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 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.
Historical drama 2015 106 mins Director: Sarah Gavron
The time is now for factory worker Maud (Carey Mulligan) as she joins the campaign movement for women’s votes, in Sarah Gavron’s stirring social history.
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).
Mifune : The Last Samurai
Documentary 2016 80 mins Director: Steven Okazaki
The on and off-screen character of Toshiro Mifune, Japan’s first international movie star, is explored in this illuminating documentary exploring the life and legacy of this mercurial icon.
Drama 2018 99 mins Director: Camille Vidal-Naquet
The daily misfortunes of a lonesome rent boy are laid bare in this tough but tender portrait of life on the fringes of society.
Drama 2018 105 mins Director: Paul Dano
Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal play a couple on the rocks in Paul Dano’s directorial debut, an elegant 1950s-set melodrama.
Bergman: A Year in a Life
Documentary 2018 117 mins Director: Jane Magnusson
A fascinating and unflinching study of the brilliance of Ingmar Bergman’s extraordinary career, crafted around one of his most prolific and creatively fruitful years.
Drama 2018 106 mins Director: Lukas Dhont
Lukas Dhont's breathtaking debut feature encompasses the heartache, courage, and punishing training of a ballerina transitioning in her teenage years.
Drama 2017 154 mins Director: Mike Leigh
Mike Leigh orchestrates a superb ensemble cast in this rousing tale of working class uprising and its violent suppression in Manchester in 1819.