Annette Bening and Jamie Bell vividly bring to the screen the intense romance between Hollywood icon Gloria Grahame and her younger, Liverpudlian lover. In 1981, decades after she rose to fame in Hollywood, the Academy Award®-winning star of The Big Heat, In a Lonely Place and The Bad and the Beautiful, Grahame (Bening) is treading the boards in a modest theatre production when she collapses in a Lancaster hotel. Her health failing, she reaches out to former lover, aspiring actor Peter Turner (Bell). When Peter takes her back to his family home, to the care of his sympathetic mother (Julie Walters), memories of their grand affair soon come flooding back.
Adapted from Turner’s own memoir, Paul McGuigan’s consummate study of a truly extraordinary relationship is filled with humour, passion and insight, effortlessly capturing the connection, both emotional and physical, between the pair. Flying dazzlingly in the face of the ‘fading star’ epithet, Bening eloquently portrays a woman who will not compromise her professional ambitions or her desire for personal happiness. And Bell, revelatory in the role, is more than a perfect match in this bracingly romantic and irresistibly sexy love story.
Documentary 2018 88 mins Director: Matt Wolf
The taped crusader: VHS nerds, media scholars and archive enthusiasts will appreciate this documentary about the African-American activist who recorded 30 years of TV news.
Crime 2019 152 mins Director: Marco Bellocchio
Italian maestro Marco Bellocchio’s bravura gangster odyssey dramatises the extraordinary real life story of the first major Mafia boss to turn state’s informant.
Documentary 2019 93 mins Director: Alla Kovgan
This eye-popping portrait of great American choreographer Merce Cunningham celebrates the centenary of his birth.
Documentary 2019 101 mins Director: Lauren Greenfield
The matriarch of the Marcos dynasty hopes to see her maternal delusions validated and political power restored, while Philippine activists fight for transparency and democracy, in this captivating study by Lauren Greenfield (The Queen of Versailles).
Drama 2019 119 mins Director: Agnieszka Holland
James Norton stars as Welsh journalist Gareth Jones whose 1930s visit to Soviet Ukraine uncovered the truth of Stalin’s state-sponsored famine and reputedly inspired George Orwell’s Animal Farm.
Biopic 2018 92 mins Director: Adrian Noble
Timothy Spall brings to life beloved British artist L. S. Lowry, as he struggles with his relationship to his bed-ridden, bitter and overbearing mother (Vanessa Redgrave).
Best Films of 2018
Comedy 2017 71 mins Director: Sally Potter
Following some unexpected revelations, a celebration quickly takes a turn for the worse in Sally Potter's razor-sharp comedy.
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.
Drama 2017 127 mins Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Andrey Zvyagintsev (Elena, Leviathan) delivers a masterpiece in this caustic look at contemporary Russian society, a failed marriage and the disappearance of a child. A major prize winner at both Cannes and BFI London Film Festival.
Drama 2017 106 mins Director: Michael Pearce
The hunt for a Jersey serial killer sparks a dangerous awakening in a young woman in this astonishing psycho-sexual thriller, which sets all the senses aflame.
Drama 2016 88 mins Director: John Carroll Lynch
Harry Dean Stanton gives the performance of a lifetime as an irascible nonagenarian maverick in a New Mexican town, grappling with his mortality.
Featuring Annette Bening
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.
Featuring Jamie Bell
Drama 2013 97 mins Director: Jon S. Baird
The biting Irvine Welsh adaptation stars a sensational James McAvoy, boldly cast against type as the cop struggling to suppress his inner demons.
Drama 2019 104 mins Director: Sacha Polak
A young mother (Vicky Knight) tries to recover from an acid attack in Sacha Polak's vivid and vital drama.
Thriller 2019 111 mins Director: Gerard Johnson
A directionless call centre salesman gets more than he bargained for when he joins a local gym, in Gerard Johnson's stunning dissection of masculinity.
Drama 2019 90 mins Director: Henry Blake
Henry Blake’s sensitive thriller recounts the experiences of Tyler, a teenager recruited into a lethal drug-selling network.
Drama 2020 113 mins Director: Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen's directorial debut is a powerful rumination on family and forgiveness.
Horror 2020 66 mins Director: Rob Savage
The lockdown horror sensation from British director Rob Savage follows six friends who disturb a malevolent spirit during a Zoom séance.
Documentary 2020 75 mins Director: Xavier Alford
An intimate, personal and surprisingly life-affirming story with a rare illness at its heart.