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Wed
29
Oct
2014
 

Mike Leigh's improvisational method of film making is used to great effect in this darkly comic slice of family life. Parents Wendy (Alison Steadman) and Andy (Jim Broadbent) live with their adult twin daughters Nicola and Natalie in suburban London. Natalie, a plumber's assistant, is permanently optimistic while Nicola is unemployed, bucking against convention and full of self-loathing. Steadman is magnificent as the resilient Mum holding the family together in this very funny and poignant slice of family life, observing the relationships between parents and children, neighbours and community.

 

Writer/director Mike Leigh is on top form in this superbly observed satire on late-Thatcherite Britain. The wincingly funny and socially astute script touches on such issues as bulimia, free enterprise and social ambition without ever labouring the point. Alison Steadman and Jim Broadbent are outstanding as the thoroughly decent working-class couple who watch their daughters develop with a mixture of pride and regret. Jane Horrocks does Essex slacker teen with great conviction, while Claire Skinner impresses as her tomboy sister, and Timothy Spall is sweatily repellent as a wannabe restaurateur. Naked and Secrets and Lies won the prizes, but this is perhaps Leigh's finest work.

David Parkinson, Radio Times Film Guide

Sat
24
May
2014
 

Occasionally we make arrangements with Eden Court Cinema to view a film in the Cinema's schedule which is likely to be of particular interest to our members, so as to give opportunity for discussion after the film. Please join us at this screening and stay for discussion in the auditorium afterwards …

Mr. Turner explores the last quarter century of the great if eccentric British painter J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851). Profoundly affected by the death of his father, loved by a housekeeper he takes for granted and occasionally exploits sexually, he forms a close relationship with a seaside landlady with whom he eventually lives incognito in Chelsea, where he dies. Throughout this, he travels, paints, stays with the country aristocracy, visits brothels, is a popular if anarchic member of the Royal Academy of Arts, has himself strapped to the mast of a ship so that he can paint a snowstorm, and is both celebrated and reviled by the public and by royalty.

Written by Entertainment One

Wed
29
Oct
2014
 

Nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), Best Actress (Brenda Blethyn) and winner of the Palme d'Or award at the Cannes Film Festival, Secrets and Lies is one of Mike Leigh's most critically acclaimed films and a brilliant Comedy /Drama of British family life. The always-wonderful Brenda Blethyn stars as Cynthia Purley, a working class single Mum unexpectedly contacted by the daughter she gave up for adoption; a role that won her Best Actress awards at the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs and the Cannes Film Festival.

Click for Guardian article on Mike Leigh

Wed
29
Oct
2014
 

Mike Leigh's thoroughly entertaining Biopic of W.S. Gilbert & Sir Arthur Sullivan; from the critical flop of their 1884 production Princess Ida to the career defining success of their finest Comic Opera The Mikado. Outstanding lead performances from Jim Broadbent and Allan Corduner and sensitive direction from Leigh bring the world of the Theatre and life backstage beautifully into focus in this comedy/drama of finely drawn characters and fragile egos. The perfect accompaniment to Eden Court's live broadcast of English National Opera's new production of The Pirates of Penzance directed by award winning Director Mike Leigh.

 

British operetta writers Gilbert and Sullivan are one of the most notable odd couples in showbusiness history. And, thankfully, this celebration of their collaborative genius from writer/director Mike Leigh does them proud in a way the dignified Victorian duo would have thought their right and proper due. The newly knighted Arthur Sullivan (played by Allan Corduner), a musician, lecher and dandy, meets his literary match in William Schwenck Gilbert (Jim Broadbent), whose taste for the absurd extends to his librettos. But Sullivan thinks he is better than the whimsical Gilbert, and demands to go solo to devote himself to more serious music. Leigh uses the construction of The Mikado - considered one of Gilbert and Sullivan's finest works - to show that the pair's seemingly casual virtuosity was actually painstaking craft. Aside from the size of their egos, the two men were very different, and Leigh skilfully draws us in, piecing together a picture of their talents with warmth and enthusiasm.

Tom Hutchinson in Radio Times Film Guide

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