Sally Hawkins shines in her breakout role as the perpetually sunny Poppy, a cheerful soul who never seems to stop smiling even when her bicycle is stolen or she’s on the receiving end of racist rants from her driving instructor Scott (Eddie Marsan).
British cinema’s stalwart Mike Leigh confounded the popular perception that he’s obsessed with gritty dramatics by fore-fronting such a carefree character in this film. But his Oscar-nominated script certainly doesn’t present Poppy as a cliché; she’s a well-rounded character who turns out to be more complex and less naïve than we initially presume. The cleverness of Leigh’s film is that the more time we spend in Poppy’s company, the more we find ourselves challenging our own presumptions about the values of optimism.
Drama 2019 92 mins Director: Billie Piper
Billie Piper stars in her own directorial debut, a no-holds-barred, Fleabag-esque anti-romcom about a modern woman’s struggles in work and love.
Comedy 2020 106 mins Director: Lawrence Michael Levine
At a remote lake house, a filmmaker plays a calculated game of desire and jealousy in the pursuit of a work of art that blurs the boundaries between autobiography and invention.
Comedy 2018 91 mins Director: Carl Hunter
Bill Nighy, Sam Riley and Alice Lowe star in this stylish and heartfelt comedy-drama about a Scrabble-obsessed tailor searching for a lost son.
Comedy 2019 115 mins Director: Nicolas Bedos
Daniel Auteuil’s illustrator is given the chance to visit a different era to re-evaluate his life in this resplendent and absurdly enjoyable French comedy.
Comedy 2018 81 mins Director: Guto Parente
The wealthy elite feed off the lower classes in a deliciously twisted Brazilian social satire that’s definitely not for the squeamish.
Comedy 1952 83 mins Director: John Guillermin
When an englishman returns from abroad, he must face the powers of a foreign court in this British screwball gem.
Backed by BFI - Features
Thriller 2014 99 mins Director: Yann Demange
A young British squaddie is caught behind enemy lines in bomb-torn Belfast, in Yann Demange’s riveting suspense thriller.
Drama 1995 87 mins Director: Constantine Giannaris
Edgy mixture of black comedy and urban drama about a woman uncovering the hidden truths about her dead lover.
Drama 2012 110 mins Director: Fernando Meirelles
Jude Law, Rachel Weisz and Anthony Hopkins lead an ensemble cast in a sleek thriller exploring the way our lives interconnect across the world.
Drama 2014 95 mins Director: Andrew Haigh
One of the most acclaimed British features of recent years, starring Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay as a couple rocked by news from the past.
Comedy 2012 86 mins Director: Mark Simon Hewis
Quirky British call-centre comedy about whose life is disrupted when he has to start living in his office.
Drama 2016 163 mins Director: Andrea Arnold
Andrea Arnold dazzles with a sun-soaked and tune-filled epic about door-to-door teenage magazine sellers (led by Shia LeBeouf) traversing the American highways.
Featuring Sally Hawkins
Drama 2019 94 mins Director: Craig Roberts
Sally Hawkins gives a standout performance as a fragile young woman in Craig Roberts’ humane depiction of mental illness.
Children's 2017 103 mins Director: Paul King
Britain’s favourite bear returns for another adventure. Porridge rather than marmalade looks set to be Paddington's new staple after he's framed for a robbery, unless the Brown family can help solve the mystery.
Comedy 2010 97 mins Director: Richard Ayoade
Richard Ayoade’s sweet and quirky directorial debut about a Swansea teen’s travails with his distant girlfriend and warring parents.
Children's 2014 95 mins Director: Paul King
Unexpectedly beautiful and bewitching return for the marmalade-loving bear with a sense of adventure.
Featuring Eddie Marsan
Drama 2010 92 mins Director: Paddy Considine
Paddy Considine’s powerful feature debut, featuring astonishingly strong performances from Olivia Colman and Peter Mullan.
Comedy 2007 97 mins Director: Richard Laxton
A group of Merseyside gardeners take umbrage to the arrival of some refugees, but they find common cause to resist a devious corporate takeover.
Directed by Mike Leigh
Drama 1983 107 mins Director: Mike Leigh
Tim Roth, Phil Daniels and Gary Oldman star in Mike Leigh’s TV film about an East End family try to stay afloat during a recession.
Drama 1988 112 mins Director: Mike Leigh
Mike Leigh’s bittersweet comedy tells the story of Cyril (Philip Davis), an idealist who despairs at the societal changes of Thatcher’s Britain.
Documentary 2020 68 mins Director: Pete Murimi
Kenyan couple Samuel and Alex remain committed to each other despite the danger and hardship facing them in Pater Murimi’s moving documentary portrait.
Drama 2019 116 mins Director: Jan Philipp Weyl
In Ethiopia, two young men are racing to make their dreams come true.
Romance 2018 103 mins Director: Arantxa Echevarria
Two teenage girls from a close-knit Roma community fall in love in this fresh and affecting coming-of-age romance from Spanish director Arantxa Echevarría.
Documentary 2020 98 mins Director: Jen Rainin
Uplifting documentary tracing the power of lesbian visibility from the early ‘90s to the present day through the story of Franco Stevens' best-selling lesbian magazine, Curve.
Drama 2019 100 mins Director: Aneil Karia
Ben Whishaw is superb as a man on a bold and reckless journey of self-liberation in this highly strung, stripped-back thriller.
Drama 2020 116 mins Director: Lee Isaac Chung
Lee Isaac Chung's sweeping story of a Korean-American family in search of the American Dream, winner of two Sundance prizes and now nominated for six Academy Awards.