Sunday 16th September 2007
2004, US, 126min, cert 15.
Dir: Alexander Payne Cast: Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen, Sandra Oh, Marylouise Burke,
Jessica Hecht, Missy Doty, M.C. Gainey, Alysia Reiner, Shake Tukhmanyan.
In search of wine. In search of women. In search of themselves!
*’Can I ask you a personal question?’ wonders Miles (Giamatti), our paunchy anti-hero, as he leans in towards Maya
(Madison), a friend he knows from his regular trips to California’s vineyards. ‘Why are you so into Pinot?’ What a
chat-up line. Yet this and other crucial questions concerning wine, men, love and friendship are the lifeblood of this
low key road movie about two middle aged men, Miles and Jack (Church), who take to the highway to explore
California’s vineyards in the week before Jack gets married.
In their different ways, Jack and Miles are the embodiment of male crisis.
Writer/director Payne, meanwhile, demonstrates immense confidence by holding back both the humour and the pace
of the film so that it trips along maturely like the lazy Californian sun that he indulges so well. He and co-writer Jim
Taylor also have fun with Miles’ oenophile tendencies, allowing for such gems of dialogue as ‘quaffable, but far from
transcendent.’ Time Out
Winner of numerous awards including the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and
2 Golden Globes including Best Picture, Musical or Comedy.
Sunday 23rd September 2007
An Inconvenient Truth
2006, USA, 100min, Cert PG
A documentary on Al Gore’s campaign to make the issue of global warming a recognised warning worldwide.
Director Davis Guggenheim eloquently weaves the science of global warming with Mr Gore’s personal history and
lifelong commitment to reversing the effects of global climate change. A longtime advocate for the environment,
Gore presents a wide array of facts and information in a thoughtful and compelling way.
THIS EVENING IS FULLY BOOKED
Sunday 30th September 2007
Notes on a Scandal
2006, UK, 92min, Cert 15.
Dir: Richard Eyre Cast: Judi Dench, Cate Blanchett, Bill Nighy, Andrew Simpson, Philip Davis, Tom Georgeson,
Michael Maloney, Joanna Scanlan, Shaun Parkes, Emma Kennedy, Syreeta Kumar.
One woman’s mistake is another’s opportunity.
*’Shrewdly adapted from Zoe Heller’s best-selling novel, Notes on a Scandal grabs your attention with a gentle touch
and refuses to let go. Judi Dench is truly spellbinding as the dumpy schoolteacher hiding an iron fist in a velvet glove
to wheedle her way into the confidence of a younger colleague with a terrible secret (Cate Blanchett). Around these
formidable women, director Richard Eyre and writer Patrick Marber craft a psychological thriller of rare delicacy.’
Sunday 7th October 2007
1942, US, 117 min, b/w, Cert PG.
Dir: Irving Rapper Cast: Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Bonita Granville, Gladys Cooper, John Loder, Ilka
Chase, Lee Patrick, Janis Wilson, Franklin Pangborn.
‘Oh Jerry, don’t let’s ask for the moon. We have the stars.’
*Davis, impeccable as usual, turns the sow’s ear of Hollywood’s notion of a repressed spinster (remove the glasses
and lo! A beauty) into something like a silk purse. Great stuff as a worldly-wise psychiatrist (Rains at his smoothest)
recommends a cruise, and bitter-sweet ship-board romance soars with an unhappily married architect (Henreid,
suavely performing the archetypal two-cigarette trick). The ‘women’s weepie’ angle is all wrapped up as a
mesmerically glittering package by Rapper’s direction, Sol Polito’s camerawork, and Max Steiner’s lushly romantic
Sunday 14th October 2007
The Painted Veil
2007, China/USA, 125 min, cert 12.
Dir: John Curran Cast: Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, Live Schreiber, Toby Jones,
Diana Rigg, Catherine An, Bin Li, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang.
Sometimes the greatest journey is the distance between two people.
*’Based on the novel by W Somerset Maugham, The Painted Veil is a love story set in the 1920’s about a young English
couple, Walter (Edward Norton), a middle class doctor and Kitty (Naomi Watts), an upper-class woman, who get
married for the wrong reasons and relocate to Shanghai, where she falls in love with someone else. When he
uncovers her infidelity, in an act of vengeance, he accepts a job in a remote village in China ravaged by a deadly
epidemic, and takes her along. Their journey brings meaning to their relationship and gives them purpose in one of
the most remote and beautiful places on earth.’ Warner Independent Pictures
Sunday 21st October 2007
2006, France, 106min, subtitles, Cert 12A.
Dir: Daniele Thompson Cast: Cecile De France, Valerie Lemercier, Albert Dupontel, Laura Morante, Claude
Brasseur, Christopher Thompson, Dani, Annelise Hesme, Francois Rollin, Sydney Pollack.
*‘Orchestra Seats is a romantic comedy done right. This lovely ensemble piece gives us flawed (and therefore more
empathic) characters awkwardly negotiating their love lives alongside their hopes and aspirations.
The central character is Jessica (Cecile de France), a charming gamine whose infectious good nature touches three
separate storylines – a soap star desperate to be taken seriously as an actress, a pianist who wants to break free of
the concert circuit, and a businessman forced into auctioning his beloved art collection.
The supporting turns are the undoubted highlights of the film – veteran actress Dani is a joy as a soon-to-retire
concierge who unexpectedly nabs the film’s most moving moment, and Valerie Lemercier won a Cesar as the
vainglorious yet insecure actress with her fervent dissection of the passions of Simone de Beauvoir to a dubious
American director (Sydney Pollack) wonderful to behold.
Great fun and full of charm. Gorgeous shots of Paris too.’
Sunday 28th October 2007
The Wages of Fear
(Le Salaire de la Peur)
1953, Fr/It, 144min, b/w, subtitles, Cert PG.
Dir: Henri-Georges Clouzot Cast: Yves Montand, Charles Vanel, Peter van Eyck, Folco Lulli, Vera Clouzot, Dario
Moreno, William Tubbs, Jo Dest, Antonio Centa, Luis De Lima.
The complete restored version of the 1953 French classic.
*’Set in a South American French colony during the 1950’s, this film tells the story of a group of disillusioned, out of
work expatriates who hang around the seedy cafes of a dead-end town dependant on an American oil company. They
long to get away but have no money. Then they hear one of the company’s wells is on fire and out of control. In
return for $2,000 they agree to drive two trucks loaded with nitro-glycerine to the site in order to blow it up.
Appalling roads, a lethal cargo and the urgency of their mission combine to make this one of the most gripping
suspense movies ever made.’
Winner of the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival 1953.
Sunday 4th November 2007
The Ipcress File
1965, UK, 109min, Cert PG.
Dir: Sidney J Furie Cast: Michael Caine, Nigel Green, Guy Doleman, Sue Lloyd, Gordon Jackson, Aubrey Richards,
Frank Gatliff, Thomas Baptiste, Oliver MacGreevey, Freda Bamford.
Palmer: The fellow whose job I’m taking, will he show me the ropes?
Major Dalby: Maybe – if you’re in touch with the spirit world.
Palmer: I beg your pardon?
Major Dalby: He was shot this morning.
*First and best of Michael Caine’s three appearances as Len Deighton’s Harry Palmer, despite Furie’s penchant for
flashy images. There’s a suitably complex plot involving a missing scientist, an enigmatic piece of recording tape,
electronic brainwashing and top-level treachery; but the best sequences linger in the mind long after the narrative
details have been forgotten.
Michael Caine is perfect as the bespectacled gourmet Harry Palmer, playing him with just the right amount of cheek,
charm and ruthlessness expected of a public service secret agent.
Won 3 BAFTA Awards for Best British Art Direction, Best British Cinematography and Best British Film.
Sunday 11th November 2007
Passport to Pimlico
1949, GB, 85min, b/w, Cert U.
Dir: Henry Cornelius Cast: Stanley Holloway, Margaret Rutherford, John Slater, Barbara Murray, Betty Warren,
Hermione Baddeley, Paul Dupuis, Raymond Huntley, Basil Radford.
‘We always were English and we’ll always be English, and it’s precisely because we are English that we’re
sticking up for our rights to be Burgundians!’
*Passport to Pimlico is a delightful Ealing comedy set in the war-ravaged English capital.
The film is set in the inner London district of Pimlico, a few narrow streets hemmed in by railway lines and busy main
roads, where a delayed bomb explosion reveals a hidden vault containing treasure and an ancient document proving
that the land was granted to the Duke of Burgundy in perpetuity.
So the inhabitants of this cockney parish suddenly find that officially they are Burgundians. As the realisation sinks
in that they are no longer subject to the strict laws of austerity England, they are gripped with a wild sense of
liberation. The local pub stays open as long as it likes with the constable’s blessing, the bank manager sequestrates
the reserves in defiance of head office, the dressmaker refuses to acknowledge clothing coupons. Suddenly a
grubby set of London backstreets becomes a continental paradise, with sidewalk cafes and unlimited export goods in
the shops. Whitehall reacts by closing the ‘frontier’ and imposing strict currency control and customs inspections on
anyone attempting to cross.
Initially the residents are delighted at the turn of events, which means they dispense with wartime rationing and
free from other British government control. But when they get hit by food and water shortages of their own,
Britain starts looking rosier by the minute.’
Sunday 18th November 2007
2006, Australia, 92min, Cert. Unrated.
Dir: Rolf de Heer Cast: Crusoe Kurddal, Jamie Gulpilil, Richard Birrinbirrin, Johnny Buniyira, David Gulpilil, Peter
Djigirr, Peter Minygululu, Frances Djulibing, Michael Dawu, Julie Djelrr.
Ten canoes, three wives, one hundred and fifty spears………trouble.
*’Set in the distant past in Australia’s far northern Arnhem Land, Ten Canoes vividly brings Aboriginal culture to the
fore with style and humour. Narrated by David Gulpilil (Rabbit Proof Fence), the story is a fairly straightforward
one of forbidden love, but its relative simplicity is fleshed out with narrative offshoots cutting back and forth
across time in an age-old examination of what it takes to reach maturity. A hit at the Cannes and Venice festivals,
the film is sumptuously photographed, with the majestic landscape playing as prominent a role as any of the lead
actors. Director de Heer succeeds in presenting an authentic yet beguiling examination of an ancient culture.’
Sunday 25th November 2007
Tell No One
2006, France, 125 min, subtitles, Cert 15.
Dir: Guillaume Canet Cast: Francois Cluzet, Marie-Josee Croze, Andre Dussollier, Kristin Scott-Thomas, Jean
Rochefort, Marina Hands, Francois Berleand, Nathalie Baye.
*Paediatritian Alex Beck (Cluzet), still devastated by the savage murder of his wife Margot (Croze) eight years ago,
receives an anonymous e-mail. When he clicks on the link he sees Margot’s face standing in a crowd, being filmed in
real time. Is she really still alive? And why does she instruct him to ‘tell no one’? At the same time the uncovering
of two bodies near the site where Margot disappeared leads the police to reopen the case, and this time they are
determined that Alex will take the rap for murder.
Relentless suspense and a tense, multilayered plot combine to superlative effect in this pulsating French thriller
adapted from Harlan Coben’s bestseller of the same name.
Sunday 2nd December 2007
La Vie En Rose
2007, France, 140min, subtitles, Cert 12A.
Dir: Olivier Dahan Cast: Marion Cotillard, Sylvie Testud, Pascal Greggory, Jean-Pierre Martins. Gerard Depardieu,
Emmanuelle Seigner, Clotilde Courau, Jean Paul Rouve, Marc Barbe.
*’La Vie En Rose is elevated above many other artist biopics by Cotillard’s magnetism in the role of Edith Piaf. From
the slums of Paris to the limelight of New York, Piaf’s life was a constant battle to sing and survive, to live and love.
Edith’s magical voice, and her passionate romances and friendships with some of the greatest names of the period,
made her a star the world over. But in her audacious attempt to tame her tragic destiny, the ‘Little Sparrow’ flew so
high it was inevitable that she would burn her wings.
Capturing the French icon’s bravado, brilliance and self-destructive bent, Cotillard is little short of a revelation.’
Monday 3rd December 2007
2007, France, 121min, subtitles, Cert 12A.
Dir: Laurent Tirard Cast: Romain Duris, Fabrice Luchini, Ludivine Sagnier, Laura Morante, Eduard Baer, Fanny
Valette, Melanie Dos Santos, Gonzague Requillart, Gilian Petrovski.
*’In 1645 the French playwright Moliere mysteriously disappeared for several weeks; this comedy-drama imagines a
possible scenario of what happened to him. At the time, Moliere (Duris) was the head of a bankrupt troupe of actors
in Paris, and was yet to be recognised as a comic genius or achieve financial stability. He is recruited by Monsieur
Jourdain (Luchini), a wealthy man who has fallen in love with a widowed marquise, Celimene (Sagnier), despite having a
beautiful wife and two daughters, Jourdain has written a play to demonstrate his feelings for Celimene, and he needs
someone to polish his script and serve as an acting coach. Brilliantly written and directed, Moliere is witty and
handsomely played, and is representative of modern French cinema at its very finest.’ Curzon Cinemas
Sunday 9th December 2007
1946, GB, 118min, b/w, Cert PG.
Dir: David Lean Cast: John Mills, Valerie Hobson, Martita Hunt, Bernard Miles, Francis L Sullivan, Finlay Currie,
Jean Simmons, Anthony Wager, Alec Guinness, Freda Jackson.
‘I realised that in becoming a gentleman, I had only succeeded in becoming a snob.’
*’Still Lean’s best film, and probably – along with Cukor’s David Copperfield – the best of all the cinema’s many stabs
at Dickens. It begins on a high note with young Pip’s nervous scurry home along the bleak seashore as darkness falls,
past lowering gibbets and blasted trees leading him straight into his hair-raising encounter with Magwitch the
convict in the graveyard. A hard act to follow, but Lean tops it effortlessly with his eerie evocation of the Gothic
yet strangely gentle fantasy world inhabited by poor, mad Miss Havisham, nesting her broken heart amid the
cobwebby remains of her wedding finery. For once the transition from childhood (with Mills and Hobson taking over
from Wager and Simmons) is managed with total credibility, and the fine performances keep on coming. Mills and
Hobson have never been better; Hunt is fantastic; Currie, Guinness, Simmons and Sullivan all memorable. Visually
flawless, perfectly paced, it’s a small masterpiece.’ Time Out
Monday 10th December 2007
Monday 17th December 2007
It’s A Wonderful Life
1940, US, 129min, b/w, Cert U.
Dir: Frank Capra Cast: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Henry Travers, Beulah Bondi, Gloria
Grahame, Thomas Mitchell, HB Warner, Ward Bond.
Every time you hear a bell ring it means some angel’s just got his wings.
*Hollywood’s best-loved star teams up with America’s favourite director to create one of the world’s most popular
It’s A Wonderful Life is the ultimate ‘feel-good’ film. Starring the unforgettable James Stewart as George Bailey,
the man who receives the greatest Christmas gift of all.
The film is a deceptively simple tale of redemption and hope versus hopelessness. George Bailey is desperately
unhappy; reaching his all-time low when he sinks into alcoholic depression and considers suicide. Clarence, an angel as
desperate to please as George and hoping to achieve his wings, saves him. In a classic sequence, Clarence unwraps
George’s life, showing him what might have been had he never existed, and convincing him that life is more wonderful
than he thinks.
A superb ensemble cast includes Donna Reed and Lionel Barrymore, this high-spirited Christmas tale is directed by
the immortal Frank Capra and ranks as an all-time favourite of fans and critics alike.
Sunday 16th December 2007
Into the West
1993, Ireland, 97 min, Cert PG.
Dir: Mike Newell Cast: Ellen Barkin, Gabriel Byrne, Ciaran Fitzgerald, Ruaidhri Conroy, Colm Meaney, David Kelly,
Johnny Murphy, Brendan Gleeson.
If you think you are too jaded by modern society to enjoy this film, just close your eyes and remember how
the world looked when you were 12 years old.
*’After his wife’s death, an alcoholic father, who once lived a gypsy like existence as part of a people known as
travellers, retires with his two sons to a dreary Dublin tenement. But the atmosphere brightens considerably when
the children’s grandfather, who remains a traveller and does not approve of their city life, brings them a white
stallion named Tir na nOg whom he has found near the Irish Sea. For a while, they all live happily in the flat, but
when annoyed neighbours complain about the presence of a horse in an apartment building, police intervene and take
Tir na nOg away.
When an unethical cop illegally sells the stallion to a breeder who plans to train him as a racehorse, the boys,
desperate to get him back, come to the animal’s rescue and free him.
Tir na nOg then leads the children on an adventure through the Irish countryside, as their father, helped by some
friends, tries to track them down. When the family is finally reunited, a magical event occurs that makes them
realize the mystical powers that the animal possesses.’
Monday 17th December 2007
It’s a Wonderful Life
See Monday 10th December for details
Sunday 23rd December 2007
The Red Shoes
1948, UK, 134 min, Cert U.
Dir: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger Cast: Moira Shearer, Anton Walbrook, Marius Goring, Leonid Massine,
Albert Basserman, Robert Helpmann, Esmond Knight, Ludmilla Tcherina.
Dance she did, and dance she must – between her two loves.
*’ The Red Shoes is a film in total contrast to anything else emerging from the British cinema of the period.
Imaginative, magical, melodramatic, it is an extraordinary tale of romance and artistic obsession, distinguished by
flawless performances from Moira Shearer, Anton Walbrook and Marius Goring.
The story, echoed by the ballet within the film, is based on Hans Christian Anderson’s tale of a pair of magical shoes
that permit the wearer to achieve perfection in dance, but tragically will not allow her to stop. A young dancer,
Victoria (Shearer), falls in love with a talented composer Julian (Goring), thus incurring the wrath of the tyrannical
impresario, Boris Lermontov (Walbrook), who predicts a brilliant future for her. Julian and Victoria marry, but
Lermontov ruthlessly attempts to come between them, threatening Victoria’s career and forcing her to choose.
That’s all folks!