In early 1960s Paris, the Cold War may be raging, but Soviet authorities have decided to send their finest dance troupe to the City of Light to demonstrate the cultural refinement behind the Iron Curtain. Though the Kirov Ballet is set to wow audiences, one man causes a sensation that reverberates far beyond the stage: the electrifying young dancer Rudolf Nureyev. Devastatingly handsome and culturally ravenous, Nureyev (Ukrainian dancer Oleg Ivenko, in an astonishing screen debut) immediately falls in love with the city. Much to the annoyance of his KGB minders, he makes daily pilgrimages to the Louvre and frequents the city’s jazz bars with a Chilean heiress (Adèle Exarchopoulos), which leads to a pivotal awakening.
As David Hare’s script (based on Julie Kavanagh’s biography) zig zags across time, we discover Nureyev’s origins: his birth on a Trans-Siberian train; his youth and early schooling, where his temper and uncompromising attitude marked him as troublemaker, and the initial stirrings of his sexuality. Richly evoking the times on atmospheric 16mm, director Ralph Fiennes brings texture and emotional shading to this portrait of a brilliant, inscrutable man whose talent and temperament saw him rock the worlds of ballet and international relations.
Crime 2019 152 mins Director: Marco Bellocchio
Italian maestro Marco Bellocchio’s bravura gangster odyssey dramatises the extraordinary real life story of the first major Mafia boss to turn state’s informant.
Documentary 2019 101 mins Director: Lauren Greenfield
The matriarch of the Marcos dynasty hopes to see her maternal delusions validated and political power restored, while Philippine activists fight for transparency and democracy, in this captivating study by Lauren Greenfield (The Queen of Versailles).
Drama 2019 119 mins Director: Agnieszka Holland
James Norton stars as Welsh journalist Gareth Jones whose 1930s visit to Soviet Ukraine uncovered the truth of Stalin’s state-sponsored famine and reputedly inspired George Orwell’s Animal Farm.
Biopic 2018 92 mins Director: Adrian Noble
Timothy Spall brings to life beloved British artist L. S. Lowry, as he struggles with his relationship to his bed-ridden, bitter and overbearing mother (Vanessa Redgrave).
Biopic 2017 107 mins Director: Marc Meyers
Marc Meyers' adaptation of Derf Backderf’s revered graphic novel is an unnerving teen horror-drama about the makings of a murderer.
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.
Best Films of 2019
Documentary 2018 99 mins Director: Julie Cohen
Revelatory documentary on an unexpected hero - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Drama 2017 100 mins Director: Björn Runge
Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce are the spouses with a secret in a tight, taut drama of ego and legacy.
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 121 mins Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Hirokazu Koreeda's modern masterpiece is dark yet touching account of an unorthodox family that relies on shoplifting to make ends meet.
Drama 2018 83 mins Director: Wanuri Kahiu
Romantic sparks fly between the daughters of two opposing politicians in Wanuri Kahiu’s neon-bright story of forbidden love in Kenya.
Drama 2018 120 mins Director: Joanna Hogg
Winner of Sundance 2019's Grand Jury Prize, The Souvenir is the compelling, semi-autobiographical drama from acclaimed writer-director Joanna Hogg.
Featuring Adèle Exarchopoulos
Thriller 2017 130 mins Director: Michaël R. Roskam
Adèle Exarchopoulos (Blue is the Warmest Colour) and Matthias Schoenaerts (A Bigger Splash) are lovers entangled in a world of crime in this tough, twisty thriller-romance
Romance 2013 180 mins Director: Abdel Kechiche
The epic, passionate and strikingly naturalistic Palme d'Or-winning romance.
Directed by Ralph Fiennes
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.
Drama 2010 123 mins Director: Ralph Fiennes
Ralph Fiennes stars and directs in the brutal Shakespeare adaptation about a fallen hero who hungers for bloody revenge against his city.
Drama 2020 91 mins Director: Lucy Brydon
Lucy Brydon’s powerful debut feature sensitively explores the impact of an eating disorder on a family.
Drama 2018 100 mins Director: Jessica Swale
Gemma Arterton stars in acclaimed theatre director Jessica Swale’s moving Second World War drama, as a woman rediscovering her ability to love.
Drama 2019 86 mins Director: Claire Oakley
The debut feature from acclaimed short filmmaker Claire Oakley is a riveting psycho-sexual drama in which nothing is quite what it seems.
Drama 2019 94 mins Director: Craig Roberts
Sally Hawkins gives a standout performance as a fragile young woman in Craig Roberts’ humane depiction of mental illness.
Drama 2014 92 mins Director: Daniel Ribeiro
A blind student’s relationship with his best friend is tested when he falls for the new boy in school, in Daniel Ribeiro’s beautifully realised romance.
Documentary 2016 86 mins Director: Tomer Heymann
A heartfelt exploration of one man’s struggle to reconcile with his Israeli family, while finding a new ‘family’ in London Gay Men’s Chorus.