Clio Barnard’s second feature, which premiered to universal acclaim at Cannes, is one of this year’s key British releases. Set on the outskirts of Bradford, the film follows two young lads, Arbor (Conner Chapman) and Swifty (Shaun Thomas), and their dealings with a local scrap dealer. Boldly cinematic and featuring astonishing performances from the two leads, The Selfish Giant further cements Barnard’s reputation as a visionary filmmaker.
The winner of the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Abdellatif Kechiche’s stunning portrait of a relationship is a remarkable achievement. Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux’s committed performances brilliantly convey the power of physical, emotional and sexual attraction, but also communicate the problems of sustaining a relationship when passion gives way to domestication. Detailed in its portrayal yet exploring emotions and situations universal to us all, this is a towering achievement in cinema.
In Rama Burshtein's exploration of life within an ultra-orthodox Jewish community, a young Hasidic woman is pressurised by her family to marry the widower of her recently deceased sister. This makes for a fascinating drama, as she maps out the culture and societal structures that dictate life, whilst never losing perspective of Shira's predicament. Newcomer Hadas Yaron gives an impressive performance as the young bride-to-be.
Based on the multi-award-winning play by David Ives, this witty, intelligent new drama from Roman Polanski opens in cinemas and on demand on 30 May.
Alone in a Paris theatre after a long day of auditioning actresses for the lead role in his new play, writer-director Thomas (Mathieu Amalric) complains on the phone about the poor calibre of talent he has seen. No actress has what it takes to play his lead female character; a woman who enters into an agreement with her male counterpart to dominate him as her slave. Thomas is about to leave the theatre when actress Vanda (Emmanuelle Seigner) bursts in, a whirlwind of erratic and erotic energy. At first she seems to embody everything Thomas has been lamenting; she is pushy, foul-mouthed, desperate and ill-prepared - or so it seems.
When Thomas finally, reluctantly, agrees to let her try out for the part he is stunned and captivated by her transformation. Not only is Vanda a perfect fit but she has researched the role exhaustively, down to buying props, reading source materials and learning every line by heart. The likeness proves to be much more than skin-deep and as the extended audition builds momentum, Thomas moves from attraction to obsession...
Set in contemporary London and starring Ben Whishaw, Lilting tells the story of a Cambodian-Chinese mother mourning the untimely death of her son whose world is suddenly disrupted by the presence of a stranger. We observe the difficulties the two have in trying to communicate and connect without a common language. But through a translator they slowly piece together memories of a man they both loved dearly and realize that while they may not share a language, they are connected in their grief...