In Cinemas December 2015

Chemsex (18)

Documentary

Dirs. William Fairman & Max Gogarty, UK, 2015, 83 mins

Cast (as themselves): TBA

In hidden basements, bedrooms and bars across London, Chemsex is a documentary that exposes frankly and intimately a dark side to modern gay life. Traversing an underworld of intravenous drug use and weekend-long sex parties, Chemsex tells the story of several men struggling to make it out of ‘the scene’ alive – and one health worker who has made it his mission to save them. While society looks the other way, this powerful and unflinching film uncovers a group of men battling with HIV, drug addiction and finding acceptance in a changing world.

Trailer     Official Site   Buy

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Future Shock! The Story Of 2000 AD (15)

Documentary

Dir. Paul Goodwin, US, 2014, 110 mins

Cast (As Themselves): Dan Abnett, Geoff Barrow, Emma Beeby

FUTURE SHOCK! tells the story of 2000 AD®: the UK science-fiction comic that changed the face of the comics industry. First published in 1977, it was violent, anti-authoritarian, blackly funny and above all, idiosyncratically British. FUTURE SHOCK! offers a comprehensive overview of the magazine’s history: a warts and all look at the various highs and lows, a peek inside the creative process of some of its most famous creators, and a funny, moving and passionate chronicle of how a band of talented eccentrics came together to create a visionary and extraordinary comic that is still a game-changer 39 years on.

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Honourable Rebel, The (PG)

Biography

Dir. Mike Fraser, UK, 2015, 79 mins

Cast: Diana Rigg, Dorothea Myer-Bennett, James Hender

The Honourable Elizabeth Montagu, writer, actress, musician, film dialogue director, linguist and lover, evaded the clutches of the Gestapo by escaping to work as a secret agent for Alan Dulles and the British Secret Service during the war.

Trailer     Official Site

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Krampus (15)

Comedy | Fantasy | Horror

Dir. Michael Dougherty, US, 2015,

Cast: Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, Allison Tolman, Conchata Ferrell, Emjay Anthony, Stefania Lavie Owen, Krista Stadler

A darkly festive tale of a yuletide ghoul, reveals an irreverently twisted side to the holiday.

When his dysfunctional family clashes over the holidays, young Max (Emjay Anthony) is disillusioned and turns his back on Christmas.  Little does he know, this lack of festive spirit has unleashed the wrath of Krampus: a demonic force of ancient evil intent on punishing non-believers.

 All hell breaks loose as beloved holiday icons take on a monstrous life of their own, laying siege to the fractured family’s home and forcing them to fight for each other if they hope to survive.

Krampus and his mischievous underlings have been created by the combined efforts of Weta Workshop and Weta Digital, both renowned for their epic work on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies and King Kong, among many others.

Trailer     Official Site    Buy

 

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Lesson, The (Urok) (15)

Drama | World

Dirs. Kristina Grozeva & Petar Valchanov, Bulgaria/Greece, 2014, 105 mins, subtitles

Cast: Margita Gosheva, Ivan Burnev, Ivanka Bratoeva, Ivan Savov, Deya Todorova, Stefan Denolyubov

Nadezhda is a high school English teacher near Sofia who also works as a translator to earn extra cash. Stunned by a theft report by one of her students she is determined to find the culprit and punish him. As this episode unravels at work, her personal life changes drastically. A bailiff notifies her that the bank is about to seize her house and put it on auction because of unpaid mortgage payments. Determined to keep her house, she will do everything she can to get the money before it is too late. Her personal and professional life will converge as she wonders, while exhausting all possible options, whether to question the principles she teaches her students. ‘Employing a cool, clean, and precise storytelling style, Grozeva and Valchanov maintain a seemingly dispassionate air in the face of their heroine’s escalating desperation, a distance that only increases their story’s emotional impact.’A gripping film, ‘The Lesson offers a tough, unsentimental education in the limits of honesty when confronted with brutal economic reality.’ (Dimitri Epides, Toronto Film Festival)

Trailer     Official Site

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Night Before, The (15)

Comedy

Dir. Jonathan Levine, US, 2015,

Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie, Lizzy Caplan, Miley Cyrus, Michael Shannon

Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Isaac (Seth Rogen) and Chris (Anthony Mackie) have been friends since childhood, and for a decade, their yearly Christmas Eve reunion has been an annual night of debauchery and hilarity. Now that they’re entering adulthood, the tradition is coming to an end, and to make it as memorable as possible, they set out to find the Nutcracka Ball – the Holy Grail of Christmas parties.

Trailer     Official Site

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Pawn Sacrifice (12A)

Biography | Drama

Dir. Edward Zwick, US, 2014, 115 mins

Cast: Tobey Maguire Liev Schreiber Peter Sarsgaard Michael Stuhlbarg Lily Rabe Robin Weigert

In a gripping true story set during the height of the Cold War, American chess prodigy Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire) finds himself caught between two superpowers when he challenges the Soviet Empire. Also starring Liev Schreiber and Peter Sarsgaard, PAWN SACRIFICE chronicles Fischer’s terrifying struggles with genius and madness, and the rise and fall of a kid from Brooklyn who captured the imagination of the world.

Trailer     Official Site

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Show Of Shows, The (12A)

Documentary

Dir. Benedikt Erlingsson, Iceland/UK, 2015, 76 mins

This film tells the story of itinerant circus performers, cabaret acts and vaudeville and fairground attractions. In this film, rarities and never-before seen footage of fairgrounds, circus entertainment, freak shows, variety performances, music hall and seaside entertainment are chronicled from the 19th and 20th century. We will see early shows that wowed the world and home movies of some of the greatest circus families.

A film by Benedikt Erlingsson, featuring an original score by Georg Holm & Orri Pall Dyrason from Sigur Ros + Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson & Kjartan Holm.

Trailer     Official Site

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Sunset Song (15)

Drama

Dir. Terence Davies, UK, 2015, 135 mins

Cast: Agyness Deyn, Peter Mullan, Kevin Guthrie, Jack Greenless, Ian Pirie

Inspired by Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s acclaimed novel, the story follows Chris Guthrie from childhood, through to motherhood, played by Agyness Deyn as the powerful central female character and symbol for Scotland. Her strength of character, never undermined by the hardship she faces, offers a rich tale set against the majestic Scottish landscape of Aberdeenshire set within a small, symbolic, rural community trying to forge a meagre living from an inhospitable land. All this takes place in the rising turmoil of the early 20th Century a time of vast industrial change, devastation brought about by WWI and the Great Depression.

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Audition (R/I) (18)

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Dir. Takashi Miike, Japan, 1999, 115 mins, Subtitles

Cast: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Tetsu Sawaki

A widower takes an offer to screen girls at a special audition, arranged for him by a friend to find him a new wife. The one he fancies is not who she appears to be after all.

Trailer     Official Site

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By the Sea (15)

Drama | Romance

Dir. Angelina Jolie, US, 2015

Cast: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Mélanie Laurent

Set in France during the mid-1970s, Vanessa, a former dancer, and her husband Roland, an American writer, travel the country together. They seem to be growing apart, but when they linger in one quiet, seaside town they begin to draw close to some of its more vibrant inhabitants, such as a local bar/café-keeper and a hotel owner.

Trailer     Official Site

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Forbidden Room, The (12)

Comedy | Drama | Mystery

Dir. Guy Maddin, Canada, 2015, 130 mins

Cast: Roy Dupius, Clara Furey, Louis Negin, Mathieu Amalric, Charlotte Rampling, Geraldine Chaplin

A never-before-seen woodsman mysteriously appears aboard a submarine that’s been trapped deep under water for months with an unstable cargo. As the terrified crew make their way through the corridors of the doomed vessel, they find themselves on a voyage into the origins of their darkest fears.

THE FORBIDDEN ROOM is Guy Maddin’s ultimate epic phantasmagoria. Honoring classic cinema while electrocuting it with energy, Maddin and co-director Evan Johnson take us high into the air, around the world, and into dreamscapes, spinning tales of amnesia, captivity, deception and murder, skeleton women and vampire bananas. Playing like some glorious meeting between Italo Calvino, Sergei Eisenstein and a perverted six year-old child, THE FORBIDDEN ROOM is Maddin’s grand ode to lost cinema.

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Grandma (15)

Comedy

Dir. Paul Weitz, US, 2015, 79 mins

Cast: Lily Tomlin, Julia Garner, Marcia Gay Harden

Elle Reid has just gotten through breaking up with her girlfriend when her granddaughter Sage unexpectedly shows up needing 600 dollars before sundown. Temporarily broke, Grandma Elle and Sage spend the day trying to get their hands on the cash as their unannounced visits to old friends and flames end up rattling skeletons and digging up secrets.

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Grazing the Sky (U)

Documentary | Drama

Dir. Horacio Alcala, Spain/Mexico/Portugal, 2013, 88 mins, subtitles

Cast (as themselves): Antonio Segura, Max La Sala, Damian Istria

The film takes a revealing look at the incredible physical exploits of circus acrobats, and finds compelling stories of men and women confronting adversity – including the real risk of severe, debilitating injury. The price of life in the limelight includes years of study and practice, an iron discipline, an ongoing commitment to learning new skills, and constant travel far from home. Director Horacio Alcalá follows eight different acrobats from all over the world, intercutting interviews with artfully staged footage of his subjects performing breathtaking feats with poise and grace. 

Alcalá, who has been involved with the circus arts for seven years, including with Cirque du Soleil, travelled to 11 different countries over the course of five years to capture these stories. He finds a new reality where aspiring circus performers can learn their craft in specialized schools rather than through family apprenticeships. The trapeze becomes a metaphor for life ambitions, given contrast and poignancy by the ever-present risk of a fall.

Trailer     Official Site

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Hector (15)

Drama

Dir. Jake Gavin, UK, 2015, 87 mins

Cast: Peter Mullan, Keith Allen, Nathalie Gavin, Sharon Rooney, Sarah Solemani, Stephen Tomkinson, Gina McKee

A British road-movie about family, friendship and human compassion. Set across the UK, HECTOR is the alternative Christmas feel-good film of the season, when people’s thoughts naturally turn to family.

Hector McAdam (Peter Mullan) is embarking on his annual journey from Scotland to a London shelter, where Christmas cheer and a turkey dinner await him. But, aware this might be his last, Hector opts to reconnect with his past and reunite with those he left behind.

Life without a home isn’t easy but Hector is resilient, accepting of people, and life, as they come. He meets with friendship and kindness, disappointment and cruelty, discomfort and joy. His cross-country odyssey brings chance encounters, companions old and new who need his support as much as he needs theirs.

Trailer     Official Site

 

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Ice and the Sky (La Glace et la Ciel) (U)

Documentary

Dir. Luc Jacquet, France, 2015, 89 mins, subtitles

Cast (as themselves): Michel Papineschi (narrator), Claude Lorius

The story of a man who encountered his destiny, aged 23, in the Antarctic. The film will retrace his life‟s journey, from his first steps as a young glaciologist to the crowning moment of his glittering career – winning the Blue Planet Prize, the Nobel of environmental sciences. Ice and The Sky is an epic tale, in which science and adventure meet. “I have loved the great rivers of ice, the lagoons, the villages at the edge of the desert. I have loved the primordial forests of the Americas. But I believe what I have loved most is man and his ability to surpass himself in extreme climates. My name is Claude Lorius and I am 82 years old. I have devoted my life to the search for knowledge. It has been an extraordinary story of science and devoted men who have changed the course of the history of Mankind.”

Trailer     Official Site

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Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict (15)

Documentary | Biography | History

Dir. Lisa Immordino Vreeland, US/Italy/UK, 2015, 96 mins

Cast (as themselves): Marina Abramović, Dore Ashton, Stephanie Barron, Diego Cortez, Susan Davidson, Robert De Niro

A colourful character who was not only ahead of her time but helped to define it, Peggy Guggenheim was an heiress to her family fortune who became a central figure in the modern art movement. As she moved through the cultural upheaval of the 20th century, she collected not only art, but artists. Her colorful personal history included such figures as Samuel Beckett, Max Ernst, Jackson Pollock, Alexander Calder, Marcel Duchamp as well as countless others. While fighting through personal tragedy, she maintained her vision to build one of the most important collections of modern art, now enshrined in her Venetian palazzo.

Trailer     Official Site    Buy

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Shelter (18)

Drama

Dir. Paul Bettany, US, 2014, 105 mins

Cast: Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Mackie, Bruce Altman

Hannah and Tahir fall in love while homeless on the streets of New York. Shelter explores how they got there, and as we learn about their pasts we realize they need each other to build a future.

Trailer     Official Site

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Swung (18)

Drama | Romance

Dir. Colin Kennedy, UK, 2015, 87 mins

Cast: Elena Anaya, Owen McDonnell, Elizabeth McGovern

David’s life is on the slide: he’s in the middle of a divorce, broke and ‘can’t get it up’. His girlfriend, Alice, is his rock, but the magazine she writes for is going down and the pressure is on to find a story. While job hunting online, David stumbles across the perfect antidote to his boredom: a ‘Swingers’ site. The resulting inbox of lewd invitations on the home-laptop justifiably upsets Alice, until she realises this could be just the ‘story’ she needs. The idea of uncovering the swinging scene causes quite a stir in Alice’s office and, much to David’s chagrin, she is urged to pursue the story. Their first reluctant foray is an hysterically low-rent initiation, however, an unexpected upturn for David’s manhood is all the extra encouragement they need. As events accelerate beyond their control the once adoring couple become lost and fundamental questions are asked of their relationship and them as individuals.

Trailer     Official Site

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To Be Frank: Sinatra at 100 (12A)

Documentary

Dir. Simon Napier-Bell, UK, 2015, 81 mins

Cast (As Themselves): Alice Cooper, Tim Rice, Louis Walsh

TO BE FRANK: SINATRA AT 100 is a documentary about the life and career of Frank Sinatra.

Trailer     Official Site

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When Harry Met Sally (R/I) (15)

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Dir. Rob Reiner, US, 1989, 96 mins

Cast: Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher

Does sex make it impossible for men and women to be true friends? This is the dilemma Harry and Sally debate when they first meet in college. When they reconnect years later, they’re no closer to agreeing on an answer. After an eventful night together changes the face of their relationship, their search for a resolution becomes increasingly complicated and urgent.

Trailer     Official Site

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Bajirao Mastani

Bollywood | Drama | History | Romance

Dir. Sanjay Leela Bhansali, India, 2015, in Hindi

Cast: Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra

He is one of history’s greatest unsung heroes; a Maratha Peshwa who rewrote the true essence of love and fearlessly protected his kingdom for over 47 long wars. Presenting an epic tale of one of the greatest warriors of India and his unforgettable love story that has inspired the nation across centuries!

Trailer     Official Site

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Belle & Sebastian: The Adventure Continues (PG)

Adventure | Family

Dir.Christian Duguay, France, 2015, 97 Mins, Subtitles

Cast: Félix Bossuet, Tchéky Karyo, Thierry Neuvic

The follow-up to Nicholas Vanier’s 2013 adaptation of Cécile Aubry’s novel sees the 1940s French boy/dog duo return for more Alpine escapades.

September 1945, everybody is celebrating the end of the war. Young Sebastian (Félix Bossuet), now ten years old, waits with faithful Belle for Angelina’s (Margaux Châtelier) return. When news reaches the village that her plane crashed deep in the Transalpine forest, Sebastian’s grandfather knows a man who can help them find her. On their mission to locate Angelina, Belle and Sebastian must face peril, risk their lives and confront a secret – the adventure continues…

Buy

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Sherpa (15)

Documentary

Dir. Jennifer Peedom, Australia/Nepal, 2015, 96 mins, Some Subtitles

A fight on Everest? It seemed incredible. But in 2013 news channels around the world reported an ugly brawl at 21,000ft as European climbers fled a mob of angry Sherpas.

In 1953, New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay had reached the summit in a spirit of co-operation and brave optimism. Now climbers and Sherpas were trading insults – even blows.

What had happened to the happy, smiling Sherpas and their dedication in getting foreigners to the top of the mountain they hold so sacred? Determined to explore what was going on, the filmmakers set out to make a film of the 2014 Everest climbing season, from the Sherpas’ point of view.

Instead, they captured a tragedy that would change Everest forever. At 6.45am on 18th April, 2014, a 14 million ton block of ice crashed down onto the climbing route through the Khumbu Icefall, killing 16 Sherpas.

It was the worst tragedy in the history of Everest. The disaster provoked a drastic reappraisal about the role of the Sherpas in the Everest industry. SHERPA, tells the story of how, in the face of fierce opposition, the Sherpas united in grief and anger to reclaim the mountain they call Chomolungma.

Trailer     Official Site

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Sparks & Embers (15)

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Dir. Gavin Boyter, UK, 2015, 88 Mins

Cast: Kris Marshall, Annelise Hesme, Waleed Akhtar

Tom Sanger, 33, has just been made redundant from what he thought was a dream job in a record company marketing department. But before he can leave, Fate intervenes and Tom finds himself trapped in a lift with none other than the consultant who lost him his job. Tom would really love to hate her… the trouble is the consultant is female, French, and beautiful.

Feisty and strong-willed, Eloise, 27, is uncomfortable being forcibly confined with someone she’s had sacked. But Tom’s mildly juvenile attitude to their predicament helps her hide the embarrassment under a mask of contempt. Secretly, she’s vulnerable, claustrophobic, and a little bit attracted to Tom despite his rough edges. As the temperature in the lift begins to rise in the sweltering summer heat, so do the tempers. Tom and Eloise seesaw between war and truce, but eventually hostilities subside as mutual attraction takes hold.

Flash forward… five years later. Tom and Eloise meet on London’s South Bank for the last time. They’ve had a four-year relationship which broke up six months ago. Tom says he’s meeting her to say goodbye – Eloise is moving back to France and a seemingly perfect new life with a perfect new fiancé.

Against the backdrop of a crisp Christmas evening, Tom and Eloise amble towards the train station and reminisce about their four years together. But as the pair rake over the remains of their relationship, old memories evoke feelings that both have tried to squash. Subtly they interrogate each other’s true motives for this final meeting. Are there still shared feelings? Is Eloise’s life as perfect as she makes out? And does Tom have a hidden agenda? If so, he has just 45 minutes to win Eloise back before she gets on her train and is gone forever. Is this new spark strong enough to rekindle the embers of their relationship?

Trailer     Official Site

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Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie

Animation | Adventure | Comedy

Dir. Steve Martino, US, 2015, 86 mins

Cast (voices): Noah Schnapp, Bill Melendez, Hadley Belle Miller, Mariel Sheets

Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the beloved “Peanuts” gang make their big-screen debut, like they’ve never been seen before, in state of the art 3D animation. Charlie Brown, the world’s most beloved underdog, embarks upon an epic and heroic quest, while his best pal, the lovable beagle Snoopy, takes to the skies to pursue his arch-nemesis, the Red Baron. From the imagination of Charles M. Schulz and the creators of the ICE AGE films, SNOOPY AND CHARLIE BROWN: THE PEANUTS MOVIE will prove that every underdog has his day.

Trailer     Official Site

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Daddy's Home (12)

Comedy

Dirs. Sean Anders & John Morris, US, 2015, 98 mins

Cast: Linda Cardellini, Mark Wahlberg, Will Ferrell, Thomas Haden Church

A mild-mannered radio executive strives to become the best stepdad to his wife’s two children, but complications ensue when their freewheeling and freeloading real father arrives, forcing him to compete for the affection of the kids.

Trailer     Official Site

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In the Heart of the Sea (12)

Action | Adventure | Drama

Dir. Ron Howard, US, 2015, 121 mins

Cast: Frank Dillane, Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy, Tom Holland, Ben Whishaw, Charlotte Riley, Brendan Gleeson

In the winter of 1820, the New England whaling ship Essex was assaulted by something no one could believe: a whale of mammoth size and will, and an almost human sense of vengeance.  The real-life maritime disaster would inspire Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick.  But that told only half the story.  “In the Heart of the Sea” reveals the encounter’s harrowing aftermath, as the ship’s surviving crew is pushed to their limits and forced to do the unthinkable to stay alive.  Braving storms, starvation, panic and despair, the men will call into question their deepest beliefs, from the value of their lives to the morality of their trade, as their captain searches for direction on the open sea and his first mate still seeks to bring the great whale down.

Based on Nathaniel Philbrick’s best-selling book about the dramatic true journey of the Essex.

Trailer     Official Site

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