Michael Showalter has forged a reputation for directing subversive rom-coms, like The Baxter, They Came Together and The Big Sick, but following his acclaimed Oscar-nominated The Eyes of Tammy Faye, he’s been getting his teeth into meatier subjects. Starring Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) as Michael Ausiello, and Ben Aldridge (Pennyworth) as Kit Cowan, Ausiello’s best-selling memoir Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies comes to the big screen. This heart-warming, funny and life-affirming story follows the final 11-month period of photographer Cowan’s life. With Oscar-winner Sally Field and Tony-winner Bill Irwin as Cowan’s parents, we explore a touching journey of loss and a love that never really ends.
Fri 2 Dec
With the festive season in full effect, it’s time for another wholesome Christmas adventure. And this certainly is not it. David Harbour (Stranger Things, Black Widow) leaps to the rescue when a group of mercenaries break into a wealthy family compound on the 24th December, taking everyone inside hostage. But this nefarious gang of ne’er-do-wells haven’t anticipated preparing for a certain magical combatant entering the fray. Described as Die Hard with Santa Claus, this boisterous action/black-comedy looks set to turn over a raft of tropes and spread some good cheer. Judging people, battling commercialisation and kicking ass… this is the true spirit of Christmas.
THE INFERNAL MACHINE
Fri 2 Dec
Guy Pearce (Mare of Easttown, The Hurt Locker) returns in a bold psychological thriller, written and directed by Andrew Hunt (Frost Bite, Level). Based on a story written by Louis Kornfeld, we meet Bruce Cogburn, a reclusive and controversial author. After his only work inspires a terrorist attack, he retreats into isolation as a broken man. But Cogburn’s solitude is turned upside down when he becomes the target of an anonymous stalker. Paranoia grows as he tries to deal with this obsessive fan, and his physical and emotional limits are tested as he is forced to confront his guilt over the events which propelled his work to the top of the bestseller list.
INDIA SWEETS AND SPICES
THE SILENT TWINS
Fri 9 Dec
Directed by Agnieszka Smoczyńska, and based on the book of the same name by Marjorie Wallace, this biographical drama examines the astonishing story of siblings who would only communicate with each other. Feeling isolated from an unwelcoming community, June and Jennifer Gibbons retreat into their own fantasy world of artistic inspiration and adolescent desires. After a spree of vandalism inspired by an American boy they both idolise, the girls, now teenagers, are summarily sentenced to Broadmoor Hospital, an infamous psychiatric hospital, where they face the choice to separate and survive or die together. Letitia Wright and Tamara Lawrance star as the Gibbons sisters in this strange and tragic true story.
Mon 12 Dec
In 2010, the women of an isolated community grapple with reconciling their reality with their faith. Based on Miriam Toews’ bestselling novel, Sarah Polley’s film offers a stellar cast, including Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, Judith Ivey, Ben Whishaw and Frances McDormand. After systematic abuse, a group of Mennonite women are forced to make a seemingly impossible choice. They can stay and fight the violent misogyny from within or leave and risk excommunication. Women Talking asks unflinching questions about control, education and survival. In the face of unimaginable violence and cruelty, will they offer forgiveness or finally abandon themselves to the only existence they understand?
AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER
Fri 16 Dec
Much discussed, and even more delayed, James Cameron’s epic science fiction sequel seems ready to hit the cinema. Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Stephen Lang, Joel David Moore and Sigourney Weaver return for another powerful tale of fantastical aliens fighting for survival. Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, Avatar: The Way of Water uses cutting edge technology to tell the story of the Sully family. We return to the paradise planet of Pandora, just as The RDA mining operation starts up again. So the plucky Na’vi must leave the rainforest behind them and seek sanctuary in a watery new environment.
Fri 30 Dec
Empress Elisabeth of Austria is idolised for her beauty and renowned for inspiring fashion trends. But in 1877, ‘Sissi’ is celebrating her 40th birthday and fighting to maintain her public image by lacing her corset tighter and tighter. While Elisabeth’s role has been reduced against her wishes to the purely performative, a hunger for knowledge and zest for life makes her more and more restless. She travels to England and Bavaria, visiting former lovers and old friends, seeking the excitement and purpose of her youth. With a future of strictly ceremonial duties laid out before her, Elisabeth rebels against her hyperbolised image and comes up with a plan to protect her legacy.
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