Director: Ben A. Williams.
Starring: Russell Tovey, Arinzé Kene. UK 2016. 87 mins.
This film adaptation of John Donnelly’s acclaimed stage play has Russell Tovey (The History Boys, Being Human) reprising his role as Jason, one of two ambitious young footballers sharing a Romanian hotel room on the eve of their first Champions League appearance. He and his teammate Ade (Kene) are hyped up, bantering amiably and watching a fellow player’s sex tape – and then, as unexpectedly for them as for us, they kiss. This is the ‘pass’ that gives the film its ambiguous title, and it’s uncertainty, both sexual and cultural, that characterises the remainder of director Ben A. Williams’s feature debut. Set essentially in hotel rooms, it follows the changing relationship between Jason and Ade across a decade, the cloistered atmosphere adding to the drama of two powerful central performances.
The Royal Ballet's glorious production of
The Nutcracker, created by Peter Wright
in 1984, is the production par excellence of
an all-time ballet favourite.
It is Christmas Eve and Drosselmeyer
the magician sweeps young Clara
away on a fantasy adventure in which
time is suspended, the family livingroom
becomes a great battlefield, and
a magical journey takes them through
the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of
Sweets. Tchaikovsky's glittering score,
the gorgeous festive stage designs and
The Royal Ballet's captivating dancing –
including an exquisite pas de deux
between the Sugar Plum Fairy and
her Prince – make this Nutcracker the
quintessential Christmas experience.
Director: Frank Capra.
Starring: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore. USA. 130 mins.
One of the most popular and enduring films ever made, Frank Capra's IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE is a gloriously sentimental testament to homely small-town moral values.
Masterfully crafted, the film opens with angels discussing George Bailey (James Stewart), a man so beset with problems that he contemplates a Christmas-time suicide. As George prepares to jump from a bridge his guardian angel Clarence Oddbody intervenes and shows him how badly Bedford Falls would have turned out without his good deeds. Filled with a renewed joy of life George returns to his family for Christmas.
James Stewart gives one of his finest, most affecting performances and the film looks better than ever in its new restoration.
Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, this delightful children’s animation goes one better by having not one but two beleaguered princesses.
The sweet and intrepid Anna (Bell, WHEN IN ROME) is desperately searching for her missing sister Elsa (Menzel, BEOWULF), whose icy powers have thrown the kingdom of Arendelle into eternal winter. But as Anna’s quest gradually reveals, Elsa is not really so villainous, and along the way Anna solicits the help of a comic snowman called Olaf (Josh Gad, THE INTERNSHIP), rugged mountain man Kristoff (Jonathon Groff, Glee), and a reindeer called Sven.