Lady Macbeth

First Feature Competition Adapted from Nikolai Leskov’s Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, first published in Dostoyevsky’s magazine Epoch in 1865, William Oldroyd’s Lady Macbeth promised to be a dark tale of love and deceit. This it was not. Boring rather than brooding, Lady Macbeth never truly finds its feet, despite a couple of glimmerings…

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Layla M.

Official Competition Layla M. is a hard-hitting, incisive drama about a Dutch teenager’s growing relationship with religious extremism. Our protagonist, Layla, born and raised in Amsterdam, begins the film still attending school and living with her parents. On a seemingly day-to-day basis, Layla witnesses, and is victim to, a fairly systematic infringement of religious rights…

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Snowden

Headline Gala Edward Snowden is a figure of great controversy, bringing about enormous praise, enormous criticism, and enormous amounts of somewhere-in-the-middle. As such, he’s the perfect character for Oliver Stone to turn his camera to in another ‘rewriting of official history’, for which he’s so well known. To regard Snowden as simply a film is to ignore…

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Prevenge

Laugh Alice Lowe writes, directs and stars in Prevenge, a unique British revenge thriller that dartingly wrong-foots the viewer at every twist and blood-soaked turn. Considering the massive number of women who are currently, or have ever been, ‘with child’, it is fair to say that pregnant women is a disproportionately underrepresented group in film.…

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Your Name

Official Competition Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name is an ambitious, high-concept body-swap romance with an aesthetic beauty that places it among the best-looking animated films ever made. Taki and Mitsuha are two high-schoolers living in vastly different surroundings. He, in Tokyo, she in the rural village of Itomori. Except one day, Taki wakes up to find…

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Ethel & Ernest

Love Raymond Briggs’ ode to his parents is wonderfully typical of his work: touching, beautiful, and often heart-rending. Undoubtedly most of us first encountered his work with The Snowman, as either book or film, and Roger Mainwood’s adaptation of Ethel & Ernest will only make you fall in love with yet another tale from Briggs,…

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Personal Shopper

Dare Olivier Assayas reunites with Kristen Stewart for Personal Shopper, a complex and daring film about grief, modernity and the afterlife. Stewart plays Maureen, a spiritual medium whose twin brother Lewis (also a medium) suddenly dies of a congenital heart defect that she shares. Determined to remain in Paris, the city where Lewis spent his…

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