The true story of a tone-deaf wealthy heiress’ excruciating attempts to become an opera singer is given voice by acclaimed director Stephen Frears. Meryl Streep is wonderful as the deluded diva who blasts her way through 1930s New York high society, while Hugh Grant is perfectly cast as her unfortunate husband, tasked with charming his wife’s critics into submission.
After Mamma Mia! and The Iron Lady, Streep yet again proves that she’s content with larger-than life, exuberant roles at this stage of her career.. But unlike some acting greats whose late-career comedic shifts have been dubious, Streep’s sheer dynamism and enthusiasm propels her starring roles. Arriving almost simultaneously with Xavier Giannoli’s take on the same story, Marguerite, Frears’ film distinguishes itself by virtue of the director’s broader touch and more natural feel for comic momentum, and it results in one of the director’s most purely enjoyable works in years.
Biopic 2017 96 mins Director: Daniel Draper
A suitably forthright profile of the evergreen socialist, trade unionist and Labour politician Dennis Skinner - also known as the Beast of Bolsover.
Biopic 1979 44 mins Director: Franco Rosso
Vibrant documentary portrait of dub poet and activist Linton Kwesi Johnson, fighting racism with the spoken word on the streets of 1970s Brixton.
Drama 2020 103 mins Director: Zaida Bergroth
A lyrical and romantic biopic of the beloved creator of the Moomins featuring an incredible central performance by Alma Pöysti.
Biopic 2020 118 mins Director: Francis Lee
Francis Lee follows up God’s Own Country with a film that is every bit as immersive, tactile and emotionally powerful, aided by the devastatingly good Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan.
Documentary 2020 98 mins Director: Jen Rainin
Uplifting documentary tracing the power of lesbian visibility from the early ‘90s to the present day through the story of Franco Stevens' best-selling lesbian magazine, Curve.
Documentary 2020 86 mins Director: Lisa Rovner
The remarkable untold story of electronic music’s female pioneers, who embraced machines and their liberating technologies to transform how we produce and listen to music today.
Biopic 2014 150 mins Director: Mike Leigh
Mike Leigh’s Cannes-winning account of the later years of J. M. W. Turner, brilliantly played by Timothy Spall.
Biopic 2007 122 mins Director: Anton Corbijn
The life story of Ian Curtis, the tortured singer of Joy Division who suffered epilepsy and crippling self-doubt, filmed in stunning monochrome.
Biopic 2017 94 mins Director: Mark Gill
A deeply insecure young Morrissey dreams of escaping drudgery but seeks the confidence to bloom, in this captivating account of The Smiths' genesis.
Biopic 2017 106 mins Director: Paul McGuigan
Annette Bening and Jamie Bell bring to life the true story of the love affair between Gloria Grahame and young, Liverpudlian actor Peter Turner.
Biopic 2017 108 mins Director: Michel Hazanavicius
From the Oscar-winning director of The Artist, a brilliantly realised portrait of France’s maestro director Jean-Luc Godard spiralling into philosophical and romantic crisis.
Crime 2017 105 mins Director: Craig Macneill
Chloë Sevigny and Kristen Stewart captivate in this bodice-ripping retelling of the strange and fascinating case of Lizzie Borden.
Featuring Meryl Streep
Historical drama 2015 106 mins Director: Sarah Gavron
The time is now for factory worker Maud (Carey Mulligan) as she joins the campaign movement for women’s votes, in Sarah Gavron’s stirring social history.
Drama 2011 105 mins Director: Phyllida Lloyd
Meryl Streep delivers an extraordinary performance as Margaret Thatcher in a provocative portrait.
Directed by Stephen Frears
Drama 1982 73 mins Director: Stephen Frears
Ian McKellen stars in Stephen Frears' TV play as Walter, a man with learning difficulties who's put in an institution after the death of his mother.
Drama 1983 65 mins Director: Stephen Frears
Ian McKellen and Stephen Frears reunite for the sequel to their TV play Walter. The titular character (McKellen) meets a young mother (Sarah Miles) who is suicidally depressed; the two support one another to cope with life in a closed institution.
Biopic 2015 103 mins Director: Stephen Frears
Ben Foster is Lance Armstrong in this kinetic account of the cyclist who fell from grace, from acclaimed director Stephen Frears.
Biopic 1987 110 mins Director: Stephen Frears
A celebration of outrageous British playwright Joe Orton’s irreverent and charismatic talent, starring Gary Oldman and Alfred Molina.
Drama 2013 98 mins Director: Stephen Frears
Judi Dench and Steve Coogan star in the deeply moving yet warm-hearted drama about a woman’s search for her forcibly adopted son.
Drama 2006 103 mins Director: Stephen Frears
Helen Mirren won as Oscar for her performance as the enduring monarch who comes under scrutiny following the death of Princess Diana.
Drama 2019 140 mins Director: Karim Aïnouz
A deserving winner of Cannes’ Un Certain Regard prize, this sumptuous tale of two sisters cruelly separated by family and fate makes for deeply moving drama.
Documentary 2021 81 mins Director: Sue Carpenter
An inspirational story of rebellion, courage and hope as Belmaya, a young Dalit woman in Nepal, silenced and subjugated for most of her life, takes up the movie camera to tell her story.
Drama 1965 123 mins Director: John Schlesinger
Julie Christie stars in the quintessential swinging sixties film, as a young woman flitting nonchalantly through London's nightlife.
Drama 2019 113 mins Director: Pedro Almodóvar
In one of his most personal works, Pedro Almodóvar presents a vivid portrait of a filmmaker confronting age-related anxieties.
Drama 2019 76 mins Director: Quentin Dupieux
One man’s love for his designer jacket escalates to dangerous heights in what might just be the strangest serial killer film ever made.
Drama 2016 95 mins Director: Mitra Tabrizian
An Iranian exile in London, who is haunted by his past, gets involved in the conflicts of a total stranger and has to see it through until the end, in this mesmerising slow-burn thriller.