David McVicar directs a new production of Umberto Giordano’s passionate opera, a drama of liberty and love in the French Revolution, starring Jonas Kaufmann and Eva-Maria Westbroek conducted by Antonio Pappano. The poet Andrea Chénier and the servant Carlo Gérard both love the young aristocrat Maddalena. When Maddalena loses everything in the French Revolution, Chénier offers her protection, and so incites the envy of Gérard, now a powerful official.
A lost key and an accidental touch of cold hands in the dark – so begins one of the great romances of all opera, told in vivid detail in this classic production.
The Flying Dutchman has been cursed for eternity. Once every seven years he is allowed to come ashore to seek redemption. He may have found it in Senta, a woman who longs for escape,,, Tim Albery’s acclaimed production is a darkly insightful account of Wagner’s early masterpiece, starring Bryn Terfel conducted by Andris Nelsons.
"An immersive and immersing experience… Bryn Terfel’s Dutchman is so strongly characterised that the doomed seaman’s entire history seems visible at his first entrance, weary and burdened, dragging the ship’s rope around his shoulders; vocally he paces himself finely, saving the strongest for last as the dramatic tension peaks. As Senta, Adrianne Pieczonka is simply magnificent, with a warm and radiant voice that melts in its lower register and cuts higher up, and the ability to inhabit the role to heartbreaking effect. The central pair are more than superbly supported by Peter Rose as Senta’s father, Daland; tenor Michael König is a lyrical Erik; and in smaller roles the contributions of Ed Lyon as the Steersman and Catherine Wyn-Rogers as Mary were outstanding. One of the night’s biggest plaudits, though, goes to the chorus: the terrifying clash of the locals and the ghost ship’s crew in act III packed a massive punch." Jessica Duchen, The Independent
Nemorino, a naive village boy, is besotted with Adina, a farm owner. She rejects his declarations of love. Fortunately, Doctor Dulcamara is on hand with a ’love potion’ to help him win her heart… Laurent Pelly’s acclaimed production of Donizetti’s opera radiates tenderness, humour and southern sunshine, starring Vittorio Grigolo, Lucy Crowe and Bryn Terfel.
"A classy evening." The Guardian
"Donizetti’s charming pastoral romp is one of the few operas to give the tenor the central role and Vittorio Grigolo takes full advantage, portraying the naive bumpkin Nemorino with beautiful Italianate tone and believable, athletic acting. His aria Una Furtiva Lagrima brings the house down, as it should." Tully Potter, Daily Mail
Three criminals on the run find they can go no further and found a city – Mahagonny, city of gold. The destitute and the disenchanted flock to Mahagonny, among them the prostitute Jenny and the lumberjack Jimmy McIntyre with his three friends. The city swells with debauchery. Jim and Jenny try to escape, bu it is not so easy… John Fulljames presents a new production of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s furiously impassioned satire on consumerism, starring Anne Sofie von Otter, Willard White and Christine Rice conducted by Mark Wigglesworth.
Roy Andersson is one of the great unsung masters of modern cinema. He is not prolific, this is fifth feature film since 1970, but his style is unique and unmistakeable: a series of interlocking, deadpan tragi-comic vignettes that suggest he may be the missing link between Jacques Tati and Monty Python. Here the lugubrious efforts of two novelty item salesmen somehow conjures the ghosts of King Charles XII of Sweden, a WWII beerhall, and a diabolical colonial contraption. Once seen, never forgotten.
"Blackly comic absurdist banality interspersed with surrealist shards – alternately hilarious, heartbreaking and horrifying. The spirits of Samuel Beckett and Spike Milligan waltz through this beige-green purgatory, a series of arresting static-camera vignettes, pasty of face, deadpan of composition." Mark Kermode, The Observer
"Shot in long takes, the camera fixed like a picture frame, there are images here that lodge in the part of the brain where dreams are forged… For a film posing the metaphysical biggies, there is tenderness and laughs. Its bonkers approach to storytelling and life may drive some nuts. The rest of us will soar with the birds." Cath Clarke, Time Out
A portrait of the legendary Canadian rock band Rush from their early days in Toronto, through each of their landmark albums, to the present day.
"Wonderfully engaging." Andew Pulver, The Guardian
"A doc that anyone can enjoy. Fans will gorge on this deft, year-by-year portrait of the ultimate enduring cult band. And even a skeptic may come away with an affection for the intricate labor of Rush’s skewed-time-signature epics." B+ Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
Not slow by any stretch, John Maclean’s ravishing frontier drama is the tale of a young gentleman, Jay Cavendish (Kodi Smit-McPhee), an immigrant from Ireland in search of his sweetheart, out of his element and altogether too trusting to survive for long in the wilderness territories of the 1870s. He’s rescued from bandits by Silas (Michael Fassbender), whose motives may not be entirely pure, but who volunteers to shepherd Jay on his quest - after all, they are heading in the same direction.
"It’s the rare western that invites you to imagine what life then and there might actually have felt like, sight gags and all. Maclean is a supremely promising talent." Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice
"An absurdist, melancholy coming-of-age tale that jumps from odd comedy to striking violence to stirring reflection." Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine
"An angular Western that sublimates the fading promise of the New World into a fairy tale of unrequited love, Slow West starts with "once upon a time" and ends with a crackle of incredible savagery." David Ehrlich, Time Out
n one of her most impressive, raw performances Nicole Kidman is Catherine, a wife and mother trying to adjust to a new life in a small outback town. No one knows them here, which was the attraction, but Catherine’s rebellious 15-year-old daughter Lily (Maddison Brown) is fast getting a reputation with the local boys. When Lily disappears into the night suspicions fall every which way, including on Catherine’s husband (Joseph Fiennes), and their already strained marriage buckles and cracks. Suspenseful and anguished, with breathtaking cinematography and a real sense of unease, Strangerland is a troubling, angry film about social hypocricy and female sexuality.
"Kidman gives one of her best performances in recent years. Displaying vulnerability and depth [Kidman] is engaging and heartbreaking." Keath Jones, The Film Stage
"Kidman is a force to be reckoned with… Harrowing, uncomfortable, yet staggeringly powerful." Andrew McArthur, Culture Fix
Shortly after the British evacuation at Dunkirk, the German Occupation reaches the small French town of Bussy. When a Nazi officer (Matthais Schoenaerts, Rust and Bone; Far From the Madding Crowd) is billeted with Madame Angellier (Kristin Scott Thomas) she barely conceals her contempt, but her daughter-in-law Lucille (Michelle Williams) is drawn to his charm and sensitivity. Based on the wartime manuscript written by Irene Nemirovsky (who died in Auschwitz before she completed the novel), Suite Francaise is a moving story of love, divided loyalties and sacrifice, with superb performances from two of the most exciting actors working in movies today.
"A handsome and intelligent adaptation… nuanced and compelling." Dave Calhoun, Time Out
"Rewardingly complex and disarmingly compassionate." Mark Kermode, The Observer
Remember when musicals made you want to get up and sing? The irresistible, rousing, declamatory songs of The Proclaimers fuel this exuberant and exhilarating Scottish musical, a heart-tugging story of two Afghan war veterans trying to reconnect with family and loved ones, and a long-buried secret that threatens to spoil everything.
"Simply glorious… The feel-fabulous film of the year." Baz Bamigboye, Daily Mail
"Simply glorious… The feel-fabulous film of the year." Baz Bamigboye, Daily Mail
"I shed a tear within the first 10 minutes, and spent the rest of the movie beaming like a gibbering, love-struck fool." Mark Kermode, Observer
"Leaves you elated." Emma Morgan, Total Film
It’s the night before Christmas, and Sin-Dee is back turning tricks on the street after a month in stir. But it’s her pimp boyfriend who should be worried: Sin-Dee has heard he’s been cheating on her, and she means to get to the bottom of the rumours…
Shot entirely on iphones, this Sundance sensation from Starlet director Sean Baker is about as "now" as movies get, but also a surprisingly sweet, warm and forgiving yuletide tale.
"An exuberantly raw and up-close portrait of one of Los Angeles’ more distinctive sex-trade subcultures… Writer-director Sean Baker’s sun-scorched, street-level snapshot is a work of rueful, matter-of-fact insight and unapologetically wild humor that draws a motley collection of funny, sad and desperate individuals into its protagonists’ orbit. […] A generous and surprisingly hopeful vision of humanity." Justin Chang, Variety
"Gorgeous… A perfectly cast, beautifully directed movie." Manohla Dargis, New York Times
Obsessively cooped up in a Manhattan apartment by their father, six remarkable teenage brothers grow up understanding the outside world through the prism of movies - their reenactments of Tarantino have to be seen to be believed! Freedom brings a reality very different from what they had expected.