Going to the movies

in Features

A new year is here and as January bites these big screen offerings 
are the pick of the midwinter bunch. 

Paul Anderson is an Arts broadcaster, radio presenter, producer and journalist. He’s known for work on BBC 6 Music, Xfm, Capital as well as hosting his own one-hour film show ‘At The Movies’ on Smooth Radio. Paul is also a member of the London Film Critic’s Circle. Follow him on Twitter @afilmguy

1917: 15

Sam Mendes is back in cinemas and has directed this tale of two British soldiers at the height of the First World War. The boys (George Mackay and Dean-Charles Chapman) are given orders to complete a ridiculous mission which involves crossing enemy lines. Impossible and suicidal. A thrilling race against time ensues, to deliver a message that will halt a deadly attack on hundreds of soldiers including one of the boys’ own brother.  A strong cast completes the line up including Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong, Andrew Scott, and Colin Firth.  


AAce satirist and comedy genius Armando Iannucci is back with his rich take on the life of one of Charles Dickens’ best loved characters. Iannucci is not only a fan of Dickens but believes he is owed a debt of gratitude for the comedy he has gifted the world. Dev Patel plays David a good hearted and kind young man desperate to be a writer and surrounded by misery, wickedness and kindness in equal measure. The overall tone is upbeat without the acerbic and caustic nature of much of the director’s work. There is poverty and wealth and a lot of fun with Iannucci’s regular screenwriting partner Simon Blackwell giving Peter Capaldi’s Mr Micawber some delicious material. For example, when asked if he’s homeless, Mr. Micawber replies, “We do primarily exist alfresco,” cheerily adding, “Every meal is a picnic! Patel and Capaldi are alongside a fine cast including Ben Wishaw, Paul Whitehouse,  Tilda Swinton and Hugh Laurie.

Also look out for…


Inspired by the true story of a tenacious attorney played by Mark Ruffalo who uncovers a shocking dark secret that connects a growing number of unexplained deaths due to one of the world’s largest corporations. In the process, he risks everything; his future, his family, and his own life in order to expose the truth. As with the Oscar winning Spotlight this is the kind of film that is not often made and is likely to stay with you a while. The cast also includes Anna Hathaway, Tim Robbins, and Bill Pullman. Todd Haynes directs. 


Fox News is just as famous for the occupant of the White House talking about it on social media a lot as it is for its news output. It found itself making the news recently thanks to the behaviour if its CEO Roger Ailes. Fox is one of the most powerful and controversial of media empires and the man who created it is the centre of a scandal thanks to the courageous women who brought him down with their exposure of his sexual harassment. Margo Robbie, Nicole Kidman Charlize Theron and John Lithgow all star in a film for our times, directed by Jay Roach  

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