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’.
Comedy 1951 103 mins Director: Gene Kelly
Hollywood’s troubled transition from silent to talking pictures at the end of the 1920s provided the inspiration for this greatest of movie musicals.
Comedy 1954 112 mins Director: Roy Rowland
Jane Powell and Debbie Reynolds lead an all-star cast in this memorable maritime musical.
Comedy 2018 91 mins Director: Carl Hunter
Bill Nighy, Sam Riley and Alice Lowe star in this stylish and heartfelt comedy-drama about a Scrabble-obsessed tailor searching for a lost son.
Comedy 1986 94 mins Director: Frank Oz
Frank Oz's vivid adaptation of the cult sci-fi musical, with Rick Moranis as a flower-shop assistant battling a 'Mean Green Mother from Outer Space'.
Comedy 1943 101 mins Director: Roy Del Ruth
Thanks to a drugged drink, the world of a 1940s nightclub is transported to 17th-century France...
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1999 81 mins
In the outrageous spinoff from the animated series, Cartman and co. inadvertently instigate a war between the US and Canada.
Best Films of 2018
Drama 2016 103 mins Director: Maysaloun Hamoud
Three strong, independent Israeli-Palestinian women try to square their liberated, hedonistic lifestyles with the stultifying restrictions of conservative family life, in Maysaloun Hamoud's charming and vital drama.
Drama 2017 105 mins Director: Francis Lee
A troubled young sheep farmer falls for a hired hand in this stunning debut from Francis Lee.
Documentary 2017 115 mins Director: Sophie Fiennes
Grace Jones is laid bare in this intimate and electrifying insight into the fascinating world of a pop-cultural phenomenon.
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.
Drama 2017 112 mins Director: Sean Baker
Tangerine director Sean Baker presents another visionary take on the wild ups and dangerous downs of life in America’s underbelly, featuring an Oscar-nominated turn from Willem Dafoe.
Biopic 2017 106 mins Director: Paul McGuigan
Annette Bening and Jamie Bell bring to life the true story of the love affair between Gloria Grahame and young, Liverpudlian actor Peter Turner.
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.
Fantasy 1988 89 mins Director: Harley Cokliss
A young woman becomes haunted by terrifying dreams, which soon begin to pull people around her into a nightmarish netherworld.
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.
Featuring Kristin Scott Thomas
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.
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.
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.
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
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1983 89 mins Director: Sally Potter
The ground-breaking first feature from Sally Potter (Orlando, Ginger and Rosa) is a key film in early 1980s feminist cinema.
Fantasy 1992 93 mins Director: Sally Potter
Tilda Swinton stars in Sally Potter's dazzling interpretation of Virginia Woolf's novel.
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.
Thriller 2018 94 mins Director: Amanda Kramer
Welcome to Ladyworld, a shadowy dwelling where tensions run high and nothing is ever quite what it seems
Crime 2017 109 mins Director: Carol Morley
Carol Morley (Dreams of a Life, The Falling) returns with a wonderfully stylised, offbeat noir thriller about a murder investigation and multiple realities.
Documentary 2018 64 mins Director: Denis Parrot
A groundbreaking documentary about saying those few little words that have the power to change your life.
Documentary 1971 47 mins Director: Derek Ford
'King of the Witches' Alex Sanders initiates doe-eyed Penny into the ways of his coven.
Documentary 1970 85 mins Director: Malcolm Leigh
An evocative, esoteric exploration of witchcraft at the end of the 1960s – including night-time ritual, reflections on the history of Wicca and a black mass.
Musical 1944 110 mins Director: Vincente Minnelli
Many of MGM's leading talents assemble for the most spectacular of the Broadway revues.