War, politics and religion are hot topics amongst the court of the 17th century monarch Queen Kristina of Sweden. However, it’s her burgeoning sexuality and unapologetic desire to remain unmarried that causes the most consternation amongst her subjects and eventually leads to her self-imposed exile.
The Girl King is both an historical drama about a kingdom on the brink of modernisation and religious change, and a deeply personal love story between the young and wilful queen and her treasured lady-in-waiting, Countess Ebba. Following acting greats such as Greta Garbo and Liv Ullmann who’ve previously portrayed the queen, Malin Buska gives a commanding performance as Kristina; magnificent and majestic in the throne room yet heartbreakingly vulnerable in her bedchamber. While veteran Finnish director Mika Kaurismaki endows the story with a keen sense of fun and a palpable tone of melodramatic excess.
Biopic 1952 120 mins Director: John Huston
Toulouse Lautrec (José Ferrer) seeks solace in the drink, dance and distractions of the infamous Paris nightclub, in John Huston's exquisitely evoked biopic.
Biopic 1992 202 mins Director: Spike Lee
Denzel Washington takes the lead in on of the great screen biopics, directed by Spike Lee.
Historical drama 1928 106 mins Silent Director: Franz Osten
This epic silent film, telling the ravishing, romantic story behind the Taj Mahal, has been newly restored with a sumptuous new score from Anoushka Shankar.
Historical drama 1974 99 mins Director: Lester James Peries
Epic tale set in 5th century Sri Lanka, following the battle for the throne between Kassapa and his father King Dhatusena.
Biopic 1980 124 mins Director: David Lynch
David Lynch's moving true-life tale of the severely deformed Joseph Merrick and his rescue from the hell of a Victorian circus sideshow.
Historical drama 1948 110 mins Director: Charles Frend
This tale of adventure and daring was one of Ealing Studio’s most ambitious features, beautifully shot by Jack Cardiff with a Vaughan Williams score.
Crime 2015 131 mins Director: Brian Helgeland
Tom Hardy’s magnetic double-performance as infamous East End gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray commands Brian Helgeland stylish biopic.
Biopic 2012 111 mins Director: Ralph Fiennes
Ralph Fiennes directs and stars in this adaptation of Claire Tomalin’s book about the long-standing affair between Charles Dickens and Nelly Ternan.
Action and Adventure 2013 109 mins Director: Wong Kar-wai
Wong Kar-Wai’s lavish martial arts biopic tells the story of Ip Man, the legendary trainer who became Bruce Lee’s mentor.
Biopic 2013 93 mins Director: Jeffrey Friedman
Porn star Linda Lovelace (Amanda Seyfried) finds herself abused by the industry and her maniacal husband– so she sets off to embrace feminism and, vitally, herself.
Biopic 2008 92 mins Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Tom Hardy is sensational as Britain’s most notorious criminal, Michael Gordon Peterson, in Nicolas Winding Refn’s visceral and stylised biopic.
Biopic 2008 96 mins Director: Steve McQueen
Northern Ireland, 1981. In the Maze prison, Bobby Sands begins a hunger strike to reclaim the status of Republican inmates as political prisoners.
Featuring Sarah Gadon
Horror 2012 108 mins Director: Brandon Cronenberg
Body horror and celebrity satire are served ice cold in this extreme offering from Brandon Cronenberg (son of David).
Drama 1952 75 mins Director: Lewis Gilbert
Lewis Gilbert’s shocking and controversial 1952 drama focuses on a gang of juvenile delinquents and their dangerous exploits in post-war London.
Drama 2017 105 mins Director: Ofir Raul Graizer
A German baker moves to Israel to learn more about the life of his mysterious dead lover, encroaching into the life of his widowed wife.
Comedy 2018 103 mins Director: Cédric Le Gallo
After making a homophobic remark on live TV, an Olympic champion swimmer is given a chance at redemption by coaching a water polo team to the world’s biggest LGBTQ+ sporting event, the Gay Games.
Drama 2019 113 mins Director: Pedro Almodóvar
In one of his most personal works, Pedro Almodóvar presents a vivid portrait of a filmmaker confronting age-related anxieties.
Drama 2018 86 mins Director: Camilla Strøm Henriksen
Camilla Strøm Henriksen’s astute and atmospheric adolescent drama follows a young girl having to grow up quickly in an intensely adult world.
Documentary 2017 73 mins Director: Vanessa Redgrave
Vanessa Redgrave makes her directorial debut with this impassioned documentary about the ongoing refugee crisis.