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This Beautiful Fantastic

This Beautiful Fantastic is a great film to escape into and make sense of the unnecessary complications that cause us to withdraw from life, instead of living it to the fullest and making the most of what is within our reach.

Wonder Woman is a triumph of stunning visuals, engrossing characters and thrilling action sequences topped off with affecting emotional resonance.  It’s not a perfect movie, but it’s so enjoyable that the flaws largely fall by the wayside while watching it. As the accolades pour in, we can but hope that it will blow open the door for a wave of female-helmed and fronted blockbusters in the future; it is so blatantly a perspective that we need.

Films showing from June 30, 2017

This week we explore the true and untold story of prolific and charismatic rapper, actor, poet and activist Tupac Shakur in All Eyez on Me; a woman is at a crossroads in her life in the romantic comedy Paris Can Wait; two different worlds collide in the romantic dance film Heartbeats; the villainous Gru and his twin brother team up for a criminal heist in Despicable Me 3; the wickedly funny comedy Outcasts deals with the topical issue of social media bullying; when thugs steal a private detective’s lovable dog, he teams up with their boss to get his pet back in the action-comedy Once Upon A Time In Venice; and the breakdown of the marriage of a middle-aged couple is erupts in Edward Albee’s masterpiece Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF by Albee ; Directed by James MacDonald ; Designed by Tom Pye ; at the Harold Pinter Theatre, London, UK ; 21 February 2017 ; Credit : Johan Persson /

Imelda Staunton in The NT Live broadcast of Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf. Credit : Johan Persson

In The NT Live broadcast of Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf (1/7) Imelda Staunton (Gypsy, Vera Drake, Harry Potter films), Conleth Hill (Game Of Thrones, The Producers), Luke Treadaway (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Fortitude, The Hollow Crown) and Imogen Poots (A Long Way Down, Jane Eyre) star in James Macdonald’s new production of Edward Albee’s landmark play, filmed live at the Harold Pinter Theatre, London. In the early hours of the morning on the campus of an American college, Martha, much to her husband George’s displeasure, has invited the new professor and his wife to their home for some after-party drinks. As the alcohol flows and dawn approaches, the young couple are drawn into George and Martha’s toxic games until the evening reaches its climax in a moment of devastating truth-telling.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? releases on Saturday, 1 July 2017, for four screenings only: on 1, 5, 6 July at 19:30 and on 2 July at 14:30 at Ster-Kinekor’s Nouveau cinemas in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town, and at Ster-Kinekor Gateway in Durban.

The running time is approximately 3 hours, including a 15-min interval.

ALL EYES ON MEAll Eyez on Me (30/6) tells the true and untold story of prolific and charismatic rapper, actor, poet and activist Tupac Shakur (Demetrius Shipp Jr.), shedding new light on the events behind his meteoric rise and tragic fall. Inspired by his activist mother (Danai Gurira) and close high-school friend Jada Pinkett (Kat Graham), Tupac embarks on a prolific and turbulent career marked by hit records, film roles, violence, imprisonment, bitter rivalries and a complex relationship with music mogul Suge Knight (Dominic Santana). Packed with Shakur’s incendiary music, All Eyez on Me tells the untold story of a prodigiously gifted artist cut down in the prime of life.  Watch the trailer

Heartbeats 2Two different worlds collide in the romantic dance film Heartbeats (30/6). Kelli (professional dancer Krystal Ellsworth), an aspiring dancer, gave up her passion to enroll in law school when her older brother passed away. Unbeknownst to her parents, her studies were short-lived and she quickly returned to pursue her dance career. When her parents (Paul McGillion and Daphne Zuniga) discover her secret they force Kelli to drop out of dance and travel to India on a family trip to attend a wedding. What begins as a reluctant family trip turns into a journey of self-discovery when Kelli meets Aseem (Amitash Pradhan) , a fellow aspiring dancer. As Aseem and Kelli fall in love, she learns more about herself than she ever imagined possible. Heartbeats takes us on a cross-cultural journey of love, courage and redemption. Written and directed by Duane Adler (Save The Last Dance, Step Up, Step Up 2, Make Your Move).  Watch the Trailer

‘’Dance has been coined the world’s most beautiful form of non-verbal communication, while music can be easily be called the most beautiful aural form. These two international languages combined lend themselves to cinema like few other tools. As our world shrinks and we become a truly global planet, boundaries and doorways to exploring other cultures entice me as a storyteller, and that enticement led to the creation of Heartbeats, a cross-cultural love story set in India.’’ Says writer director Duane Adler (Save The Last Dance, Step Up, Step Up 2, Make Your Move).

‘’The film allows me to utilize music and dance to help tell the story of Kelli, a troubled American girl, and Aseem, a soulful, young Indian man. They fall in love over a shared language of dance, while their touching humanness sparks a courage and belief in their dreams and one another. I pride myself on the diverse stories I have been able to tell over my career.’’

Despicable Me 3In Despicable Me 3 (30/6) Gru (Steve Carell) and his wife Lucy (Kristen Wiig) must stop former ’80s child star Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker) from achieving world domination.  Bratt, a former child star who grows up to become obsessed with the character he played in the ’80s; gets into some sibling rivalry when he meets his long lost twin brother, Dru.  When Gru meets his long-lost charming, cheerful, and more successful twin brother Dru, he wants to team up with him for one last criminal heist.Directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda, and co-directed by Eric Guillon, the film is written by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio.  Watch the trailer

OutcastsDescribed as Mean Girls meets Revenge of the Nerds, the teen comedy Outcasts (30/6) follows best friends Jodi (Victoria Justice) and Mindy (Eden Sher), who have suffered years of torment under the thumb of the school’s alpha female.. They plan to ride out their senior year under the radar, but when they become the victim of a humiliating prank, the two hatch a plan to unite the outcasts of the school and start a social revolution. They join forces with an affable slacker, a girl scout with a secret and an overachiever with dirt on everyone (Ashley Rickards). This wickedly funny comedy that also deals with the topical issue of social media bullying which infuses the story with rich and relevant subject matter. Watch The Trailer

For first time screenwriters, Dominique Ferrari and Suzanne Wrubel, the script originated from very personal experiences. Ferrari suspects that the idea first came to her in some form in seventh grade. “I was bullied pretty severely and I started plotting my revenge right then and there. It started as a comic book. My friends and I used to call ourselves ‘The Outskirts’ because we were very much on the outskirts of everything. I always had this fantasy, this wish fulfillment of, ‘if the geeks could just get it together, we could rule this place’, but we never did.”

The notion of strength in numbers and what might happen if the nerds of the school unionize was something that Wrubel says they drew upon from what was being seen in the news. “I think the other thing that was going on at the time we were writing this was Occupy Wall Street. We didn’t want to be too obvious about it, but it was definitely something that infused the script and those ideas of the 99% versus the 1% in high school. The bullying thing is universal throughout generations.”

Once Upon a time in Venice 2In the action comedy Once Upon A Time In Venice (30/6) Bruce Willis plays a private detective in Venice Beach, Calif., who’s good with the ladies, bad with the punches and wild about his dog Buddy. When local thugs steal Buddy, Ford turns to the gang’s drug lord Spider (Jason Momoa), who forces the detective to do some jobs before getting the dog back. Action comedy directed and written by Mark and Robb Cullen in their directorial debuts. Watch the Trailer

Paris Can WaitIn the romantic comedy Paris Can Wait (30/6) Anne (Diane Lane) is at a crossroads in her life. Married to a successful but inattentive movie producer (Alec Baldwin), she unexpectedly finds herself taking a car trip from Cannes to Paris with her husband’s business associate (Arnaud Viard). What should be a seven-hour drive turns into a carefree two-day adventure replete with diversions involving picturesque sights, fine food and wine, humor, wisdom and romance, reawakening Anne’s senses and giving her a new lust for life. It marks first feature directed by Eleanor Coppola, wife of Francis and director of the “Apocalypse Now” documentary “Hearts of Darkness”.  Watch The Trailer

Written, directed and produced by Eleanor Coppola,who is the wife of Francis Ford Coppola,  it is both her first produced screenplay and her first narrative feature. Six years in the writing, the film reflects both the pleasures and vexations which stem from hours of close contact between an American woman at something of a crossroads in her life, and a charming Frenchman who utilizes charm and erudition to camouflage life “issues” of his own.

Eleanor Coppola is the author of two notable non-fiction books,Notes: The Making of Apocalypse Now (1979 – still in print) and Notes on a Life (2008).More importantly – in terms of film knowledge – she has made nearly a dozen documentaries. Best known of these is Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse (1991).

“The process of making a fiction film is exactly the opposite of a documentary,” says Coppola. “For a documentary, you have to be very quiet and observant, look for moments when something interesting might happen, and hope you have your camera turned on and in focus when it does. A fiction film is just the opposite. You have to decide how everything will happen and this was difficult, being by nature an observer of what is ‘already there.’”

Now Showing

transformers_the_last_knight-wide-1024x519TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT “The Last Knight” shatters the core myths of the Transformers franchise, and redefines what it means to be a hero. Humans and Transformers are at war, Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. Saving our world falls upon the shoulders of an unlikely alliance: Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg); Bumblebee; an English Lord (Sir Anthony Hopkins); and an Oxford Professor (Laura Haddock). There comes a moment in everyone’s life when we are called upon to make a difference. In “Transformers: The Last Knight,” the hunted will become heroes. Heroes will become villains. Only one world will survive: theirs, or ours. Based on the toy line of the same name created by Hasbro, it is the fifth installment of the live-action Transformers film series and a sequel to 2014’s Transformers: Age of Extinction. Directed by Michael Bay from a screenplay by Ken Nolan, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway. With Isabela Moner, Jerrod Carmichael, Laura Haddock, Anthony Hopkins, Josh Duhamel. Says Bay: ”I think the key is just keep giving into the imaginations of the audience and keep these characters alive.This one’s much more about mythology and in terms of story line, it’s kind of the deeper of all five of them. This movie is much more of an adventure. There are two very strong female heroes in this movie that I like very much and it’s kind of got a different bent on it than we’ve normally done on other Transformers movies.” Watch the trailer

PromiseTHE PROMISE Brilliant medical student Michael (Oscar Isaac) meets beautiful dance instructor Ana (Charlotte Le Bon) in late 1914. Their shared Armenian heritage sparks an attraction that explodes into a romantic rivalry between Michael and Ana’s boyfriend (Christian Bale), an American photojournalist who’s dedicated to exposing the truth. As the Ottoman Empire crumbles into war-torn chaos, their conflicting passions must be deferred as they join forces to get themselves and their people to safety. The film was directed by Terry George, from a screenplay by George and Robin Swicord. ”The films I have loved and admired most were those that took audiences inside momentous human events – Films that immersed us in history in a visceral and unique way. The greatest non-fiction films such as Schindler’s List, The Killing Fields, Reds, The Battle of Algiers and historical dramas such as A Man for All Seasons, Dr. Zhivago and Apocalypse Now. Within the course of a few hours I experienced anger, fear, empathy, real sorrow and sometimes real joy. No other cinema genre could move me in that way. I left the theater overwhelmed. I had been guided through historic moments by characters I would not forget Watch the trailer.

tubelight-380TUBELIGHT An entertaining Indian historical war drama set in a small town in the hills of northern India, and tells the story of one man’s love for his family and his unshakeable belief in himself. After Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Kabir Khan and Salman Khan come together to tell another heartwarming story about the power of doing good.Indian war drama film written, and directed by Kabir Khan Watch trailer



15. Jude Law and Halina Reijn in Obsession. Photo by Jan VersweyveldOBSESSION Oscar nominee Jude Law (The Talented Mr Ripley, Cold Mountain) plays drifter, Gino, in this stage adaptation of Luchino Visconti’s 1943 Italian neo-realist film, Ossessione. The film is directed Ivo van Hove, who also directed National Theatre Live: A View from the Bridge and Hedda Gabler. The production sees Gino meet a couple, Giuseppe and his much younger, trapped wife Giovanna, at their roadside restaurant and petrol station. Gino and Giovanna are attracted to one another and begin a passionate love affair. In pursuit of a ‘happy ending’, the lovers plot to murder Giuseppe. But, the crime only serves to set them apart and their passion leads to destruction. This tale of passion and murder was filmed live from The Barbican in London for broadcast to cinemas around the world. Releasing in South Africa at Ster-Kinekor’s Nouveau cinemas on Saturday, 24 June, for limited screenings.. Watch the trailer

everything-everything_featureEVERYTHING, EVERYTHINGTeenage Maddy is housebound because she is allergic to almost everything, so she sees only her mother and a nurse — until a boy moves in next door, and she begins to fall in love. Directed by Stella Meghie and written by J. Mills Goodloe. It is based on a young-adult novel of the same name by Nicola Yoon. The film stars Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson. “I wanted to import the whole book into the movie,” says director Stella Meghie of author Nicola Yoon’s novel Everything, Everything. “There was just so much between Maddy and Olly, the little moments that I wanted to get in, like every text conversation. Nicola wrote something so funny and sweet and honest and even fantastical, and it was important to me that the film feel like that, too.”Meghie hopes moviegoers will see a bit of the character within themselves. “I think we’ve all looked for a kindred spirit at some point, in romance, in family, in friends… Someone who gets who we are and accepts it, all of it,” the director says. “From the moment he spots her in the window, Olly doesn’t let the limitations of Maddy’s life stop him from discovering what she’s about, from falling in love with her. And that makes him a beautiful boy for Maddy to fall in love with.” Watch the trailer 

cars30002CARS 3 Lightning McQueen is back on the big screen, but he’s not a rookie anymore. Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Piston-Cup champion finds himself suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves.While Lightning is still the same self-assured, determined and fun-loving race car audiences fell in love with, his confidence is being tested by the new cars on the track. Enter Cruz Ramirez. Tasked with getting Lightning McQueen back on track after a devastating setback, Cruz isn’t shy. Her training style is high-tech, enthusiastic and steadfast—she’s not afraid to apply a little tough love. But there’s more to Cruz than meets the eye. Cars 3 pays homage to NASCAR with four characters based on real-life stock car racing legends. Directed by Fee (storyboard artist Cars, Cars 2), fromh a story by Fee, Ben Queen (TV’s Powerless), Eyal Podell (actor Code Black) & Jonathon E. Stewart (Doing Time short), the screenplay was penned by Kiel Murray (Cars), Bob Peterson (Up” Finding Nemo) and Mike Rich (Secretariat, The Rookie). Watch the trailer

Other New releases

(Listed Alphabetically)

A HERO OF OUR TIME This riveting new production from the Bolshoi Ballet company, seen for the first time in cinema, dances its way onto the Nouveau screens from Saturday, 13 May, for limited shows. Based on the larger-than-life hero, Pechorin. The ballet has been adapted from Russian Mikhail Lermontov’s literary masterpiece in three separate stories – Bela, Taman and Princess Mary, that each recount his heart-breaking betrayals. Is Pechorin a real hero, or is he just a man like any other?  Read more /  Trailer

ALIEN: COVENANT In space, no one can hear you scream. After nearly four decades, those words remain synonymous with the sheer, relentless intensity of Ridley Scott’s masterpiece of futuristic horror, Alien. Now, the father of the iconic franchise returns once more to the world he created to explore its darkest corners with Alien: Covenant, a pulse-pounding new adventure that pushes the boundaries of R-rated terror. Set ten years after the events depicted in Scott’s 2012 hit Prometheus, Alien: Covenant returns to the roots of the director’s groundbreaking saga with a uniquely terrifying tale filled with white-knuckle adventure and monstrous new creatures. With this, the sixth installment in the blockbuster series, the visionary director edges ever closer toward revealing the mysterious origins of the mother of all aliens, the lethal Xenomorph from the original film. Directed by Ridley Scott and written by John Logan. Read more about the film / Review /  Watch The Trailer

BAYWATCH  A devoted lifeguard Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) butts heads with a brash new recruit (Zac Efron). Together, they uncover a local criminal plot that threatens the future of the Bay. Priyanka Chopra (ABC’s Quantico), Alexandra Daddario (San Andreas), Jon Bass (Loving), Kelly Rohrbach and Ilfenesh Hadera (Showtime’s Billions) co-star.Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses, Identity Thief) directs from a screenplay written by Damian Shannon & Mark Swift, story by Jay Scherick & David Ronn and Thomas Lennon & Robert Ben Garant.  “It’s a fun piece of pop culture,” says director Seth Gordon. “People generally know the basics: David Hasselhoff, Pamela Anderson, and slo-mo running on the beach, but beyond that, I felt like we had a real opportunity to redefine the brand.” Says Johnson “We wanted to raise the bar in terms of shocking humor. With comedies, there’s ‘fun’, and above that, there’s ‘awesome, I didn’t expect to have that level of fun’, but way beyond that, at the top of the mountain, there’s ‘filthy fun.’ Let me tell you, ‘filthy fun’, that’s something. That’s the rarified air up there. Baywatch is ‘lights out, game over, we may have to cancel Christmas’ level filthy fun.’”  Watch the trailer

BEFORE I FALL When a popular teen girl (Zoey Deutch) is killed in a car crash, she relives the critical day seven times and makes changes in an attempt to affect the outcome; in the process, she changes as she tries to make up for previous heartless, self-absorbed behavior and gains a better understanding of herself and others. As she evolves and makes the connections necessary to save a bullied, depressed girl’s life, she comes to accept her own fate.  Directed by Ry Russo-Young and written by Maria Maggenti. It is based on the 2010 novel of same name by Lauren Oliver.   Watch the trailer.

BEYOND THE RIVER Two men from vastly different walks of life have one thing in common: to win gold. But there are a few things in their way. One has a marriage on the verge of collapse. The other is on the run from the law, and his so-called life. Then there’s the minor detail of them never before having competed as a team… Somewhere along the river of their lives, there’s a confluence that changes both of them – forever. Through a series of unexpected events, the two men find themselves attempting the three-day Dusi Canoe Marathon as a doubles pair. But there are a few things they must overcome, not least of which are the completely different worlds they come from. They realise that the dream they both desperately desire requires them to work together, both in the boat and beyond the river. Inspired by the true story of Siseko Ntondini and Piers Cruickshanks, who together won gold in the 2014 Dusi, Beyond the River delivers a nail-biting adventure story about the triumph of the human spirit. Starrring Lemogang Tsipa and Grant Swanby.  Directed by Craig Freimond and written by Freimond and Robbie Thorpe. Freimond: “The film is quite different. I can’t think of too many films like it. It’s got a feel-good side to it,but it has also got a lot of depth. People who’ve seen it have responded to the story, the film itself, the actors, the landscapes. People will enjoy this movie.” Watch Trailer

BYPASS In the children’s ward of St Luke’s Hospital, Sam Cooper (Joel Brown) is waiting at the top of the transplant list for a new liver. His mother, Dr. Lisa Cooper, (Natalie Becker) head of cardiac surgery, feels completely helpless, unable to save her son, despite saving her patients’ lives every single day.  When a liver finally becomes available and is destroyed en route to the hospital, the alternative of sourcing an illegal organ becomes her only option.  Knowing that in order to harvest a heart and perform the transplant, she will need to take the life of a young, innocent girl to get Sam back, she is faced with the devastating reality that some lives may simply be more valuable than others. Screenplay by Shane Vermooten and Bianca Schmitz, directed by Shane Vermooten. Visit Website / Trailer

THE CASE FOR CHRIST The story of an atheist journalist who gets upset when his wife converts to Christianity, so he decides to investigate Christianity in the hopes of debunking it. In 1980, Lee Strobel’s (Mike Vogel) award-winning, investigative reporting earns him a promotion to legal editor at the Chicago Tribune. Things at home aren’t going nearly as well. His wife Leslie’s (Erika Christensen) newfound faith in Christ compels Lee to utilize his journalistic and legal training to try and disprove the claims of Christianity, pitting his resolute atheism against her growing faith. It was directed by Jon Gunn and written by Brian Bird, based on a true story that inspired the 1998 book of the same name by Lee Strobel. Director John Gunn talks about the film / Watch the trailer

THE CURIOUS WORLD OF HIERONYMUS BOSCH The next art documentary in the Exhibition on Screen season uncovers the fascinating world of medieval Dutch artist, Hieronymus Bosch. After 500 years, Bosch’s paintings still shock and fascinate us, and this Exhibition on Screen documentary delves into the vivid imagination of this true visionary. Read more  / Trailer

DER ROSENKAVELIER Strauss’s tragicomic romance is the final opera in the current Met: Live in HD season and is the Met’s first new staging of the piece since 1969. Set in an idealised Vienna of the past, Strauss’s most popular opera concerns a wise woman of the world who is involved with a much younger lover, but ultimately is forced to accept the laws of time, giving him up to a pretty young heiress. Hofmannsthal’s fascinating libretto deftly combines comedy, dreamy nostalgic fantasy, genuine human drama, and light but striking touches of philosophy and social commentary.  The dream cast of Renée Fleming singing in her final performances of one of her signature roles as the Marschallin. Read more / Watch trailer

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL The film takes place one year after the events of Dog Days, Greg convinces his family to go on a road trip for his grandmother’s 90th birthday, but he actually intends attending a convention. Read more about the film / Watch the trailer

EUGENE ONEGIN Soprano Anna Netrebko reprises one of her most acclaimed roles as Tatiana, the naïve heroine of Tchaikovsky’s opera, which the composer adapted from Pushkin’s classic verse novel. Peter Mattei stars opposite her as the self-confident title character, Eugene Onegin, who rejects Tatiana’s love until it’s too late. Read more


FREE FIRE Bold, breathless and wickedly fun, this electrifying action comedy tells of an arms deal that goes spectacularly and explosively wrong. Acclaimed filmmaker Ben Wheatley (Kill List, High Rise) propels the audience head-on into quite possibly the most epic shootout ever seen on film as he crafts a spectacular parody — and biting critique — of the insanity of gun violence. Everyone’s got a gun, and absolutely no one is in control. Set in a colorful yet gritty 1970s Boston, Free Fire opens with Justine (Oscar (R) winner Brie Larson), a mysterious American businesswoman, and her wise-cracking associate Ord (Armie Hammer). It was directed by Ben Wheatley, from a screenplay by Wheatley, who wrote the script with his wife and writing partner Amy Jump.   Watch trailer

GIFTED Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) in a coastal town in Florida.  But Mary is a brilliant child prodigy and Frank’s intention that she lead a normal life are thwarted when the seven-year-old’s command of mathematics comes to the attention of his formidable mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan)—a wealthy Bostonian whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Mary and Frank.  As family tensions and disconnections flare, uncle and niece find support in Roberta (Octavia Spencer), their protective landlady and best friend, and Mary’s teacher Bonnie (Jenny Slate), a young woman whose concern for her student soon develops into a relationship with her uncle as well. It is director Marc Webb’s first original film since 500 Days of Summer.  Watch the trailer

THE HUNTER’S PRAYER When a solitary assassin’s(Sam Worthington) conscience proves impregnable high octane thriller, he finds himself rallying against his orders, protecting the young woman (Odeya Rush). he was hired to kill. With both now marked for death, they form an uneasy alliance. As the hitman drags the weight of his sins behind him and the young woman is forced to grow in spite of her situation, the pair are relentlessly pursued across Europe, their only hope of survival to expose those responsible for brutally murdering her family and bring them to justice. But with the cost of killing laying heavy on their shoulders, even if they survive, their souls may not. “In my opinion, the best thrillers are the ones where the audience is thinking, no matter what the character does, ‘yeah, I could do that, in that situation, I’d do that’. They seem to be doing the smartest thing every step of the way,” says director Jonathan Mostow. Directed by Jonathan Mostow, The Hunter’s Prayer was written by John Brancato, Michael Ferris, Paul Leyden, Oren Moverman, based on the novel by Kevin Wignall. Watch trailer

Michelangelo – Love and Death offers a cinematic journey through the great chapels and museums of Florence, Rome and the Vatican, to the print and drawing rooms of Europe, to explore Michelangelo’s tempestuous life. Te film goes in search of a greater understanding of this charismatic and enigmatic figure, both through his relationships with his contemporaries and his ongoing artistic legacy. Read moreWatch the trailer

THE MUMMY Tom Cruise headlines a spectacular, all-new cinematic version of the legend that has fascinated cultures all over the world since the dawn of civilization. Thought safely entombed deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient princess (Sofia Boutella of Kingsman: The Secret Service and Star Trek Beyond) whose destiny was unjustly taken from her is awakened in our current day, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia and terrors that defy human comprehension.   From the sweeping sands of the Middle East through hidden labyrinths under modern-day London, The Mummy brings a surprising intensity and balance of wonder and thrills in an imaginative new take that ushers in a new world of gods and monsters. Directed by Alex Kurtzman, from a screenplay by David Koepp (Mission: Impossible, War of the Worlds) and Academy Award winner Christopher Mcquarrie (The Usual Suspects, Mission: Impossible series) and Dylan Kussman, from a screen story by Jon Spaihts (Prometheus, Doctor Strange) and Kurtzman & Jenny Lumet (Rachel Getting Married).  Watch the trailer


ROUGH NIGHT (Also known as Rock That Body) Five best friends (Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer, Zoë Kravitz) from college reunite 10 years later for a wild bachelorette weekend in Miami. Their hard partying takes a hilariously dark turn when they accidentally kill a male stripper. Amid the craziness of trying to cover it up, they’re ultimately brought closer together when it matters most. This black comedy was directed by Lucia Aniello in her directorial debut, and written by Aniello and Paul W. Downs.  Watch Trailer

THEIR FINEST A witty, romantic and moving portrayal of a young woman finding her way, and her voice, in the mayhem of war… and the movies! In the midst of the devastating Second World War, with increasing numbers of men drafted to fight for their lives on the frontline, bombs continued to drop relentlessly on London. Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton) a smart copywriter, is employed to write female dialogue, (patronisingly referred to as ‘slop’ by her male co writers), for original propaganda feature films that would reflect the new mood of the nation, and help tap into the hearts and imaginations of the fast growing women’s workforce. Partnered alongside fellow screenwriter, the forthright Buckley (Sam Claflin), the pair make a film that will warm the hearts of the nation, and capture the imagination of the American population.  Says producer Stephen Woolley”We were keen to make it a modern story. War films made at the time did generally tend to reflect the male experience of war, so we wanted to make a film that was not just the female experience of becoming a writer, but a female experience of being in the Blitz in London and coping with a society that was on the brink of changing from being so male-dominated, to being a 7 society were women weren’t just tolerated, they were expected to step into the breach and take on male roles in society. Not just in the world of film, but the world around them.” Danish director Lone Scherfig comes to this project off the back of a trilogy of acclaimed productions, with An Education, One Day and The Riot Club. Her sensibilities as a filmmaker make for a perfect marriage with British cinema. “It means a lot to us as filmmakers to make a film about a period where films were as important as they were,” says Lone Scherfig.“To remind us why we spend all our adult life doing this instead of something worthier, like being a nurse, where you might respect yourself more. We have to remind ourselves that we have a right to do this job, even if there are days where you laugh for sixteen hours.”  Watch the trailer

THIS BEAUTIFUL FANTASTIC  This contemporary fairy tale revolves around the most unlikely of friendships between a reclusive, agoraphobic young woman (Jessica Brown Findlay) with dreams of being a children’s book author and a curmudgeonly old widower(Tom Wilkinson), set against the backdrop of a beautiful garden in the heart of London. Bella Brown is a beautifully quirky young woman who dreams of writing and illustrating a successful children’s book. Despite her abandonment as a child, the all consuming OCD, the unfulfilled dream, her awful boss at the library and her paralyzing fear of flora and fauna, Bella is down but not out. She has a spark, an edge, a talent and a voice that we can feel from the get go. This girl has a preternatural survival instinct, having been found in the middle of winter in the middle of Hyde Park as a babe. When Bella is forced by her landlord to deal with her neglected garden or face eviction, she meets her nemesis, match and mentor in Alfie Stephenson, a cantankerous, loveless, rich old man who lives next door and is an amazing horticulturalist.  It was written and directed by Simon Aboud Watch the trailer / Read interview with writer-director Simon Aboud

TONI ERDMANN Director Maren Ade’s outlandish and outstanding third feature film focuses on eccentric music teacher, father and practical joker Winfried Confradi (Peter Simonischek). Following the death of his old dog, and suddenly student-less, he decides to surprise his corporate-ladder climbing daughter Ines (played by Sandra Hüller) by visiting her in Bucharest.The geographical change doesn’t help the two to see eye to eye. All Winfried’s corny pranks and snide jabs at her routine lifestyle of long meetings, hotel bars and performance reports do is to annoy Ines more. In an effort to rekindle their family bond, Winfried infiltrates the multinational company where Ines is a corporate strategist, disguised as her CEO’s life coach, Toni Erdmann – and Winfried’s alter-ego! The film is in German with English sub-titles. Watch the trailerDirector Maren Ade and actors Peter Simonischek and Sandra Hüller discuss the filmActress Sandra Huller chats with Gold Derby editor Zach Laws about her role in Toni Erdmann

THE WHOLE TRUTH   Defense attorney Richard Ramsay (Keanu Reeves) takes on a personal case when he swears to his widowed friend, Loretta Lassiter (Renée Zellweger), that he will keep her son Mike (Gabriel Basso) out of prison. Charged with murdering his father, Mike initially confesses to the crime. But as the trial proceeds, chilling evidence about the kind of man that Boone Lassiter (Jim Belushi) really was comes to light. While Ramsay uses the evidence to get his client acquitted, his new colleague Janelle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) tries to dig deeper – and begins to realize that the whole truth is something she alone can uncover. Directed by Courtney Hunt and written by Nicholas Kazan.  Watch the trailer

WONDER WOMAN Gal Gadot stars in the title role of this epic action adventure from director Patty Jenkins (Monster, AMC’s The Killing) marking the DC Super Hero’s first-ever stand-alone feature film. Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, raised on a sheltered island paradise and trained to be an unconquerable warrior.  But when an American pilot crashes off their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat.  Fighting alongside men in the war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers…and her true destiny. Patty Jenkins directed the film from a screenplay by Allan Heinberg, story by Zack Snyder & Allan Heinberg and Jason Fuchs, based on characters from DC.  Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston.  Website  Watch the trailer

THE FOUNDER The true story of how Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), a struggling salesman from Illinois, met Mac (John Carroll Lynch) and Dick McDonald (Nick Offerman), who were running a burger operation in 1950s Southern California. Kroc was impressed by the brothers’ speedy system of making the food and saw franchise potential. Kroc soon manoeuvres himself into a position to be able to pull the company from the brothers and create a multi-billion dollar empire. Directed by John Lee Hancock and written by Robert Siegel. Read more about the film / Watch the trailer

guardiansGUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2  Picking up where “Guardians of the Galaxy”—2014’s highest grossing film of the summer—left off, Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” continues the action-packed, irreverent, epic space adventures of Peter Quill aka Star-Lord and his gang of eccentric characters as they patrol and protect the universe, doing mercenary work in the wake of the popularity and fame they garnered from saving Xandar.  Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand. Written and directed by James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy, Dawn of the Dead):  “It was truly gratifying and fulfilling that the Guardians’ characters spoke so profoundly to so many people all over the world,” says Gunn.  Feature: From Comic Book To Box-Office Hit: Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.2 / Trailer

HALF GIRLFRIEND This story is a coming-of-age romance between a vernacular Bihari Boy – Madhav Jha, who falls in love with an upper class “Delhi high-society” girl – Riya Somani. On the outside, the two of them have nothing in common, but love blossoms in the most unexpected way when Madhav starts to woo Riya. An Indian romantic drama based on the novel of the same name written by Chetan Bhagat. The film is directed by Mohit Suri. Read more about the film / Watch the trailer

JOHNNY IS NIE DOOD NIE  It’s 2002. Four friends are having a braai on the Sunday after Johannes Kerkorrel’s suicide. They reminisce about their days as students in Stellenbosch during the time of the Voëlvry tour in the late 80’s. They were young, drunken rebels saturated in the protest music of Kerkorrel, Koos Kombuis and Bernoldus Niemand. Now, they have become disillusioned suburbanites. The death of their varsity friend Johnny remains a mystery and still haunts all four of them, even after all these years. Johnny is nie dood nie examines the impact of the Voëlvry movement on the personal and political development of a generation of Afrikaners, as well as the havoc the Bush War inflicted on the lives of thousands of young army conscripts. Read Review  / Trailer

KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD Acclaimed filmmaker Guy Ritchie brings his dynamic style to the epic fantasy action adventure starring Charlie Hunnam in the title role. The film is an iconoclastic take on the classic Excalibur myth, tracing Arthur’s journey from the streets to the throne. The young Arthur runs the back passages of Londinium with his crew, not knowing his royal lineage until he draws the sword Excalibur from the stone. Instantly confronted by the sword’s influence, Arthur is forced to decide where to become involved with his power. Throwing in with the Resistance and an enigmatic young woman named Guinevere, he must learn to master the sword, face down his demons and unite the people to defeat the tyrant Vortigern — who murdered his parents and stole his crown — and become king. Read interview with director and co-writer Guy Ritchie / Review/  Watch trailer

OZZY The idyllic life of Ozzy, a lovable, placid beagle who has always been pampered, is about to be turned upside down. When his family, Susan, Ted and their daughter Paula, can’t take him on a long trip away from home, they leave him in what seems to be the best canine spa, Blue Creek. But the place’s perfect appearance turns out to be a façade concocted by its villainous owner, Mr. Robbins. Ozzy will soon discover that Blue Creek is, in reality, a jail for dogs, inhabited mainly by tough street mongrels and where it’s a case of survival of the fittest. Once inside there, Ozzy will have to avoid danger, find strength where he didn’t think he had any and learn to rely on Chester, Fronky and Doc, his new friends who will accompany him on this adventure as he tries to get back home safe and sound. Read more about the film / Watch the trailer

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: SALAZAR’S REVENGE  Thrust into an all-new adventure, a down-on-his-luck Capt. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Capt. Salazar, escape from the Devil’s Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea including him. Capt. Jack’s only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas. Directed by the Norwegian directing team of Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg (Kon-Tiki and the Netflix series Marco Polo), from a screenplay by Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me If You Can, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull). “The ‘Pirates’ franchise is very tricky,” says Nathanson , “because it combines huge action with supernatural suspense, romance and comedy. It’s also a highly researched pirate epic that attempts to stay very true to the period. The key is to balance it all while telling an emotional good story, and finding ways to use these characters in ways we’ve never seen before.” Confesses Rønning, “The Pirates films remind me about the kind of movies that inspired me to become a filmmaker when I was a kid. Now that I have kids of my own, it’s great to make a movie that they can watch, too. It’s a true family movie.” Watch the trailer

THE RESURRECTION OF GAVIN STONE Former child star Gavin Stone (Brett Dalton) must perform 200 hours of community service after trashing a hotel in his Illinois hometown. Temptation strikes when Stone learns that the church he’s assigned to clean is staging a lavish religious production. After landing the lead role of Jesus Christ, Gavin finds himself drawn to the show’s director (Anjelah Johnson-Reyes), a young woman who also happens to be the daughter of the affable pastor (D.B. Sweeney). Read more about the film.  Watch the trailer

RULES DON’T APPLY An aspiring young actress (Lily Collins) and her ambitious young driver (Alden Ehrenreich) struggle hopefully with the absurd eccentricities of the wildly unpredictable billionaire Howard Hughes (Warren Beatty) for whom they work. It’s Hollywood, 1958. Small town beauty queen, songwriter, and devout Baptist virgin Marla Mabrey (Collins), under contract to the infamous Howard Hughes (Beatty), arrives in Los Angeles. At the airport, she meets her driver Frank Forbes (Ehrenreich), who is engaged to be married to his 7th grade sweetheart and is a deeply religious Methodist. Their instant attraction not only puts their religious convictions to the test, but also defies Hughes’ #1 rule: no employee is allowed to have any relationship whatsoever with a contract actress. Hughes’ behavior intersects with Marla and Frank in very separate and unexpected ways, and as they are drawn deeper into his bizarre world, their values are challenged and their lives are changed.Says writer-director Warren Beatty, who admits to a long-time amusement with Hughes: “He could do whatever he wanted to do but there was a certain level of Puritanism that he never quite kicked…” Feature: Writer-Director Warren Beatty’s Rules Don’t Apply Is An Unconventional Comedy / Trailer

THE SALESMAN This characteristically taut drama explores how unexpected cracks can form in the foundations of a seemingly happy marriage. In The Salesman, the future looks promising for amateur actors Emad (Shahab Hosseini), a teacher, and his wife Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti), as they prepare for opening night on their production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. However, when dangerous work on a neighbouring building forces the couple to leave their home and move into a new apartment, a case of mistaken identity sees a shocking and violent incident throw their lives into turmoil. What follows is a series of wrong turns that creates a simmering tension between husband and wife that threatens to destroy their relationship irreparably. Farhadi’s study on the potent power of pride, guilt and shame treads the line between arresting drama and revenge thriller with masterful ease. Directed by Asghar Farhadi, The Salesman won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Oscars, in addition to awards for Best Screenplay and Best Actor at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. This is the second Academy Award win for Farhadi, who won it previously for A Separation in 2012. Read more about the film / Trailer

SONG TO SONG A new love story from filmmaker Terrence Malick (Knight Of Cups).  Set against and inspired by the Austin, Texas rock and roll scene, the film follows four interconnected lovers as they tumble and clash in both their roller coaster musical careers and rule-breaking intimate lives. Amid a world driven by youth, passion, lust, drugs and creativity, the story hones in on one couple who find in each other a way to bust through all the wild distractions of our modern lives and seek satisfaction in a new way.  Two entangled couples — struggling songwriters Faye (Rooney Mara) and BV (Ryan Gosling), and music mogul Cook (Michael Fassbender) and the waitress (Natalie Portman) whom he ensnares — chase success through a rock ‘n’ roll landscape of seduction and betrayal. It was filmed throughout Austin and at its world-famed music festivals by three-time Academy Award winner Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki. Though renowned for visually arresting storytelling, Malick has always been drawn to that most classic subject of all:  love – especially love that mirrors or cuts through life’s illusions.  Song To Song continues a career that began with the dark romance between two 1950s Midwestern killers on the run in Badlands; explored the early days of America through Captain Smith and Pocahontas’ affair in The New World; and twined the overwhelming emotions of parental love with a story of creation in The Tree Of LifeWatch the Trailer

20TH CENTURY WOMEN Writer-director Mike Mills (the Academy Award-winning Beginners) brings us a richly multilayered, funny, heart-stirring celebration of the complexities of women, family, time and the connections we search for our whole lives. It is a film that keeps redefining itself as it goes along, shifting with its characters as they navigate the pivotal summer of 1979. Set in Santa Barbara, the film follows Dorothea Fields (Annette Bening), a determined single mother in her mid-50s who is raising her adolescent son, Jamie (newcomer Lucas Jade Zumann, in a breakout performance) at a moment brimming with cultural change and rebellion. Dorothea enlists the help of two younger women in Jamie’s upbringing – via Abbie (Greta Gerwig), a free-spirited punk artist living as a boarder in the Fields’ home, and Julie (Elle Fanning), a savvy and provocative teenage neighbor. Watch trailer

UNFORGETTABLE What lengths would you go to for love? For director/producer Denise Di Novi, that is the question at the heart of her new suspense thriller.Tessa Connover (Heigl) is barely coping with the end of her marriage when her ex-husband, David (Stults), becomes happily engaged to Julia Banks (Dawson)—not only bringing Julia into the home they once shared but also into the life of their daughter, Lily.  “The story intrigued me because it’s about two very different women thrown into a complicated blended family relationship.  They each feel tremendous pressure—one to create the perfect life, the other to hold on to it.  That pressure drives one to madness, while the other is forced to find the strength to fight for her life.  I thought that would make for a very intense thriller.” Watch the trailer

TWELFTH NIGHT The acclaimed production of Shakespeare’s classic comedy of mistaken identity – filmed live at the National’s Olivier Theatre in London – is the next National Theatre Live broadcast on the big screen and will be screened at Ster-Kinekor’s Nouveau cinemas from Saturday, 27 May, for limited screenings. This joyous new production is directed by Simon Godwin (NT Live’s Man and Superman, The Beaux’ Stratagem), with Olivier Award-winning actress Tamsin Greig (Friday Night Dinner, Black Books, Episodes) as a transformed Malvolia in this new twist on Shakespeare’s play. Read more

THE WARRIOR’S GATE An action-packed adventure film with martial arts derring-do, seen through the eyes of a Gen Z video gamer and set to a hip-hop breakdance beat. Jack Bronson (Uriah Shelton) lives in a part-time virtual world.  Cowardly Jack must learn to face his fears, conquer an unknown universe, become a skilled warrior and save both the princess and her kingdom. Only then will he be able to return home and meet the challenges of his own contemporary world. Watch trailer