A brilliant ensemble cast get their teeth stuck into Britain’s political elite in Sally Potter’s biting and supremely entertaining satire. Janet (Kristin Scott Thomas) has just been appointed Shadow Minister for Health and has invited some friends around to celebrate. Her dazed husband (Timothy Spall) seems happy enough to see razor-tongued April (Patricia Clarkson), but struggles to check his intolerance of flagrant new-ager Gottfried (Bruno Ganz). Next to arrive are Martha (Cherry Jones), described by April as ‘a first-class lesbian and a second-rate thinker’, and her wife Jinny (Emily Mortimer), but things seriously derail when unhinged and chemically-enhanced banker Tom (Cillian Murphy) bursts in looking for his wife.
Dinner always appears to be on the cusp of being served but never quite arrives - as in Luis Buñuel’s The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, the guests remain hungry and volatile. The film, however, serves up a full course of character dissections, with Potter’s spit-fire dialogue and Aleksei Rodionov’s prowling camera revealing much more than the individual ambitions and petty grievances of the guests. Written in the lead-up to the 2015 British General Election, Potter’s potent, funny and deliciously nasty film relishes stripping bare characters who fail ‘to keep to their own party-line of what is morally right and politically left’.
I Got Life!
Comedy 2017 86 mins Director: Blandine Lenoir
This heart-warming story of a grandmother who finds a new love and decides to start over is a hilarious and joyous ode to the female experience.
Comedy 2017 91 mins Director: Trudie Styler
Alex Lawther is outstanding as a teenage rebel in this tale of an unrepentant high-school outsider, directed by Trudie Styler.
The Boy Downstairs
Comedy 2017 91 mins Director: Sophie Brooks
The captivating Zosia Mamet (Girls) takes centre-stage in this smart and sassy Manhattan-set relationship drama which channels the spirit of Nora Ephron.
Seat in Shadow
Drama 2016 81 mins Director: Henry Coombes
An ageing Glaswegian psychoanalyst finds his lust for life renewed following an encounter with the charismatic partner of a young patient.
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 Book of Gabrielle
Drama 2016 79 mins Director: Lisa Gornick
Lisa Gornick's funny and frank drama sketches the relationship between a sex-obsessed lesbian illustrator and a randy hetero author, who bond over their favourite subject.
British Independent Film Awards
I Am Not a Serial Killer
Thriller 2016 103 mins Director: Billy O'Brien
A teenage sociopath comes face to face with an evil force in this chilling and darkly humorous adaptation of Dan Wells’ acclaimed cult novel.
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.
Thriller 2016 82 mins Director: Gareth Tunley
A British indie crime film of great style and ingenuity, executive produced by Ben Wheatley and starring Tom Meeten and Alice Lowe.
Drama 2016 84 mins Director: Hope Dickson Leach
Hope Dickson Leach's hugely impressive first feature about a middle class farming family’s crisis, set against the backdrop of the Somerset floods.
Comedy 2013 95 mins Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Michael Fassbender is the man inside the papier-mâché head, in this fictionalised reimagining of the story of northern entertainer Frank Sidebottom.
The Darkest Universe
Comedy 2016 87 mins Director: Will Sharpe
The new film from the makers of Black Pond is a wonderfully strange comedy about missing people, narrowboats and astrophysics.
Featuring Timothy Spall
Animation & Artists Moving Image 2018 89 mins Director: Nick Park
In Aardman’s latest animated adventure, Caveman Dug and his pet hog, Hognog, must unite their tribe if they're are to survive the threat of pompous tyrant Lord Nooth.
Drama 2016 110 mins Director: Mick Jackson
Powerful, aggressively relevant courtroom drama restaging the trial that questioned the events of the Holocaust. Rachel Weisz and Timothy Spall star.
Death Defying Acts
Drama 2007 93 mins Director: Gillian Armstrong
The great illusionist Harry Houdini (Guy Pearce) meets his match when the charming and manipulative Mary McGarvie (Catherine Zeta-Jones) magically appears in his life.
Drama 1979 120 mins Director: Franc Roddam
The ultimate Mods vs Rockers clash, based on The Who’s double-album rock opera, stars Phil Daniels as a mod on an odyssey to Brighton.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 2000 84 mins Director: Peter Lord
Mel Gibson’s Rocky the rooster helps the chickens escape from fascistic farmers in Aardman Animations first foray into feature films.
Drama 1999 152 mins Director: Mike Leigh
Mike Leigh forays into period drama for this story of Gilbert and Sullivan and their risky production of The Mikado.
Featuring Kristin Scott Thomas
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Comedy 2011 111 mins Director: Lasse Hallström
Two London office workers find love on a Yemeni Sheikh's ambitious fishing scheme. Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt star.
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.
Only God Forgives
Crime 2013 90 mins Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Ryan Gosling takes on Bangkok’s criminal underworld in this kaleidoscopic revenge fantasy from cult director Nicolas Winding Refn.
I've Loved You So Long
Drama 2008 112 mins Director: Philippe Claudel
The stunning, BAFTA-winning drama stars Kristin Scott Thomas as an ex-con starting afresh after a fifteen-year prison sentence.
Drama 1995 104 mins Director: Richard Loncraine
Ian McKellen and Richard Loncraine’s bold restaging transplants Shakespeare’s play to an imagined 1930s fascist Britain.
Comedy 2008 97 mins Director: Stephan Elliott
Jessica Biel plays the brash American fiancée who disrupts an upper-class family in this delightful Downton Abbey-esque tale of high-society hijinks.
Directed by Sally Potter
Fantasy 1992 93 mins Director: Sally Potter
Tilda Swinton stars in Sally Potter's dazzling interpretation of Virginia Woolf's novel.
Ginger & Rosa
Drama 2012 90 mins Director: Sally Potter
Teenage friendship is torn apart when Rosa finds love in the wrong place, in Sally Potter's acute, 60s-set drama.
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.
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.
Sicilian Ghost Story
Drama 2017 119 mins Director: Fabio Grassadonia
A gripping real-life story of a Mafia kidnapping in Italy is enthrallingly re-imagined as supernatural fantasy by the directors of the acclaimed Salvo.
Drama 2015 90 mins Director: Bilall Fallah
Star-crossed lovers from rival street gangs conduct an illicit affair in this pulsating urban romance.
Crime 2017 80 mins Director: Travis Mathews
From the director of Interior. Leather Bar. comes this eerie and powerful psychological thriller that offers a disturbing insight into the dark heart of Trump’s America.
Girls on Film 3: Goddesses
Anthology 2018 111 mins Director: Karishma Dev Dube
Eight more award-winning short films from around the world, exploring female desire, empowerment and the realities of being a woman, a lesbian and a feminist in the modern world.