Now showing at Electric Picture House Market Street,Wotton-under-Edge,Gloucestershire GL12 7AE 01453 844601
- Florence Foster Jenkins
- The Angry Birds Movie
- The Brand New Testament
Florence Foster Jenkins 4 stars
Amateur operatic soprano Florence Foster Jenkins is determined to further her musical ambitions with the help of her second husband and doting companion, St Clair. The couple auditions several accompanists and Cosme Moon lands the position of Florence's pianist. The grand dame pays Cosme well and he gradually falls under his wealthy employer's spell, acknowledging that she is just following her dream, like everyone else.
- GenreBiography, Comedy, Drama, Historical/Period, Musical, Romance
- CastMeryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg, Rebecca Ferguson.
- DirectorStephen Frears.
- WriterNicholas Martin.
- Duration110 mins
- Official site
Auditions for televised talent shows throw up a limitless supply of deluded wannabes, who refuse to let a lack of musicality or rhythm hamper their quest for pop superstardom. Occasionally, these lovable misfits strike a chord because of their unfettered enthusiasm - witness the inexorable rise of The Cheeky Girls and Jedward. Amateur operatic soprano Florence Foster Jenkins was one such endearing eccentric, who became a cause celebre in 1930s and 1940s New York precisely because she was unable to hold a note during her infamous recitals of Verdi, Brahms and Mozart. Recordings of her caterwauling became collector's items and her concerts were always sold out. Jenkins brought joy to millions and remained convinced of her soaring abilities until her glorious end, aged 76. This real-life story of triumph against sniggering cynicism provides rich inspiration for Stephen Frears' rollicking comedy drama. Anchored by tour-de-force performances from Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant that perfectly harmonise humour and pathos, Florence Foster Jenkins is an unabashedly joyful period piece that stands resolutely behind the eponymous socialite as she massacres the Laughing Song from Die Fledermaus or the Queen Of The Night aria from The Magic Flute. As the heroine remarks, "People may say I couldn't sing but no one can say I didn't sing." Florence (Streep) is determined to further her musical ambitions with the help of her second husband and doting companion, St Clair (Grant). "I shall need a pianist. Someone young, someone with passion!" declares Florence excitedly. The couple auditions several accompanists but they fail to meet Florence's exacting standards. "He's raping my ears. Make him stop!" she pleads after one hopeful tinkles the ivories. Cosme Moon (Simon Helberg) eventually lands the position of Florence's pianist and his first experience of Florence in full voice is played for tear-streaming belly laughs by Frears. The grand dame pays Cosme well and he gradually falls under his wealthy employer's spell, acknowledging that she is just following her dream, like everyone else. Vocal coach Carlo Edwards (David Haig) and venerated conductor Arturo Toscanini (John Kavanagh) prepare Florence for a big concert at the world-famous Carnegie Hall. However, St Clair worries that the stress of the forthcoming engagement is playing havoc with her faltering health. "What if it kills you?" he frets. "Then I shall die happy," smiles Florence serenely. Audiences will certainly die happy after watching Florence Foster Jenkins. Streep is mesmerising, bringing tenderness and vulnerability to a role that could so easily have been played as a pitiful figure of mockery. Grant is a wonderful comic foil and he demonstrates a light touch in moving scenes that remind us of his oft-ignored abilities as a dramatic actor. Period design is impeccable and Frears builds to a rousing emotional crescendo worthy of one of Jenkins' standing ovations. Bravo!
The Angry Birds Movie 3 stars
Red is an outcast on Bird Island, where the rest of his flightless flock tweet peace and harmony. An unfortunate incident with an unhatched egg lands Red in court where Judge Peckinpah sentences him to a course in anger management led by perky clucker Matilda. When a ship full of pigs led by smooth talker Leonard arrives on Bird Island, supposedly in peace, Red is the only inhabitant to sense impending disaster.
- GenreAction, Adaptation, Animation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family
- CastPeter Dinklage, Kate McKinnon, Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Sean Penn, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, Danny McBride.
- DirectorClay Kaytis, Fergal Reilly.
- WriterJon Vitti.
- Duration97 mins
- Official sitewww.angrybirds-movie.com/en/
Strip back the pristine visuals, which were once meticulously hand-drawn, and most animated films are hard-wired with an important life lesson to cherish once the end credits roll. The Lion King: you can't run away from your responsibilities; Beauty And The Beast: don't judge someone by their appearance; Frozen: don't let naysayers hold you back from chasing your dreams; Inside Out: feeling sad is a natural part of growing up; Monsters, Inc.: mummy fibbed when she said the scary creature under your bed isn't real. The Angry Birds Movie, a feature-length animated spin-off from the fiendishly addictive smartphone games, tears out a new page from the self-help manual: it's OK to get mad as long as you can channel that aggression in a positive direction. The central character of Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly's film certainly spits feathers in the pursuit of a greater good. Screenwriter Jon Vitti peppers this haphazard, but energetic flight of self-discovery with a barrage of dreadful puns and dad jokes that will inspire as many groans as giggles. Thus, one anger-management therapist bird proudly advertises herself as a free-rage chicken, pigs aspire to wear Calvin Swine underwear, and a poster advertises Kevin Bacon's return to the stage in... Hamlet. Red (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) is an outcast on Bird Island, where the rest of his flightless flock tweet peace and harmony. An unfortunate incident with an unhatched egg lands Red in court where Judge Peckinpah (Keegan-Michael Key) sentences him to a course in anger management led by perky clucker Matilda (Maya Rudolph). Fellow attendees include wide-cracking live wire Chuck (Josh Gad), who can move at superbird speed, the aptly named Bomb (Danny McBride), who self-combusts when surprised or stressed, and hulking Terence (Sean Penn), who communicates in booming growls. Red resists Matilda's techniques because, as he reminds his brethren, "We're descended from dinosaurs. We're not supposed to be nice." When a ship full of pigs led by smooth talker Leonard (Bill Hader) arrives on Bird Island, supposedly in peace, Red is the only inhabitant to sense impending disaster. Other birds fail to heed his warnings and when his doom-laden prophecy comes to pass, Red joins forces with Chuck and Bomb to locate the island's mysterious protector, Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage). The Angry Birds Movie is a glossy promo for the games and associated merchandise, showcasing the different birds and their associated powers, but it's also a lot of fun so long as you ignore the flimsy and predictable plot. Animation quality doesn't soar to the dizzy heights of Pixar, but co-directors Kaytis and Reilly maintain a brisk pace and the screen shimmers with bright colours. Vocal performances are solid and Demi Lovato's cover version of the Gloria Gaynor discoball classic I Will Survive flaps up the feel-good factor.
The Brand New Testament 3 stars
God resides in a grubby flat in Brussels, from where he controls the fate of the human race. His spunky 10-year-old daughter Ea tires of her father's mean meddling and she consorts with her brother Jesus Christ to create a Brand New Testament that will inspire humanity to greatness. She breaks into her father's office and sends a text message to every human, letting them know the precise hour and minute of their death. Ea then selects six apostles to help her craft her New Testament.
- GenreComedy, Drama, Romance, World
- CastPili Groyne, Catherine Deneuve, Benoit Poelvoorde.
- DirectorJaco Van Dormael.
- WriterThomas Gunzig, Jaco Van Dormael.
- Duration112 mins
- Official site
- Release15/04/2016 (selected cinemas)
Belgian director Jaco van Dormael pokes fun at religion in this barbed satire, which imagines a world in which God (Benoit Poelvoorde) resides in a grubby flat in Brussels, from where he controls the fate of the human race. His wife (Yolande Moreau) leaves him to his devices, concentrating on her embroidery while her husband doles out misery to his unsuspecting creations. God's spunky 10-year-old daughter Ea (Pili Groyne) tires of her father's mean meddling and she consorts with her brother Jesus Christ (David Murgia) to create a Brand New Testament that will inspire humanity to greatness. She breaks into her father's office and sends a text message to every human, letting them know the precise hour and minute of their death. Ea then selects six apostles to help her craft her New Testament - among them a bored wife called Martine (Catherine Deneuve), who fantasises about having a gorilla in her bed. When God discovers his daughter's betrayal, he abandons the sanctuary of his apartment, relinquishing his powers in the process.
Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)
- Sunday 29th May 2016
Victoria 4 stars
Victoria dances at a nightclub prior to her morning shift at a cafe. As she leaves, she encounters four rowdy men - Sonne, Boxer, Blinker and Fuss - who persuade her to join them for a drink on the rooftop of a nearby building. She enjoys a flirtation with Sonne and he accompanies her to the cafe, where Victoria agrees to make him a mug of hot chocolate. The romantic mood is shattered when Boxer, Blinker and Fuss arrive to collect Sonne to carry out a job on behalf of a sadistic gangster called Andi.
- GenreDrama, Romance, Thriller, World
- CastFrederick Lau, Franz Rogowski, Laia Costa.
- DirectorSebastian Schipper.
- WriterSebastian Schipper, Eike Frederik Schulz, Olivia Neergaard-Holm.
- Duration138 mins
- Official sitewww.facebook.com/VictoriaFilmUK
- Release01/04/2016 (selected cinemas)
Unlike Oscar-winning black comedy Birdman, which was cleverly edited to resemble a single fluid take, Sebastian Schipper's tense German thriller was actually filmed in one unbroken shot - an act of technical daring, meticulous preparation and ambition, which reaps huge rewards as we are sucked into the vortex of the characters' nightmarish journey through the streets of night-time Berlin. Nils Frahm's metronomic score increases our pulses as the eponymous heroine faces life or death decisions, surrounded by armed police, who could end her life with a single nervous pull of a trigger. These scenes of characters on the run are orchestrated at a breathless pace, the camera bobbing and weaving to heighten the visceral thrill. The film opens in a strobe-lit nightclub where a Spanish girl called Victoria (Laia Costa) is dancing prior to her morning shift at a cafe. She orders a drink, looks around the bar searching for a human connection but finds none. As she leaves, Victoria encounters four rowdy men - Sonne (Frederick Lau), Boxer (Franz Rogowski), Blinker (Burak Yigit) and Fuss (Max Mauff) - who persuade her to join them for a drink on the rooftop of a nearby building. She enjoys a flirtation with Sonne and he accompanies her to the cafe, where Victoria agrees to make him a mug of hot chocolate before they go their separate ways. The romantic mood is shattered when Boxer, Blinker and Fuss arrive to collect Sonne to carry out a job on behalf of a sadistic gangster called Andi (Andre Hennicke). Their plan goes awry and Victoria agrees to help her new acquaintances to carry out their illegal plan before the sun rises. Anchored by a luminous central performance from Costa, Victoria is a nail-biting exercise in technical brio that remains uncomfortably close to the characters as events spiral sickeningly out of control. Action set pieces are orchestrated with aplomb including a clash with police that propels us to the edge of our seats and the on-screen quintet to the brink of self-destruction.