Films opening at HOME this week:
Battle of the Sexes
Directed by Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris — Rated 12A
Following the recent documentary by James Erskine and Zara Hayes, Dayton and Farris (Little Miss Sunshine) recreate the legendary 1973 tennis match that pitted Billie Jean King against the boorish Bobby Riggs. Featuring Emma Stone and Steve Carell in the central roles, the film succeeds both as a comedy but more importantly also as a commentary on sexism from a historical and contemporary perspective.
Directed by George Clooney — Rated 15
George Clooney returns to the director’s chair and re-teams with Joel and Ethan Coen — as co-writers — for this dark and complex tale of very flawed people making very bad choices in a seemingly idyllic 1950s community. With a cast including Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, and Oscar Isaac, Suburbicon has the look and feel of a Coens movie and doesn’t skimp on the irony.
Directed by Eliza Hittman — Rated 15
Frankie, an aimless Brooklyn teenager is having a miserable summer. With his father dying and his mother wanting him to find a girlfriend, Frankie escapes with his delinquent friends and flirts with older men online. When his chatting and webcamming intensify, he finally starts hooking up with guys at a nearby cruising beach while simultaneously entering into a cautious relationship with a young woman. With a smouldering lead performance from newcomer Harris Dickinson, this exquisitely crafted, scrupulously authentic, dark, and dangerous film confirms the promise of director Eliza Hittman’s arresting earlier work.
Films continuing this week:
Ingrid Goes West
Directed by Matt Spicer – Rated 15
Following the death of her mother and a series of self-inflicted setbacks, young Ingrid Thorburn — the always wonderful Aubrey Plaza — escapes a humdrum existence by moving out West to befriend her Instagram obsession and L.A. socialite Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen). After a quick bond is forged between these unlikeliest of friends, the façade begins to crack in both women’s lives — with comically malicious results in this acerbic comedy that also looks at the destructive effects of social media.
Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool
Directed by Paul McGuigan – Rated 15
Annette Bening and Jamie Bell star in this adaptation of the memoir by British actor Peter Turner, recounting his romance with the legendary — and legendarily eccentric — Hollywood star and film noir stalwart Gloria Grahame during the later years of her life. Detailing a trail of broken marriages and affairs, the film also offers a look at the underside of stardom.
The Florida Project
Directed by Sean Baker — Rated 15
Sean Baker’s follow-up to the astonishing Tangerines is another lucid, brilliantly realised portrait of life on the margins. The Florida Project tells the story of a precocious six-year-old and her rag-tag group of close friends whose summer break is filled with childhood wonder, possibility and a sense of adventure, while their parents and the adults around them struggle with hard times. A synthesis of Mark Twain, Gummo and Andrea Arnold’s American Honey, this is a bold, visionary work.
The Killing of a Sacred Dear
Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos — Rated 15
Steven (Farrell), an eminent cardiothoracic surgeon is married to Anna (Kidman), a respected ophthalmologist. They are well off and live a happy and healthy family life with their two children, Kim and Bob. Their lives take a darker turn when Martin (Keoghan), a fatherless youth with whom Steven has a strained friendship ingratiates himself further into the lives of the family. Lanthimos’s follow-up to The Lobster is a brilliantly realised, Kubrickian look at human behaviour.
The Death of Stalin
Directed by Armando Iannucci — Rated 15
Based on the graphic novel The Death Of Stalin by Fabien Nury and Thierry Robin, writer and director Armando Iannucci’s (Veep, The Thick of It) acerbic satire is set in the days following the Russian leader’s stroke in 1953 as his core team of ministers tussle for control. An all-star cast includes Steve Buscemi, Simon Russell Beale, Paddy Considine, Rupert Friend, Jason Isaacs, and Olga Kurylenko.
Directed by Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie – Rated 15
After a botched bank robbery lands his younger brother in prison, Constantine “Connie” Nikas (Robert Pattinson) embarks on a twisted odyssey through the city’s underworld in an increasingly desperate – and dangerous – attempt to get his brother Nick (Benny Safdie) out of jail. Over the course of one adrenalised night, Connie finds himself on a mad descent into violence and mayhem as he races against the clock to save his brother and himself, knowing their lives hang in the balance.
Special events this week:
25th November – Kubo and the Two Strings
Part of the the Bring Your Family Season
Directed by Travis Knight – Rated PG
A young boy named Kubo embarks on a magical quest to locate a suit of armour worn by his late father, so he can defeat a vengeful spirit from the past.
25th November – School Number 3
Directed by Yelizaveta Smith – Rated 15
Speaking directly to the camera, teenagers from a school in Ukraine’s Donbass region share their innermost hopes, fears, desires and memories in this heartfelt documentary. While the war between Russia and Ukraine is never mentioned, it forms an unspoken epicentre around which individual stories coalesce. Co-directed by Ukrainian filmmaker Yelizaveta Smith and German theatre director Georg Genoux, School Number 3 was developed in parallel with a live theatre performance also created with students from the school.
The pared down monologues brim with sincerity and emotion as we listen to a generation whose lives have been directly affected by the war, but who we are not accustomed to hearing from in the global media, tell their stories. By collecting these individual, subjective narratives and providing them with a voice, Smith and Genoux challenge the abounding stereotypes – specifically of eastern Ukraine – that cling to this ongoing conflict and give us an opportunity to witness the country’s crisis anew.
26th November – The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum + Q&A
Directed by Volker Schlöndorff, Margarethe von Trotta – Rated 15
A key political film of the New German Cinema, Volker Schlöndorff and Margarethe von Trotta co-directed and adapted The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum from the controversial novel by Heinrich Böll. Set in a climate of fear and paranoia, Angela Winkler plays the young woman of the title whose life is slowly destroyed by the media following her meeting a young man who is suspected by the authorities of being a political activist.
We will be joined by Angela Winkler for a post-screening Q&A.
27th November – Spike is 60/ Inside Man
Directed by Spike Lee – Rated 15
Inside Man represents Lee’s first move into mainstream studio features and is still his highest grossing at $184 Million. Washington teams up with Lee for the fourth time to play a detective who is negotiating with a highly intelligent bank robber who will stop at nothing to complete his task.
28th November – Illustrious Corpses
Directed by Francesco Rosi – Rated PG
In an Italy rife with mistrust and paranoia, judges are being murdered. Lino Ventura’s quietly effective detective is appointed to investigate who is responsible and soon begins to unearth an array of corruption and duplicity within the corridors of power. Highly atmospheric, this is perhaps the archetypal political film of the 1970s and displays to great effect Rosi’s brilliant visual style.
29th November – Man on the Roof + Intro
Directed by Bo Widerberg – Rated 15
Adapted from the Martin Beck novel The Abominable Man by legendary left-leaning Swedish crime writers Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, Man on the Roof is a great example of a 1970s Nordic Noir film. Here Beck, played by Carl-Gustaf Lindstedt, and his team investigate a brutal murder in a hospital, encountering stories of police brutality as they progress, which in turn leads to a thrilling climax on the rooftops of Stockholm. A great opportunity to see the roots of the current wave of Scandinavian crime dramas.
This screening will be introduced by Roy Stafford, Freelance Film Educator.