And that’s a wrap on 2018! As always, the year has flown by and 2019 is already pounding at the door, and with it a brand-new programme of film at the Edinburgh Filmhouse and Glasgow Film Theatre. Darkened cinemas are a great way to avoid sub-zero temperatures and existential angst over Brexit, so why not take a peek at January’s new releases below and get your cinematic affairs in order early doors.
Yorgos Lanthimos / UK, Ireland, USA / 2019 / 119 mins
This period drama-cum-black comedy sees Olivia Colman star as Queen Anne, whose ailing health means she must rely on her confidante Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) to do most of the ruling for her. However, the arrival of new servant Abigail (Emma Stone) upsets that power dynamic and threatens to spoil Lady Sarah’s cushty arrangement. If Lanthimos’ previous work (The Lobster, The Killing of a Sacred Deer) is anything to go by, it’ll be equal parts weird and funny.
Craig William Macneill / USA / 2018 / 103 mins
This biographical thriller is based on the true story of Lizzie Borden, who was accused but subsequently acquitted of the grisly murders of her father and stepmother with an axe at the close of the nineteenth century. The case remains one of the most famous unsolved mysteries in American history and is given the Hollywood treatment in Macneill’s second feature film.
Sebastián Lelio / UK, Ireland, USA / 2018 / 114 mins
The death of her father forces Rachel Weisz to return to the Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood which shunned her for her lesbian tendencies years before. Once back, it doesn’t take long for the object of her affections to catch her eye again and the controversy begins afresh. The Oscar-winning director of A Fantastic Woman returns with another tale about love, faith and societal expectations.
Tim Wardle / USA / 2018 / 97 mins
This documentary focuses on 1980s New York, where three complete strangers stumble upon the extraordinary discovery that they are identical triplets, separated at birth. Their joy at finding each other eventually gives way to curiosity and confusion over why they were split up in the first place, and their quest to find answers uncovers a dark and disturbing secret which goes far beyond their own personal relationship.
Jon S Baird / UK, Canada, USA / 2018 / 98 mins
Steve Coogan and John C Reilly star as iconic comics Laurel and Hardy as they embark on what was to become their farewell tour around the British coast. Focusing on the pair’s mutual love of getting on stage and unavoidable habit of getting on each other’s nerves, the film is a touching portrait of their friendship and work together.
Laurent Tirard / France / 2018 / 90 mins
When a husband goes missing during the Napoleonic wars, his wife’s sister begins forging letters in his name to try and protect her from an unpleasant truth. However, when an impostor turns up claiming to be the man himself and seeking to swindle the aristocratic family for all they are worth, both are caught in their own lies. An irreverent and enjoyable romp from France.
Gabrielle Brady / Germany, UK, Australia / 2018 / 94 mins
Christmas Island is famous for two things and, despite the name, neither of them has anything to do with a fat old man in a red jumpsuit. Instead, it’s home to forty million crabs who migrate there every year – and a detention centre where refugees seeking asylum in Australia are housed indefinitely. Documentary filmmaker Brady uses one thread as a metaphor for the other in this harrowing examination of the detainees’ plight.
Josie Rourke / UK / 2018 / 124 mins
Saiorse Ronan stars as the world-famous monarch who survived all three of her husbands and, by all accounts, had a pretty tough time of it. We meet Mary at age 18, shortly after losing her first spouse to illness in France, as she makes the difficult decision to return to her native Scotland and fight for her crown. Queen Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie) has other ideas. Betrayal, insurrection and intrigue ensue.
Wash Westmoreland / UK, USA / 2018 / 111 mins
Doe-eyed country girl Kiera Knightley marries a charismatic publisher 14 years her senior and moves to the bright lights of Paris, where the vibrancy of high society induces her to write fiction… however, her hubby will only permit it if she does so in his name. The fame that ensues from her endeavours drives an inevitable wedge between the two, as she craves the recognition that her talents deserve.