For his sixth feature, Pablo Larraín turns to his compatriot, the Nobel Prize-winning poet and diplomat Pablo Neruda. Only this isn’t so much a biopic as a boldly inventive and visually thrilling contemplation of identity and branding. It details how Neruda’s public persona – as a romantic poet with a political conscience – was cemented in the late 1940s. Despite his vanity and snobbishness, Neruda (brilliantly played by Luis Gnecco) is a figure who inspires and animates, galvanising the ideals enshrined in his poetry. In 1948 as President González Videla (Larraín regular Alfredo Castro) begins to clamp down on communism in Chile, Neruda goes on the run with his wife Delia (Mercedes Morán). He is obsessively pursued by a detective, the wonderfully named Peluchonneau (Gael García Bernal), who is doggedly determined not to be a supporting player in the escalating drama. So begins a chase that comes to acquire epic proportions as the lauded poet, aided by ordinary Communist party members, attempts to stay one step ahead of the authorities.
Described by Larraín as an ‘anti bio’, Neruda is a dizzying cinematic adventure filmed with playful virtuosity. History, legend and fiction fuse to powerful effect, offering a beautifully performed, shadowy cat-and-mouse thriller, where the celebrated poet, a gloriously contradictory feature, forever eludes those trying to pin him down.
Mad to Be Normal
Drama 2016 105 mins Director: Robert Mullan
David Tennant is inspired as the renegade Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing, whose unorthodox therapeutic ideas chime with the radical spirit of 1960s counterculture.
Biopic 2017 120 mins Director: Craig Gillespie
Athlete. Champion. Villain. Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie) played them all…
Thriller 2017 140 mins Director: Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin’s Oscar-nominated directorial debut finds Jessica Chastain’s ‘poker princess’ struggling to stay in the game when the FBI raises the stakes.
Biopic 2017 108 mins Director: Michel Hazanavicius
From the Oscar-winning director of The Artist, a brilliantly realised portrait of France’s maestro director Jean-Luc Godard spiralling into philosophical and romantic crisis.
Song of Granite
Biopic 2017 97 mins Director: Pat Collins
A formally audacious account of the life and times of traditional Irish folk singer Joe Heaney, combining ‘fictional’ drama, documentary footage and musical sequence
Biopic 2017 119 mins Director: David Gordon Green
Jake Gyllenhaal excels in a rousing story of strength and survival, from the acclaimed director of Prince Avalanche and George Washington.
Biopic 1986 93 mins Director: Derek Jarman
Derek Jarman’s unique biopic of the 17th century Italian artist Michelangelo da Caravaggio is a powerful meditation on sexuality, criminality and art.
Florence Foster Jenkins
Biopic 2016 110 mins Director: Stephen Frears
Meryl Streep plays the wealthy socialite determined to make it as an opera singer despite being tone deaf, in a delightful comedy from Stephen Frears.
Biopic 2015 124 mins Director: Jay Roach
Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Argo) gives a cracking performance as Dalton Trumbo, the Oscar-winning screenwriter who became a Hollywood outcast.
Drama 2006 103 mins Director: Stephen Frears
Helen Mirren won as Oscar for her performance as the enduring monarch who comes under scrutiny following the death of Princess Diana.
The King's Speech
Historical drama 2010 113 mins Director: Tom Hooper
Oscar-winning tale of the relationship between King George VI (Colin Firth) and the Australian speech therapist who treated his stammer.
A Royal Night Out
Drama 2014 97 mins Director: Julian Jarrold
Julian Jarrold’s charming historical drama recreates Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret’s night of celebrations on V.E. Day 1945.
Featuring Luis Gnecco
A Fantastic Woman
Drama 2017 104 mins Director: Sebastián Lelio
This invigorating and inspiring Chilean drama from Sebastián Lelio (Gloria) follows a trans woman’s quest for a little respect. Winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film 2018.
Featuring Gael García Bernal
Drama 2015 88 mins Director: Jonás Cuarón
Gael García Bernal stars in Jonás Cuarón's edge-of-the-seat thriller set on the Mexican/American border.
Thriller 2008 121 mins Director: Fernando Meirelles
Fernando Meirelles (City of God) presents a haunting dystopian allegory about a sudden epidemic of blindness affecting humanity.
Drama 2004 101 mins Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Film director Enrique (Fele Martínez) is visited by a man claiming to be Ignacio (Gael García Bernal), his first love.
Directed by Pablo Larraín
Biopic 2016 100 mins Director: Pablo Larraín
Natalie Portman is exceptional as the iconic First Lady who has to quickly adjust to the world-shaking trauma of her husband’s assassination.
Drama 2015 97 mins Director: Pablo Larraín
Pablo Larraín’s Berlin prize-winner is a typically stylish, darkly witty tale of corruption, concealment and conspiracy in Chile’s Catholic church.
Drama 2008 93 mins Director: Pablo Larraín
Pablo Larrain's drama about a dancer obsessed by Travolta's character in Saturday Night Fever is a darkly witty take on life in Pinochet's Chile
Drama 2017 102 mins Director: Simon Hunter
Sheila Hancock is tremendous as a widow who sets out to scale a Scottish mountain, in this gorgeously photographed paean to late-life adventure.
On Chesil Beach
Drama 2017 110 mins Director: Dominic Cooke
Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle play a young, married couple struggling to physically connect in this sensitive adaptation of Ian McEwan’s acclaimed novel.
Drama 2017 98 mins Director: Carla Simón
An outstanding debut feature charting the emotional journey of a six-year old girl in the aftermath of her mother’s death in early 1990s Spain.
Thriller 2017 96 mins Director: Felix Randau
Revenge is served ice-cold in this visceral thriller, in which a neolithic hunter seeks vengeance against those who decimated his tribe.
Drama 2017 95 mins Director: Dan Kokotajlo
A deeply religious family must decide whether to stick by their relation or abandon her, in this striking debut from Daniel Kokotajlo - a prizewinner at BFI London Film Festival 2017.
Drama 2017 114 mins Director: Anne Fontaine
A young gay man (Finnegan Oldfield ) flourishes under the tutelage of Isabelle Huppert's drama teacher, in this stirring drama from director Anne Fontaine (The Innocents).