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 2019 116 mins Director: Danny Boyle
Danny Boyle's winning, escapist fantasy images a world where nobody remembers the Beatles' songbook except a struggling singer-songwriter.
Drama 2018 90 mins Director: Andrew Bujalski
Andrew Bujalski serves up a big-hearted comedy with his day-in-the-life look at Double Whammies – a Hooters-style bar and its tight-knit, all-female staff.
Comedy 1951 103 mins Director: Gene Kelly
Hollywood’s troubled transition from silent to talking pictures at the end of the 1920s provided the inspiration for this greatest of movie musicals.
Comedy 1954 112 mins Director: Roy Rowland
Jane Powell and Debbie Reynolds lead an all-star cast in this memorable maritime musical.
Comedy 2018 91 mins Director: Carl Hunter
Bill Nighy, Sam Riley and Alice Lowe star in this stylish and heartfelt comedy-drama about a Scrabble-obsessed tailor searching for a lost son.
Comedy 1986 94 mins Director: Frank Oz
Frank Oz's vivid adaptation of the cult sci-fi musical, with Rick Moranis as a flower-shop assistant battling a 'Mean Green Mother from Outer Space'.
Best Films of 2018
Drama 2016 103 mins Director: Maysaloun Hamoud
Three strong, independent Israeli-Palestinian women try to square their liberated, hedonistic lifestyles with the stultifying restrictions of conservative family life, in Maysaloun Hamoud's charming and vital drama.
Drama 2017 105 mins Director: Francis Lee
A troubled young sheep farmer falls for a hired hand in this stunning debut from Francis Lee.
Documentary 2017 115 mins Director: Sophie Fiennes
Grace Jones is laid bare in this intimate and electrifying insight into the fascinating world of a pop-cultural phenomenon.
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.
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.
Featuring Timothy Spall
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.
Drama 2016 110 mins Director: Mick Jackson
Powerful, aggressively relevant courtroom drama restaging the trial that questioned the events of the Holocaust. Rachel Weisz and Timothy Spall star.
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.
Drama 1979 120 mins Director: Franc Roddam
The ultimate Mods vs Rockers clash, based on The Who’s double-album rock opera, stars Phil Daniels as a mod on an odyssey to Brighton.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 2000 84 mins Director: Peter Lord
Mel Gibson’s Rocky the rooster helps the chickens escape from fascistic farmers in Aardman Animations first foray into feature films.
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 2018 84 mins Director: William McGregor
A young girl tries desperately to protect her family from illness and dark outside forces in William McGregor's stark period horror.
Drama 2019 111 mins Director: Marco Berger
A tentative friendship blossoms into a beautiful bromance in this erotically-charged yet disarmingly sweet-natured offering from Marco Berger (Taekwondo).
Documentary 2019 124 mins Director: Asif Kapadia
The supreme football superstar is the latest subject for acclaimed filmmaker Asif Kapadia (Amy, Senna), as he deftly explores the complicated dynamic between Diego the man and Maradona the icon.
Documentary 2018 91 mins Director: Werner Herzog
Werner Herzog meets the former President of the Soviet Union in this invigorating portrait of a towering 20th-century figure.
Drama 2017 108 mins Director: Annabel Jankel
Anna Paquin and Holliday Grainger star as two very different women who fall in love in this 1950s-set romantic drama.
Drama 2017 104 mins Director: Sebastián Lelio
This invigorating and inspiring Chilean drama from Sebastián Lelio (Gloria) follows a trans woman’s quest for a little respect. Winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film 2018.