It’s 1922, socialite and novelist Vita Sackville-West (a vibrant Gemma Arterton) has set her sights on befriending the writer Virginia Woolf (a pitch perfect Elizabeth Debicki), hoping she can learn how to develop her own writing style and be taken seriously by the literary establishment. But from the moment Vita lays eyes on the sensual movements of a dancing Virginia at one of the Bloomsbury Group’s legendary parties, it’s clear there is more to Vita’s intent than simple friendship. An ardent and blatant seduction begins. Vita makes impulsive gestures to the taciturn and resistant Virginia, her impassioned words finally breaking through Woolf’s defences, which find the acclaimed author giving in to previously unknown desires. But their love, even in this bohemian, polyamorous world, is far from simple. With familial pressures mounting on all sides for both to abandon their affair, it is Virginia who makes the biggest declaration, translating her feelings for Vita into her most celebrated novel, Orlando, ensuring their iconic relationship would be remembered for all time.
Chanya Button (Burn, Burn, Burn) co-wrote the script with Eileen Atkins (who adapts her own stage play, based on the lovers’ letters) and has crafted a beautiful romance featuring two powerful performances, with scenes that crackle with tension and the longing that develops within an all-consuming love affair
Drama 2020 94 mins Director: Zoé Wittock
Love takes a dizzying turn in this disarmingly enchanting psychosexual tale of a young woman who falls in love with a fairground ride.
Drama 2019 129 mins Director: Pietro Marcello
A stylistically dazzling and ambitious Italian adaptation of Jack London’s autobiographical novel about a self-taught and outspoken working-class writer who climbs the ranks of society.
Romance 2021 81 mins Director: Stelios Kammitsis
Picturesque drama about the familial ties that bind us, the boys that catch our eye, and the twists and turns that lead us home.
Biopic 2020 118 mins Director: Francis Lee
Francis Lee follows up God’s Own Country with a film that is every bit as immersive, tactile and emotionally powerful, aided by the devastatingly good Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan.
Romance 2018 103 mins Director: Arantxa Echevarria
Two teenage girls from a close-knit Roma community fall in love in this fresh and affecting coming-of-age romance from Spanish director Arantxa Echevarría.
Romance 2020 116 mins Director: Boaz Yakin
Incorporating expressive and exultant dance sequences, Aviva is a restless modern love story that explores the complexities of gender dynamics.
LGBTIQ+ Best of 2019
Drama 2017 92 mins Director: Desiree Akhavan
Desiree Akhavan’s award-winning follow-up to Appropriate Behaviour, with Chloë Grace Moretz as a teen sent to a gay conversion camp.
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 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 95 mins Director: Darko Štante
A teenage tearaway is forced to face up to his actions and confront his burgeoning sexuality, in this provocative Slovenian coming-of-age tale.
Drama 2018 102 mins Director: Ondi Timoner
Matt Smith stars as legendary photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in this full-frontal homage to the devilish bad boy, whose sex life fuelled his career.
Drama 2019 111 mins Director: Marco Berger
A tentative friendship blossoms into a beautiful romance in this erotically-charged yet disarmingly sweet-natured offering from Marco Berger (Taekwondo).
Featuring Gemma Arterton
Drama 2019 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 2017 101 mins Director: Dominic Savage
A remarkable central performance from Gemma Arterton shines through this perceptive, deeply compassionate portrait of a woman on the road to becoming herself.
Comedy 2016 117 mins Director: Lone Scherfig
Gemma Arterton sparkles in this witty drama set in the world of propaganda filmmaking during WWII, from director Lone Scherfig (The Riot Club, An Education).
Drama 2020 103 mins Director: Zaida Bergroth
A lyrical and romantic biopic of the beloved creator of the Moomins featuring an incredible central performance by Alma Pöysti.
Musical 1998 77 mins Director: Julian Henriques
Neeta and her crew rise to dancehall fame in North West London's Caribbean community, in the first Black British musical.
Fantasy 2020 93 mins Director: Philippe Lacôte
To stay alive in an infamous Ivory Coast prison, a young man begins to narrate the mystical life of a legendary outlaw in this spectacular tale of survival and beautiful ode to the power of storytelling.
Comedy 2020 97 mins Director: Piotr Domalewski
Darkly comic Polish drama about a young woman who goes on a voyage of self-discovery in Ireland after her father unexpectedly passes away.
Drama 2019 91 mins Director: Filippo Meneghetti
The love between two older women is threatened by illness and secrecy in a moving French drama that features Barbara Sukowa at her very best.
Action and Adventure 2019 105 mins Director: Stephen Maxwell Johnson
A young Indigenous man teams up with a policeman to track down a warrior outlaw in this piercing exploration of justice and morality within the Australian settlement.