Happy New Year! So then – of the three new releases out in York this week, which do you think would get the best reviews?
Could it be the real-time World War I drama from an Oscar-winning director, the Kristen Stewart-starring biopic of a famous actress… or the new Adam Sandler movie?
Yep, the man formerly known as Billy Madison has been picking up the biggest plaudits of his career for his turn in the nail-biting crime thriller Uncut Gems.
The tension doesn’t let up as Sam Mendes thrusts viewers headlong into a daring wartime mission in 1917, while a cinematic icon finds herself under FBI surveillance in Seberg…
Having helmed the last two Bond films, director Sam Mendes here brings us a World War I epic that sounds as gripping as any of 007’s adventures.
The plot sees two young British soldiers (Captain Fantastic’s George Mackay and Game of Thrones’ Dean-Charles Chapman) sent on a crucial mission across enemy terrain, in order to deliver a letter that will stop an attack and save the lives of 1600 troops.
Inspired in part by stories Mendes was told by his grandfather, and co-written by the director with Krysty Wilson-Cairns (TV’s Penny Dreadful), the film puts viewers into the centre of the action – playing out in nerve-wracking real time, as though in one continuous take.
It’s an approach which has paid off, winning plenty of accolades (with the Guardian’s five star review hailing it as “bold, thrilling film-making”), as well as bagging the Golden Globes for best drama and best director.
There have been rave reviews across the board for this super-tense crime drama, featuring what many have hailed as a career-best performance from its star Adam Sandler.
Sandler foregoes his usual comic schtick to play Howard Ratner, a charismatic New York jeweller and gambler who’s always on the hustle – and who finds himself in with the chance of a life-changing windfall.
As the clock ticks, he must try and stay afloat while dealing with the competing demands of business and family, as well as fending off his rivals.
The latest film from highly rated directing duo the Safdie brothers – who give every indication of becoming major names in the coming decade – it’s hitting Netflix at the end of the month, so grab the chance to see it on the big screen while you can (and in the meantime, you can check out their excellent previous film Good Time on the streaming service right now).
Kristen Stewart stars in this portrait of Jean Seberg, the American actress who became a darling of French New Wave cinema – and whose political activism saw her ruthlessly targeted by the FBI.
Set in the late 1960s, the story sees Seberg returning to Hollywood from Paris, and becoming involved with the Black Panther movement when she meets activist Hakim Jamal (Anthony Mackie, aka Marvel’s Sam Wilson/Falcon).
Her vocal support of the Black Panthers prompts the FBI to put her under surveillance, and as their attempts to undermine and intimidate her increase, her life begins to fall apart.
It’s a quiet week for one-off screenings, but anime fans have a treat in store at City Screen this Wednesday, with a screening of the eagerly awaited new release from Makoto Shinkai, a man whose last film, 2016’s Your Name, was hailed by Empire as “this decade’s Spirited Away”.
High praise indeed – and this double bill offers you a chance to see both films back to back.
Your Name screens first, telling the tale of two strangers – a boy in Tokyo and a girl in a small mountain town – who find themselves periodically waking up in each other’s bodies.
Weathering With You looks to be another distinctive blend of fantasy and reality, this time following a high schooler who runs away to a rain-lashed Tokyo, where he meets a mysterious girl with the power to control the weather…
South Bank Community Cinema kick off their spring season this week, with the theme this time being films inspired by literature and writing – starting on Friday 10th with Colette, last year’s acclaimed literary biopic starring Kiera Knightley.
Set in late 19th century Paris, it sees Knightley playing the eponymous French author, who sees her series of sensational “Claudine” novels become a publishing phenomenon – but one for which her husband, the charismatic writer Willy (Dominic West), takes all the credit.
Directed by Wash Westmoreland (who co-directed the award-winning Julianne Moore drama Still Alice), it was praised by critics both for its forward-thinking, modern approach and for Knightley’s performance, which many hailed as one of her best to date.
It shows at Clement’s Hall on Fri 10th at 8pm (doors 7:30pm). Tickets are £3 for members and £4 for guests.