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.
On the Basis of Sex
Biopic 2018 120 mins Director: Mimi Leder
Defiant dramatisation of the early career of future U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Felicity Jones), as she faces adversity and numerous obstacles as a struggling attorney and new mother.
Biopic 2018 133 mins Director: Adam McKay
Christian Bale is the infamous Dick Cheney, in Adam ‘The Big Short’ McKay’s exuberant and acrid satire.
Stan & Ollie
Biopic 2018 98 mins Director: Jon S. Baird
Steve Coogan and John C Reilly give delightfully bang-on-target performances as comedy’s most famous double act as they enter their twilight years.
Biopic 2017 112 mins Director: Wash Westmoreland
This witty, Belle Époque-era biopic stars Keira Knightley and Dominic West as literary couple Colette and Willy, whose relationship rewrote social and gender rules.
3 Days in Quiberon
Biopic 2018 116 mins Director: Emily Atef
This intimate, unconventional biopic of one of the great stars of European cinema - Romy Schneider (La Piscine, The Trial) - follows the reclusive actress as she battles a journalist - and her demons - during an intensive, three-day interview.
Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story
Documentary 2019 101 mins Director: Steve Sullivan
Frank Sidebottom was a pillar of alternative comedy of the late 80s/early 90s, this charming documentary remembers the man behind the papier-mâché head.
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 Gael García Bernal
The Kindergarten Teacher
Drama 2018 97 mins Director: Sara Colangelo
Maggie Gyllenhaal gives a career-best performance as a kindergarten teacher who finds herself in an ethical quagmire after discovering the poetic talents of a precocious student.
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 1995 109 mins Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Koreeda’s first fiction feature is an exquisite meditation on loss, loneliness, uncertainty, and coming to terms with the past.
Drama 1998 119 mins Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Koreeda's lyrical fantasy challenges the viewer to reflect on the experiences that most make life worth living.
Drama 2008 115 mins Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Koreeda’s subtle, moving account of the tensions within a family is his most Ozu-like film.
Comedy 2018 97 mins Director: Gabriel Abrantes
Diamantino, Portugal’s (the world’s!) top football player, becomes embroiled in a genetic experiment and a conspiracy to leave the EU, in this joyful, postmodern political fantasy.
Drama 2003 141 mins Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Koreeda’s drama about four children left to fend for themselves is a heartbreaking study of childhood neglect.
Drama 2018 95 mins Director: Darko Štante
A teenage tearaway is forced to face up to his actions and confront his burgeoning sexuality, in this provocative Slovenian coming-of-age tale.