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.
The Death of Stalin
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.
The God King
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.
Scott of the Antarctic
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.
The Invisible Woman
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.
The Founding of a Republic
Historical drama 2009 140 mins Director: Han Sanping
Jet Li, Jackie Chan and Donnie Yen appear together for the first time in the epic, star-studded story of the birth of modern China.
Peg of Old Drury
Biopic 1936 71 mins Director: Herbert Wilcox
Anna Neagle is on luminous form in this exuberant account of celebrated actress Peg Woffington's rise to fame in Georgian London's Theatreland.
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.
Jimi All Is by My Side
Biopic 2013 118 mins Director: John Ridley
OutKast’s André Benjamin stars as Jimi Hendrix on the cusp of greatness, honing his act in Swinging London, in this revealing and alternative take on the rock biopic.
Behind the Candelabra
Biopic 2013 119 mins Director: Steven Soderbergh
Michael Douglas dazzles as the flamboyant virtuoso pianist Liberace in this fascinating biopic by Steven Soderbergh.
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.
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 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).