North Newington Films
7th December THE GREATEST SHOWMAN
28TH December Mamma Mia – Here we go again –
7th December THE GREATEST SHOWMAN
Hugh Jackman leads an all-star cast in this bold and original musical filled with infectious showstopping performances that will bring you to your feet time and time again. Inspired by the story of P.T. Barnum (Jackman) and celebrating the birth of show business, the film follows the visionary who rose from nothing to create a mesmerising spectacle. This inspirational film also stars Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson and Zendaya.
28TH December Mamma Mia – Here we go again
It is a follow-up to the 2008 film Mamma Mia!, which in turn is based on the musical of the same name using the music of ABBA. The film features an ensemble cast, including Lily James, Amanda Seyfried, Christine Baranski, Julie Walters, Pierce Brosnan, Andy García, Dominic Cooper, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Jessica Keenan Wynn, Alexa Davies, Jeremy Irvine, Josh Dylan, Hugh Skinner, Cher, and Meryl Streep. Both a prequel and a sequel, the plot is set after the events of the first film, and also features flashbacks to 1979, telling the story of Donna Sheridan’s arrival on the island of Kalokairi and her first meetings with her daughter Sophie’s three possible fathers.
18th Jan Silence
Two 17th-century Portuguese missionaries, Father Sebastian Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Father Francisco Garupe (Adam Driver), embark on a perilous journey to Japan to find their missing mentor (Liam Neeson) who is rumored to have committed apostasy, and to propagate Catholicism. While there, the two men minister to the Christian villagers who worship in secret. If caught by feudal lords or ruling samurai, they must renounce their faith or face a prolonged and agonizing death
Director: Martin Scorsese
8th Feb Tea with the Dames
Dames Eileen Atkins, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright and Maggie Smith have let the cameras in on a friendship that goes back more than half a century. The four acting greats discuss their careers and reminisce about their humble beginnings in the theatre. Together, they’re 342 years old. They’re in their seventh decade of cutting-edge, epoch-defining performances on stage and on screen. Funny, smart, sharp, competitive, tearful, hilarious, savage, clever, caustic, cool, gorgeous, poignant, irreverent, iconic, old, and unbelievably young. Special friends, special women and special dames: a chance to hang out with them all, at the same table, at the same time, and enjoy sparkling and unguarded conversation spliced with a raft of archive.
1st March Children Act
As her marriage crumbles, a judge must decide a case involving a teenage boy who is refusing a blood transfusion on religious principle. Adapted by Ian McEwan from his 2014 novel and directed by Richard Eyre, “The Children Act” stars Emma Thompson as Fiona Maye, a British judge who must decide whether to require Adam, a 17-year-old with leukemia, to receive a blood transfusion. Adam is a Jehovah’s Witness, and blood transfusion runs counter to the religion’s tenets and his parents’ beliefs — and his own. Fiona visits him at the hospital before rendering a verdict. The encounter and the decision, and the asymmetries in the consequences for Adam and Fiona, reverberate through the rest of the action. Here, a beautifully internalized performance from Ms. Thompson and the various efforts to highlight the cinematic potential in Fiona’s anguish — the climax plays out during a piano recital — can’t override the tidy ironies of Mr. McEwan’s design. Fiona is a custodian of children who has no children. She is a gifted listener, yet is too professional and emotionally guarded to truly hear what Adam has to say. And as Fiona’s husband puts it, Fiona is an authority on family problems who neglects to address her own.
22nd March A Star is Born
Each generation has its own version of A Star Is Born, a timeless tale (prefigured by George Cukor’s What Price Hollywood?) of intersecting career trajectories. In the 1930s, William Wellman directed Janet Gaynor as the young actress on the way up who falls for alcoholic fading idol Fredric March. Judy Garland and James Mason reprised the roles in Cukor’s 1954 classic, setting a musical template mirrored in subsequent versions. Barbra Streisand famously wanted Elvis to star opposite her in Frank Pierson’s 70s remake but got Kris Kristofferson! Now, taking the tale to a 21st-century audience, we have Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper: the former in her first big-screen starring role, the latter making his startlingly assured directorial debut (he also produced, co-wrote the script and contributed to song composition). Capturing the slow grind of touring and the speedy ups and downs of pop stardom can be a notoriously tricky business. But from its uncannily realistic performance footage to pinpoint observations about modern in-ear monitors (“it’s just in my head; I need to be here”), this new incarnation of an old story paints a painfully precise portrait of life seen from the other side of the stage.
12th April Can you ever forgive me?
Melissa McCarthy is an established, Oscar-nominated comedic talent, and while she’s shown the promise of her dramatic work here and there, she finally gets the dramatic role she deserves in Can You Ever Forgive Me? The real-life drama is a melancholic portrait of a sad, lonely, middle-aged woman who wonders if the best years of her life are far behind her. McCarthy imbues the performance with a twinkle of mischief, but mostly a heavy heart, and the result is a moving portrait of a complicated woman. Can You Ever Forgive Me? is based on the memoir of the same name by Lee Israel, who came to prominence in the 60s, 70s, and 80s as a biographer, but who found it difficult to get her work published in the early 90s. Struggling to make ends meet, she stumbles upon the idea of using her writing talent to forge letters written by famous authors like Dorothy Parker, then sell them as memorabilia to book shops around Manhattan. But as her gambit grows larger, she draws the ire of the law. The forgeries are the main focus of the film’s plot, but the heart of the film is Lee’s relationship with Jack Hock (Richard E. Grant), an older gay man she meets in a bar (in the afternoon, of course) who quickly becomes her drinking buddy. Jack is full of vigor and confidence, but the façade hides his own sad, lonely soul—which is why he and Lee become so close. It’s clear in the film that Lee doesn’t have many, if any, friends, and her only treasured relationship is the one she has with her aging cat. She lets Jack in on her forgery secret, and together the two have the time of their lives.
3rd May Peterloo
Mike Leigh brings an overwhelming simplicity and severity to this historical epic, There is force, grit and, above all, a sense of purpose; a sense that the story he has to tell is important and real, and that it needs to be heard right now.
On 16 August 1819, at what we would now call a pro-democracy demonstration in St Peter’s Field, Manchester, an excitable band of cavalry and yeomanry – whose commander had airily absented himself for a day at the races – charged with sabres drawn into a crowd of 100,000 unarmed people, many of whom were unable to escape the enclosed space. The troops killed 18 and injured hundreds more. It was Britain’s 19th-century mix of Sharpeville and Hillsborough. The government was entirely delighted with the result, and not displeased with the nickname “Peterloo”, as it felt like a rerun of its victory over Napoleon, the creature of something it continued to fear intensely: the French Revolution.
Peterloo was eventually the seed of reform, and rooting out the political mendacity and bad faith that underpinned the massacre inspired a new wave of national journalism, giving rise to this paper’s ancestor, the Manchester Guardian. The protesters were complaining about taxation without representation: it wasn’t just the French Revolution the Hussars were trying to crush in St Peter’s Field, but the American Revolution, which had shown that defeating the British government was possible. And these were people, in any case, maddened with hunger, because corn law tariffs had barred imports of cheap grain from the continent. In 2018, our government is planning to stockpile food (and medicines) in the event of similar restrictions on trade.