Adapted from James Baldwin’s powerful novel by Moonlight director Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk is a lyrical celebration of love, both familial and romantic, told through the prism of a young African-American couple’s struggle for justice in 1970s Harlem. At the centre of the story is Tish, a newly engaged woman who races against the clock to prove her lover’s innocence while carrying their first-born child to term.
Jenkins’ elegant third feature sings with soulful performances from a largely unknown cast, and paints a wonderful portrait of New York against a backdrop of social change and injustice. It’s a dreamy, sometimes heartbreaking tale of love against impossible odds, and a timely reminder that compassion can be a force of nature.
14.00HOH Subtitled: This screening has subtitles for people with hearing loss
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From award-winning documentary filmmaker E. Chai Vasarhelyi and world-renowned photographer and mountaineer Jimmy Chin, the directors of MERU, comes FREE SOLO, a stunning, intimate and unflinching portrait of free soloist climber Alex Honnold,as he prepares to achieve his lifelong dream: climbing the face of the world’s most famous rock ... the 3,200-foot El Capitan in Yosemite National Park ... without a rope. Celebrated as one of the greatest athletic feats of any kind, Honnold’s climb set the ultimate standard: perfection or death. Succeeding in this challenge places his story in the annals of human achievement.
Just how did US politics reach the state it finds itself in? Adam McKay follows his dramatic retelling of the 2008 banking crisis,The Big Short, with another darkly comic yarn drawn from the tangled world of current affairs.
Starring an unrecognisable Christian Bale as Dick Cheney, Vice is a pull-no-punches account of how a bureaucratic Washington insider quietly became the most powerful man in the world as Vice President to George W. Bush, reshaping the globe in ways that still resonate today.
The latest from Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth, The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer) is a delightfully witty and physical comedy. It’s the early 18th Century, England are fighting the French and Olivia Colman’s Queen Anne in poor health. Vying for the Queen’s affections are her devoted friend, Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz), and Lady Sarah’s cousin, Abigail (Emma Stone). Newly arrived at the palace and aware the Queen is charmed by her personality, the wily Abigial sees a chance to restore the social status that has been battered by her father’s ruinous wagers.
What follows is a riotous game of one-up-womanship, directed with a fierce, pacy intelligence by Lanthimos and superbly complemented by Robbie Ryan’s cinematography, Sandy Powell’s costume designs and Fiona Crombie’s spectacular sets. At the centre of this wickedly amusing tale are the three powerhouse performances from Weisz, Stone and, especially, Colman, who won the Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival for her uproarious portrayal of Queen Anne.