The Spring Centre at The Hospice of St Francis
Doors Open 6:45pm - Film Starts 7:00pm
Our Film Forums are held at the Spring Centre at The Hospice of St Francis on the first Wednesday of the Month.
A suggested donation of £5 for refreshments.
La La Land
Wednesday 7th February
La La Land, the most infamous runner up for best film in Oscar history. Over-hyped or a glorious, bittersweet, song and dance love letter to the Hollywood movie industry? Come and make your minds up the week before Valentine’s Day. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are the lovers, each struggling for a career in show business. They both won leading actor Oscars but this multiple-award winning extravaganza didn’t pick up the big prize of best film. What do you think?
Wednesday 7th March
The film is a story of the boyhood, youth and early adulthood of Chiron, a shy, withdrawn person who grows up picked upon and starved of love in a tough neighbourhood of Miami. There are some heart breaking moments as he is repeatedly let down by people he hopes might care for him.
There is great depth to every character. They experience guilt and shame but also care and tenderness to go with their toughness. The acting throughout is beautifully nuanced to bring out all those feelings present but unexpressed. The pace is not rushed and the moments of stillness allow us to see the feelings on their faces. It is very much a worthy Oscar winner for the best film.
Victoria and Abdul
Wednesday 4th April
Just as the film Mrs Brown was based on a real-life relationship between Queen Victoria and John Brown shortly after the death of Prince Albert, this film is based on Victoria’s later friendship towards the end of her life with a young man called Abdul sent from India with a presentation to mark her golden jubilee.
As you might expect from a film by Stephen Frears, there are lots of comic moments with some sinister undertones. The film is not blind to the political context of colonialism and empire but all these elements work here to emphasize the warm and affectionate relationship between the two. The film has a ‘heart’ and the two lead actors make the friendship believable. It is also a rather brave performance by Judi Dench as Victoria.
Manchester by the Sea
Wednesday 2nd May
Casey Affleck plays Lee, a man asked to return home to Manchester, a small fishing town in America, to become the guardian of his teenage nephew. We learn from Lee’s memories in flashback what a tormented soul he has become and why he left Manchester.
The film ends on a hard-won note of hope and tenderness that uncle and nephew may be able to love and support each other through their considerable pain and grief. The acting by the whole cast is strong. Affleck won the best actor award at both the BAFTAs and the Oscars. The film also won a BAFTA and an Oscar for the best original screenplay.
Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool
Wednesday 6th June
This is a poignant story of a romance between people of different ages and backgrounds. Annette Bening plays Gloria Grahame, the glamorous Hollywood actress who won an Oscar for The Bad and the Beautiful and who starred with Humphrey Bogart in the film In a Lonely Place. In the latter part of her career Gloria worked in repertory theatre in Britain where she met a struggling young actor from Liverpool called Peter Turner played by Jamie Bell. Despite raising many eyebrows, theirs was a loving relationship full of passion, fun and care which became accepted by many people close to them, not least Peter’s family. Bening is terrific as usual but it is great to see Jamie Bell who played Billy in Billy Elliot more than able to hold his own. It is their on-screen chemistry which brings Gloria and Peter’s relationship to life and makes it all the more touching.
Wednesday 4th July
Many Americans say they remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. The film concentrates on his traumatized, grieving widow in the days following his death. Jackie has her own personal grief and the grief of their young children to care for while her words and deeds are subjected to global scrutiny. Kennedy’s funeral took place just three days after his death during which time Jackie was pressed to say what she wanted and had to hear what others thought should happen.
Natalie Portman is utterly convincing in the title role. A major event in world history is imagined through the eyes of the person experiencing it. The film also includes John Hurt’s final film role as Jackie’s priest.