Danish director Lone Scherfig’s (The Riot Club, An Education) fascination with British manners continues to find new register in this delectable comedic drama, her fifth film set in the UK. Gemma Arterton is positively luminous as Catrin, a young Welsh copy-writer enticed to London by her husband (Jack Huston), a self-obsessed and wayward artist with little interest in her emotional needs or ambitions. She soon lands a job as a script editor with the Ministry of Information, hired to provide a ‘woman’s touch’ to propaganda films being made during the Blitz. Thrown into the colourful and surprisingly active world of filmmaking in London in the 1940s, her confidence grows and new interests and desires soon ignite.
Debut screenwriter Gaby Chiappe’s adaptation of Lissa Evans’ novel Their Finest Hour and a Half is an intoxicating blend of social drama and shrewd wit, alert to the poignancy and irony of the way that new opportunities became available to women during wartime. With her finely-tuned eye for character, performance and gender politics, Scherfig plays to the strengths of the film’s top-flight British cast. None more so than Bill Nighy, who is irresistible as the fractious, past-his-prime movie star who develops a creative dependency on our heroine.
Drama 2016 88 mins Director: John Carroll Lynch
Harry Dean Stanton gives the performance of a lifetime as an irascible nonagenarian maverick in a New Mexican town, grappling with his mortality.
Comedy 2017 102 mins Director: Adrian Shergold
Maxine Peake plays a woman who rises above abusive relationships and crass sexist audiences of the 1970s to become a female stand-up comedian.
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 1963 121 mins Director: Tony Richardson
Tony Richardson's raucous and innovative adaptation of Henry Fielding’s classic novel was the winner of four Academy Awards.
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.
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.
Best Films of 2017
Drama 2016 119 mins Director: Matt Ross
Viggo Mortensen plays the father-gone-primitive in this wonderful award-winning comedy about an off-grid family.
Hell or High Water
Crime 2016 102 mins Director: David Mackenzie
Jeff Bridges and Chris Pine star in David Mackenzie’s acclaimed crime drama about two brothers who rob the banks that seized their ranch, and the sheriff on their heels.
A Quiet Passion
Biopic 2016 125 mins Director: Terence Davies
Terence Davies' elegant and deeply moving biopic of poet Emily Dickinson, played with sensitivity and rebellious spirit by Cynthia Nixon.
I Am Not Your Negro
Documentary 2016 94 mins Director: Raoul Peck
Raoul Peck’s penetrating and acclaimed documentary reconstructs an unfinished manuscript by James Baldwin, chronicler of America’s Civil Rights Movement.
Documentary 2016 85 mins Director: David Lachapelle
The rise, fall and rise again of the bad boy of ballet, Ukrainian prodigy Sergei Polunin is captured in this swirling doc with a rocking soundtrack.
The Eagle Huntress
Documentary 2016 88 mins Director: Otto Bell
Daisy Ridley narrates this inspiring documentary about a girl who causes a stir in her tribe in Mongolia by embracing the traditionally male role of Eagle Hunter.
Featuring Sam Claflin
Drama 2017 108 mins Director: Saul Dibb
Sam Claflin, Paul Bettany and Asa Butterfield bring R C Sherriff’s acclaimed First World War play to the screen, in this new adaptation from director Saul Dibb.
Featuring Bill Nighy
The Limehouse Golem
Thriller 2016 109 mins Director: Juan Carlos Medina
Bill Nighy plays the arch detective investigating a series of grisly murders around the music halls of Victorian London, in this pungent Gothic mystery.
Shaun of the Dead
Horror 2004 99 mins Director: Edgar Wright
The original ‘rom-zom-com’: Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are the slacker mates tasked with battling a zombie apocalypse in Crouch End.
Comedy 2014 120 mins Director: Matthew Warchus
The smash culture-clash comedy tells the incredible true story of how miners and a Gay Pride support group come together to fight a common cause.
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).