Can Parasite stop 1917 in its tracks at the Oscars this Sunday?
Sam Mendes’ WW1 epic is widely expected to sweep the boards at this year’s ceremony – but the much-talked-about South Korean hit is up for six gongs, including Best Picture – and could yet provide a Moonlight-style surprise.
Find out what all the fuss is about when it hits cinemas this week – alongside the return of Harley Quinn in Birds of Prey and Robert Downey Jr’s first post-Avengers outing in Dolittle.
Plus – another chance to catch ace Cornish BAFTA winner Bait at City Screen!
It’s not every filmmaker who can claim their own Beyoncé-style social media fanbase, but a quick search for the #Bonghive on Twitter makes it clear there’s no shortage of love for South Korean director Bong Joon Ho (Okja, Snowpiercer).
The rave reviews and awards recognition for his latest film suggest his appeal is set to expand into the mainstream, with Parasite not only the favourite for the best international film Oscar, but in with a shout for best picture as well.
The one thing everyone says about this darkly comic thriller is the less you know going in, the better (which makes researching it online a pretty fraught task) – but the basic premise sees the unemployed members of the Kim family slowly infiltrate the home of the wealthy Park clan, under the guise of personal tutors.
If you want to get a taste of life in the Bonghive, meanwhile, head to Netflix for 2017’s highly enjoyable Okja – the tale of one girl and her rather large pet pig…
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
From the ashes of 2016’s little-loved Suicide Squad rises this promising-sounding spin-off, which centres around the earlier film’s best character, psychologist-turned-supervillain Harley Quinn.
The story sees a heartbroken Harley (Margot Robbie) reeling from her break-up with the Joker when she meets Cass (newcomer Ella Jay Basco), a 12-year-old kid living on the streets who’s being hunted by villainous club owner Roman Sionis (Ewan McGregor).
Harley finds herself forming an uneasy alliance with a team of formidable women – Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Renee Montaya (Rosie Perez) – who also have scores to settle with Sionis.
With full reviews yet to be released at the time of writing, the positive social media buzz following the film’s recent premiere suggests Robbie (who also exec produces) and director Cathy Yan could have a hit on their hands.
Robert Downey Jr follows in the footsteps of Rex Harrison and Eddie Murphy in this new take on the eccentric animal conversationalist.
Holed up in his manor house after the death of his wife, Dr. Dolittle’s solitary life is interrupted by news that Queen Victoria (Jessie Buckley, Wild Rose) is on her deathbed – prompting the good Doctor to set sail in search of a cure, accompanied by a coterie of wise-cracking beasties and his eager new apprentice Tommy Stubbins (Harry Collett, Dunkirk).
There’s no shortage of starry guest voices for Dolittle’s animal friends, including Emma Thompson, Rami Malek and Octavia Spencer – but it’s fair to say the film’s had a less than enthusiastic reception Stateside. Bored parents can at least distract themselves by trying to work out where exactly in Wales Downey Jr is supposed to be from…
Great news for film fans keen to check out last year’s Cornish indie hit Bait – it’s back at City Screen for a couple of showings this week, off the back of its BAFTA win for outstanding British debut.
Director Mark Jenkin’s beautifully shot, tragicomic depiction of rising tensions between locals and incomers in a Cornish fishing village is a true original, and well worth catching – it’s on at 9pm on Fri 7th, and 3pm on Tues 11th.
There’s also a chance to see a couple of family favourites at City Screen over the weekend – their Kid’s Club screening this week is Disney’s The Sword in the Stone on Sat 8th, and you can also catch an Autism-Friendly Screening of the latest Aardman hit Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon there on Sun 9th.
For a rather different take on the Arthurian legend, head down to Vue on Thurs 13th to catch Monty Python and the Holy Grail, a welcome tribute to the late Terry Jones (BYO coconut shells).
Meanwhile, another comedy classic is celebrated at Everyman on Tues 11th, with a screening of new documentary Cleanin’ Up The Town: Remembering Ghostbusters.
Something of a labour of love by film journalists Anthony and Claire Bueno, it’s been over a decade in the making, but they’ve gathered together exclusive interviews with most of the key players, including the late Harold Ramis.
Next up, showing at both City Screen and Everyman on Weds 12th is music doc The Doors: Break on Thru.
Showing on what would have been co-founder Ray Manzarek’s 81st birthday, the film combines footage of a 2016 concert by the band’s surviving members with interviews and rare archive footage.
And finally, Everyman are also marking Galentine’s Day on Thurs 13th with a screening of Thelma and Louise – Leslie Knope would surely approve.
South Bank Community Cinema have just the thing to banish the February blues this week, with a screening of the classic 1940 screwball comedy His Girl Friday.
Cary Grant stars as a newspaper editor trying to stop his ex-wife (Hildy Johnson) from quitting journalism for a quiet life with her insurance salesman fiancé (Ralph Bellamy, aka one of the scheming Duke brothers from Trading Places).
Directed by Howard Hawks, it’s famed for its rapid-fire dialogue – with Empire claiming that it ‘makes When Harry Met Sally look like Waiting For Godot. In mime.’
You can catch it at Clement’s Hall on Fri 7th at 8pm (doors 7:30pm). Tickets are £3 for members, £4 for guests.