Director: Joel Hopkins.
Starring: Diane Keaton, Brendan Gleeson, Lesley Manville. UK 2017. 103 mins.
While looking out over the unspoilt parkland of Hampstead Heath from her attic window, American widow Emily Waters (Keaton) calls the police when she sees an unkempt man, Donald Horner (Gleeson), being attacked by thugs outside a ramshackle hut. Curious about the man she helped save from afar, she ventures out the next day to visit him and discovers that he has lived wild on the Heath for 17 years. As ruthless property developers adopt heavy-handed tactics to remove him from the area he calls home, an unlikely friendship – and then a romance – begins to blossom. With Last Chance Harvey, director Joel Hopkins demonstrated his talent for chronicling unlikely relationships, and his affinity for the Hampstead area adds resonance to this heartwarmingly quirky love story.
Director: Jonathan Teplitzky.
Starring: Brian Cox, Miranda Richardson, John Slattery. UK 2017. 98 mins.
June 1944. Allied forces stand on the brink of invasion, but one man stands in their way: Winston Churchill. Exhausted by years of war, Churchill (Cox) fears that history will remember him as an architect of slaughter if the landings fail. Churchill is the untold story of the haunted frailty of Britain’s most celebrated leader, revealing his vital relationship with his wife Clementine (Richardson), the confidant who inspired him to greatness.
Director: Roger Michell. Starring: Rachel Weisz, Sam Claflin, Iain Glen. USA/UK 2017. 106 mins.
After health problems determine that he must spend his winters in warmer climates, Ambrose (Glen), a wealthy landowner and guardian to his orphaned cousin Philip (Claflin), heads to Italy. Years later, Philip receives a letter from Ambrose announcing that he has fallen in love with and married a distant relation, the eponymous Rachel (Weisz). Soon after, Philip learns that his guardian is dangerously ill, but by the time he arrives in Italy, Ambrose is dead and Rachel has left for England, bound for her deceased husband’s estate in Cornwall. Racked by suspicion, Philip confronts Rachel, but he too soon finds himself under her beguiling spell. What is she? A femme fatale? A gold-digger? A tease? Thanks to skilled direction and first-rate performances, Roger Michell’s enticing period drama keeps the audience guessing throughout.