Director: Francis Lee.
Starring: Josh O’Connor, Alec Secareanu, Gemma Jones, Ian Hart. UK 2017. 105 mins.
Johnny Saxby (O’Connor) works long hours on his family’s remote farm in the north of England. He numbs the daily frustration of his lonely existence with nightly binge drinking at the local pub and casual sex. But when a handsome Romanian migrant worker (Secareanu) arrives to take up temporary work on the family farm, Johnny suddenly finds himself dealing with emotions he has never felt before. As they begin working closely together during lambing season, an intense relationship forms – one that could change Johnny’s life forever. Captivating and broodingly beautiful, God’s Own Country is the award-winning debut feature from writer-director Francis Lee. Set in the heart of rural Yorkshire, this is a bracingly openhearted romantic story marked by stunning lead performances.
Director: Matthew Vaughn.
Starring: Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Julianne Moore. UK/USA 2017. 141 mins.
Three years ago Kingsman: Secret Service, a spy action-comedy about ‘Kingsman’, an independent, international intelligence agency was a smash hit, raking in over $414 million at the global box office. In this sequel, again written/directed by Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class), special agent ‘Eggsy’ (Egerton), the council estate kid, chosen as a recruit for this mysterious organisation, is reunited with his pin-striped mentor (Firth) and they head over the Pond to meet their opposite numbers at ‘Statesman’. A spangly cast includes Halle Berry, Channing Tatum, Mark Strong, Jeff Bridges and Elton John while Oscar-winner Julianne Moore gets to flex her baddie muscles as Poppy, a notorious criminal mastermind, whose personal bodyguard is the inimitable Vinnie Jones. Once again the agents’ wits and nerve are tested to the limit in this cheeky, ever-so-British, pastiche-Bond caper.
Director: Denus Villeneuve.
Starring: Harrison Ford, Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, Jared Leto. USA 2017. 163 mins.
One of the decade’s most anticipated films, the sequel to Ridley Scott’s seminal 1982 neo-noir, Blade Runner, is finally upon us. Scott himself returns as producer, freeing up the director’s chair for the supremely talented Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Sicario), while Harrison Ford reprises his role as Rick Deckard. In 2049, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Gosling), uncovers a terrible secret that could throw what’s left of an already broken society into terminal chaos. His discovery leads him on a quest to find former replicant hunter Deckard, who has been missing for 30 years. In true Blade Runner style, K wants to ask him some questions – the answers to which may have a lot to do with a chilling creator of ‘disposable workforces’, Niander Wallace (Leto).