A brilliant ensemble cast get their teeth stuck into Britain’s political elite in Sally Potter’s biting and supremely entertaining satire. Janet (Kristin Scott Thomas) has just been appointed Shadow Minister for Health and has invited some friends around to celebrate. Her dazed husband (Timothy Spall) seems happy enough to see razor-tongued April (Patricia Clarkson), but struggles to check his intolerance of flagrant new-ager Gottfried (Bruno Ganz). Next to arrive are Martha (Cherry Jones), described by April as ‘a first-class lesbian and a second-rate thinker’, and her wife Jinny (Emily Mortimer), but things seriously derail when unhinged and chemically-enhanced banker Tom (Cillian Murphy) bursts in looking for his wife.
Dinner always appears to be on the cusp of being served but never quite arrives - as in Luis Buñuel’s The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, the guests remain hungry and volatile. The film, however, serves up a full course of character dissections, with Potter’s spit-fire dialogue and Aleksei Rodionov’s prowling camera revealing much more than the individual ambitions and petty grievances of the guests. Written in the lead-up to the 2015 British General Election, Potter’s potent, funny and deliciously nasty film relishes stripping bare characters who fail ‘to keep to their own party-line of what is morally right and politically left’.
Comedy 2014 108 mins Director: Justin Simien
The diversification of an all-black residence hall forces a group of African-American university students to take a stand on their own cultural beliefs and identities.
Comedy 2019 86 mins Director: Simon Bird
Simon Bird’s directorial debut is a warm and witty graphic novel adaptation about a single librarian trying to reconnect with her introverted, metalhead teenage son.
Comedy 1954 94 mins Director: John Huston
Humphrey Bogart stars in this classic adventure comedy directed by John Huston and written by Truman Capote.
Comedy 2019 97 mins Director: Michael Schwartz
Effortlessly charming buddy movie about a young man with Down's syndrome (Zack Gottsagen) in pursuit of his dreams, with Shia LaBeouf.
Comedy 2019 108 mins Director: Takashi Miike
A terminally-ill boxer, a runaway call girl, a double-crossing drugs heist and a gang war; Takashi Miike doesn’t do things by halves.
Drama 2018 91 mins Director: Aaron Schimberg
Aaron Schimberg’s dextrous, darkly comedic discourse on physical difference makes you think about cinematic representation without offering simple resolutions.
Best Films of 2018
Comedy 2017 107 mins Director: Armando Iannucci
Chaos and comedy ignite in Armando Iannucci’s acerbic satire, as Soviet officials frantically react to the passing of their glorious leader.
Drama 2017 112 mins Director: Sean Baker
Tangerine director Sean Baker presents another visionary take on the wild ups and dangerous downs of life in America’s underbelly, featuring an Oscar-nominated turn from Willem Dafoe.
Drama 2017 127 mins Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Andrey Zvyagintsev (Elena, Leviathan) delivers a masterpiece in this caustic look at contemporary Russian society, a failed marriage and the disappearance of a child. A major prize winner at both Cannes and BFI London Film Festival.
Drama 2017 106 mins Director: Michael Pearce
The hunt for a Jersey serial killer sparks a dangerous awakening in a young woman in this astonishing psycho-sexual thriller, which sets all the senses aflame.
Drama 2016 88 mins Director: John Carroll Lynch
Harry Dean Stanton gives the performance of a lifetime as an irascible nonagenarian maverick in a New Mexican town, grappling with his mortality.
Biopic 2018 105 mins Director: Rupert Everett
Rupert Everett astounds as Oscar Wilde, depicting the fallen star in the final years of his life, in this heartfelt and captivating passion project.
Featuring Timothy Spall
Biopic 2018 92 mins Director: Adrian Noble
Timothy Spall brings to life beloved British artist L. S. Lowry, as he struggles with his relationship to his bed-ridden, bitter and overbearing mother (Vanessa Redgrave).
Animation & Artists Moving Image 2018 89 mins Director: Nick Park
In Aardman’s latest animated adventure, Caveman Dug and his pet hog, Hognog, must unite their tribe if they're are to survive the threat of pompous tyrant Lord Nooth.
Fantasy 1988 89 mins Director: Harley Cokliss
A young woman becomes haunted by terrifying dreams, which soon begin to pull people around her into a nightmarish netherworld.
Drama 2007 93 mins Director: Gillian Armstrong
The great illusionist Harry Houdini (Guy Pearce) meets his match when the charming and manipulative Mary McGarvie (Catherine Zeta-Jones) magically appears in his life.
Featuring Kristin Scott Thomas
Comedy 2011 111 mins Director: Lasse Hallström
Two London office workers find love on a Yemeni Sheikh's ambitious fishing scheme. Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt star.
Biopic 2012 111 mins Director: Ralph Fiennes
Ralph Fiennes directs and stars in this adaptation of Claire Tomalin’s book about the long-standing affair between Charles Dickens and Nelly Ternan.
Crime 2013 90 mins Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Ryan Gosling takes on Bangkok’s criminal underworld in this kaleidoscopic revenge fantasy from cult director Nicolas Winding Refn.
Drama 2008 112 mins Director: Philippe Claudel
The stunning, BAFTA-winning drama stars Kristin Scott Thomas as an ex-con starting afresh after a fifteen-year prison sentence.
Drama 1995 104 mins Director: Richard Loncraine
Ian McKellen and Richard Loncraine’s bold restaging transplants Shakespeare’s play to an imagined 1930s fascist Britain.
Comedy 2008 97 mins Director: Stephan Elliott
Jessica Biel plays the brash American fiancée who disrupts an upper-class family in this delightful Downton Abbey-esque tale of high-society hijinks.
Directed by Sally Potter
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1983 89 mins Director: Sally Potter
The ground-breaking first feature from Sally Potter (Orlando, Ginger and Rosa) is a key film in early 1980s feminist cinema.
Fantasy 1992 93 mins Director: Sally Potter
Tilda Swinton stars in Sally Potter's dazzling interpretation of Virginia Woolf's novel.
Drama 2012 90 mins Director: Sally Potter
Teenage friendship is torn apart when Rosa finds love in the wrong place, in Sally Potter's acute, 60s-set drama.
Drama 2020 91 mins Director: Lucy Brydon
Lucy Brydon’s powerful debut feature sensitively explores the impact of an eating disorder on a family.
Drama 2018 100 mins Director: Jessica Swale
Gemma Arterton stars in acclaimed theatre director Jessica Swale’s moving Second World War drama, as a woman rediscovering her ability to love.
Drama 2019 86 mins Director: Claire Oakley
The debut feature from acclaimed short filmmaker Claire Oakley is a riveting psycho-sexual drama in which nothing is quite what it seems.
Drama 2019 94 mins Director: Craig Roberts
Sally Hawkins gives a standout performance as a fragile young woman in Craig Roberts’ humane depiction of mental illness.
Drama 2014 92 mins Director: Daniel Ribeiro
A blind student’s relationship with his best friend is tested when he falls for the new boy in school, in Daniel Ribeiro’s beautifully realised romance.
Documentary 2016 86 mins Director: Tomer Heymann
A heartfelt exploration of one man’s struggle to reconcile with his Israeli family, while finding a new ‘family’ in London Gay Men’s Chorus.