Author Archives: filmonsundayadmin

Another Year

After the relative cheeriness of Happy-Go-Lucky, director Leigh returns to an examination of less hopeful aspects of society. Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen play Tom and Gerri (really!), a contented middle-aged couple who have achieved a cosy tranquillity to which their careers, family life, holidays and allotment hobby all contribute. However, their very warmth and happiness seem to encourage some emotionally far less successful characters to cling to them and the contrast between the suburban bliss of Tom and Gerri and the wrecked lives of their friends is almost painfully acute.

15 cert – 2010 – Dir: Mike Leigh – 129 mins – lang: English
Cast: Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen, Lesley Manville

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Africa United

A road movie with a difference. Five African children of very different backgrounds make the incredible 5000 km journey from Rwanda to South Africa to see the 2010 football World Cup. Their adventures along the way give us an insight into some of the problems facing the continent, including child soldiers, sex-trafficking and HIV/AIDS. The abiding memory of the film, however, is the cheerful banter, beaming smiles and boundless optimism of the children.

12 cert – 2010 – Dir: Debs Gardner-Paterson
88 Mins – Lang: English
Emmanuel Jal, Eriya Ndayambaje, Sherrie Silver, Yves Dusenge

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Water For Elephants

A glorious vision of circus life in the days of the Great Depression. Young Jacob, forced to give up his veterinary studies, finds himself looking after the animals with a travelling circus, where he catches the eye of the glamorous bare-back rider, Marlena. However, Marlena is married to the sadistic circus ring-master, August, who is in the habit of throwing those he dislikes off moving trains. Will Jacob and Marlena’s love prevail and what will become of the elephant?

12 cert – 2011 – Dir: Francis Lawrence
115 mins – Lang: English
Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, Christoph Waltz

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Live and Become

A stirring and uplifting tale of racial and religious assimilation.  In 1980 the black Falashas in Ethiopia are recognised as genuine Jews. In turn they are secretly carried to Israel escaping famine and war. The day before the transport is due to leave, the son of a Jewish mother dies. In his place and with his name (Schlomo) she takes a Christian 9 year old boy. This is his story. Live and Become is one of those films that touches your heart and stays with you.

12 cert – 2005 – Dir: Radu Mihaileanu
150 mins – Lang: French
Cast: Yael Abecassis, Roschdy Zem, Moshe Agazai

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Get Low

A film spun out of equal parts folk tale, fable and real-life legend about the mysterious, 1930’s Tennessee hermit who famously threw his own rollicking funeral party… while he was still alive. The director, Aaron Schneider, captures the period extremely well and the cinematography and musical score are wonderful. The film handles tough subjects like death, regret, suspicion and guilt with wisdom and a gentle humour.

PG cert – 2011 – Dir: Aaron Schneider
99 mins – Lang: English
Cast: Robert Duvall, Bill Murray, Sissy Spacek and Lucas Black

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Chico and Rita

Set in the night clubs of Havana, New York and Las Vegas in the late 1940’s, this lush but delicate animated feature has a fantastic musical backdrop of Cuban-influenced jazz. The beautiful singer, Rita, and talented pianist, Chico, are passionately in love, but can only scrape a living in the Havana jazz clubs. When a New York impresario tells Rita he can make her a star in the USA, but there is no place for Chico in his plans, their tempestuous relationship faces its greatest challenge.

15 cert – 2010 – Dir: Fernando Trueba
93 mins – Lang: Spanish (animation)
Cast: Eman Xor Ona, Limara Meneses, Mario Guerra

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A life affirming film in which Oliver meets the irreverent and unpredictable Anna only months after his father Hal has passed away. This new love floods Oliver with memories of his father who, following 44 years of marriage, came out of the closet to live a full, energised, and wonderfully tumultuous gay life. The upheavals of Hal’s new honesty, by turns funny and moving, brought father and son closer than they’d ever been able to be. Now Oliver endeavours to love Anna with all the bravery, humour and hope that his father taught him.

15 cert – 2011 – Dir: Mike Mills
105 mins – Lang: English
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Melanie Laurent

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Asa is an idealistic young man who, after finishing his naval service, returns to the vast featureless steppe of Kazakhstan to live with his sister Samal and her husband Ondas. In order to become a shepherd, Asa must first be married, but the only eligible woman within miles is the enigmatic Tulpan and she rejects him because his ears are too big. Unperturbed, Asa sets out to persuade Tulpan that he would be an excellent prospect, weathering constant run-ins with his bullying brother-in-law.  This is a gorgeously shot and eminently lovable film.

12 cert – 2008 – Dir: Sergey Dvortsevoy
100 mins – Lang: Russian, Kazakh
Cast: Ondasyn Besikbasov, Tulepbergen Baisakalov, Zhappas Dzhailaubaev

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Of Gods Of Men

One of the most powerful and moving films from last year’s Cannes Film Festival, Of Gods and Men is based on the real-life story of a group of French Trappist monks living in a small village in the mountains of Algeria during the civil war of the 1990’s. When a crew of foreign workers is massacred by an Islamic fundamentalist group, fear sweeps though the region. The army offers them protection, but the monks refuse. Unhurried and with the most exceptional ensemble performances, it’s a story of companionship, choice and the difficulties of remaining true to yourself and your beliefs in the most difficult of circumstances.

15 cert – 2010 – Dir: Xavier Beauvois
120 mins – Lang: Arabic, French
Cast: Xavier Maly, Loic Pichon, Olivier Rabourdin, Jean-Marie Frin, Jacques Herlin

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