady in the Van features Alex Jennings as the playwright Alan Bennett and Maggie Smith as the transient woman, Miss Shepherd, living in her battered Bedford van parked on Bennett’s driveway for 15 years. Animated family film, The Good Dinosaur follows a young Apatosaurus who makes an unlikely human friend. With the cinema’s special Christmas holiday Family Ticket Offer, one adult and one child can enjoy screenings of The Good Dinosaur for just £11.
Classic movies coming up include the 1993 thriller, True Romance, written by Quentin Tarentino, starring Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette as a couple on the run, heading to Hollywood to sell stolen drugs. January’s Cult Film Club screening, shown in association with The University of Northampton, is the 2001 modern sci-fi classic Donnie Darko, starring Jake Gyllenhaal as a troubled teenager trying to find meaning behind the disturbing visions he is experiencing about the end of the world.
We also celebrates the work of Jean-Luc Godard, the godfather of French New Wave, showing three of his acclaimed works. His 1962 drama Vivre Sa Vie presents twelve episodes in the life of a young woman who turns to prostitution to pay her rent. The comedy, Bande À Part, from 1964, follows a trio of young idealists who imagine that they are participating in a robbery, and then act upon their musings with tragic results. Finally, Brigitte Bardot stars in 1963 drama Le Mépris, a wry parody of commercial film-making, in which a screenwriter and his wife drift apart during the filming of one of his stories.
As part of the popular programme of live screenings, the Metropolitan Opera presents Bizet’s gorgeous opera of lust and longing, Les Pêcheurs de Perles, returning to the Met’s stage for the first time in 100 years and broadcast live from New York. Direct from Moscow, Bolshoi Live bring French choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot’s ballet adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy The Taming of the Shrew to the big screen. Courtesy of NT Live, the Donmar Warehouse’s highly anticipated production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, a tale of intrigue and betrayal in pre-revolutionary France, is broadcast live from London.