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Robot & Frank

DATE  March 8
DIRECTOR  Jake Schreier
CAST  Frank Langella, James Marsden, Liv Tyler, Susan Sarandon, Peter Sarsgaard, Jeremy Strong, Jeremy Sisto

FUN FACT  The robot costume was designed by Alterian, the LA design company that makes Daft Punk's costumes.

SYNOPSIS  A retired jewel thief, Frank (Langella), is living quietly in the country and chatting up the local librarian (Sarandon) in the near future when his son (Marsden) brings him a robot butler to help around the house. Frank teaches his plastic pal to assist him with his robberies and giving him a new lease of life. Well, it gives him a fortune in jewels, anyway, which often feels like the same thing.

WHAT TO EXPECT  This was a prize winner at Sundance, and Frank Langella's always fun to watch when he's grumpy.
• Watch the trailer below

The Place Beyond The Pines

The Place Beyond The Pines

DATE  April 12
DIRECTOR  Derek Cianfrance
CAST  Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Rose Byrne, Eva Mendes, Ray Liotta, Bruce Greenwood, Dane DeHaan

FUN FACT  When Bradley Cooper was appointed People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive, Gosling fans staged a protest outside the magazine's office on behalf of their man's claim.

SYNOPSIS  A motorcycle stunt rider-turned-criminal (Gosling) clashes with a rookie cop / wannabe politician (Cooper) as both try to find a way to assure their families' futures.

WHAT TO EXPECT  Festival audiences were generally wild about the first half but seemed less enthusiastic about the ending, so it hasn't had quite such a warm reception as Cianfrance's previous Gosling outing, Blue Valentine - but sometimes festival audiences react very differently to the rest of us, so what do they know?
• Watch the trailer below

About Time

About Time

DATE  March 22
DIRECTOR  Richard Curtis
CAST  Domnhall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Tom Hollander, Lindsey Duncan

FUN FACT  This is the second time McAdams has played love interest to a time traveller. Last time, of course, she was The Time Traveller's Wife.

SYNOPSIS  Tim (Gleeson) is an average guy until the day that his dad (Nighy) tells him he can travel through time, at least within his own life. He now has the ability to correct mistakes that he's made and maybe win the girl of his dreams (McAdams).

WHAT TO EXPECT  This looks set to be a far more low-key and British than your average time travel movie - and there's pretty much no techno-babble or time machines involved. We're glad to see Gleeson get an honest-to-goodness lead role too.

Do Elephants Pray?

Do Elephants Pray?

DATE  February 1
DIRECTOR  Paul Hills
CAST  Jonnie Hurn, Julie Dray, Marc Warren, John Last

FUN FACT  This was shot way back in late 2007 but endured "two traumatic years" in post-production before showing at festivals in 2010. It finally sees the light of day now.

SYNOPSIS  Callum (Hurn) runs a failing advertising company but is searching for meaning in his life - which he thinks he might have found in the mysterious Malika (Dray). On her urging, he accompanies her to France to rough it in a forest right before a big presentation, leaving his employees (Warren, Last) to manage the agency.

WHAT TO EXPECT  The lengthy delay in release doesn't bode brilliantly, but it's won over festival audiences so maybe this "ethereal drama" will be worth a look.
• Watch the trailer below



DATE  February 8
DIRECTOR  Brandon Cronenberg
CAST  Caleb Landry Jones, Sarah Gadon, Malcolm McDowell, Douglas Smith

BASED ON  Brandon Cronenberg - son of David - had the idea for this film when watching Sarah Michelle Gellar on a chat show - definitive proof that time spent idly watching TV is never wasted.

SYNOPSIS  Syd (Jones) works for a clinic that harvests celebrity diseases to give them to fans in a near future that's even more obsessed than we are. Yikes. But when he injects a disease that kills a superstar, he has to unravel what killed her to save his own life.

WHAT TO EXPECT  It seems like the apple doesn't fall far from the tree when it comes to body horrors from the Cronenberg family. It showed in Cannes' Un Certain Regard and at Toronto, which isn't bad for a film this creepy and sinister.
• Watch the trailer on YouTube

For Ellen

For Ellen

DATE  February 15
CAST  Paul Dano, Jon Heder, Shaylena Mandigo, Jena Malone, Margarita Levieva

SEE ALSO  Kim's debut feature, In Between Days, which won the Special Jury Prize at Sundance, so this might be worth a look if you liked that.

SYNOPSIS  Joby (Dano) is a failing rocker going through a divorce, whose wife (Levieva) asks him to give up custody of their daughter Ellen (Mandigo), who he barely knows. He drives down to visit in a last-ditch attempt to connect with her.

WHAT TO EXPECT  Dano was last seen cosying up to an imaginary girl in Ruby Sparks; now he's trying to connect with a real one (albeit younger). On the evidence we've seen, this looks none-more-indie, from its grubby close-ups to its snowy climate, but that's not a complaint.
• Watch the trailer on YouTube

The Look Of Love

DATE  March 8
DIRECTOR  Michael Winterbottom
CAST  Steve Coogan, Imogen Poots, Stephen Fry, Anna Friel, Tamsin Egerton, Matt Lucas, David Walliams

FUN FACT  This was originally called The King Of Soho, but that name ended up with another film about the life of Raymond.

SYNOPSIS  A biopic of porn baron and Soho property owner Paul Raymond, who was dubbed the 'King Of Soho' by the press. Friel and Egerton play Raymond's wives and Imogen Poots is his daughter in a film that aims to blend comedy, tragedy and naked ladies.

WHAT TO EXPECT  It's a fourth collaboration for Steve Coogan and director Michael Winterbottom, after 24 Hour Party People, A Cock & Bull Story and The Trip. They haven't put a foot wrong so far, so we're looking forward to this one.



DATE  March 1
DIRECTOR  Craig Zobel
CAST  Ann Dowd, Dreama Walker, Pat Healy, Bill Camp, Philip Ettinger

FUN FACT  It's similar to a true story that happened in a McDonalds in Kentucky in 2004.

SYNOPSIS  A caller claiming to be a policeman tells the manager of a fast food restaurant (Dowd) to detain and strip-search one of her employees (Walker) - and then demands more and more of her.

WHAT TO EXPECT  This divided audiences at Sundance, with some decrying it as exploitation and others praising its depiction of the same. So brace yourself, basically.
• Watch the trailer on YouTube



DATE  March 15
DIRECTOR  Sara Sugarman
CAST  Phil Daniels, Keith Allen, Jamie Blackley, Julia Ford, Perry Benson, Tracy Whitwell

BASED ON  The true story of Mike Peters of The Alarm, who in 2004 released the single 45RPM under the guise of a teen band from Chester.

SYNOPSIS  A group of aging musicians are convinced they have a hit on their hands - but can't get the record industry to listen. They recruit a bunch of youngsters to pose as the musicians responsible - and suddenly everyone's interested.

WHAT TO EXPECT  It's an interesting premise - everything will depend on the execution, however. And, of course, how good the music is.
• Watch the trailer on YouTube

Good Vibrations

Good Vibrations

DATE  March 8
DIRECTOR  Lisa Barros D'Sa, Glenn Leyburn
CAST  Richard Dormer, Dylan Moran, Adrian Dunbar, Jodie Whittaker, Demetri Goritsas, Mary Ryder

FUN FACT  Hooley founded a record label with the same name as his store, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2008.

SYNOPSIS  A film about legendary Belfast record store owner Terri Hooley. His shop, Good Vibrations, became a centre for the punk scene and helped to launch bands like The Undertones.

WHAT TO EXPECT  One of the best Northern Irish films in a while - and it gets bonus points for not being entirely miserable and focused on terrorism.



DATE  March 8
DIRECTOR  Amit Gupta
CAST  Amara Karan, Tom Mison, Madhur Jaffrey, Kulvinder Ghir, Harish Patel, Harvey Virdi

FUN FACT  This film has one of the most comprehensive production blogs we've ever seen.

SYNOPSIS  Two brothers (Ghir, Patel) fought bitterly years ago and tore the family recipe book in half, each keeping a section. They have operated rival restaurants ever since - but the daughter of one (Karan) is insistent that they reunite to cook for her wedding.

WHAT TO EXPECT  If we're lucky, something like a British version of Big Night. Worst case scenario, we'll be left with only a craving for Indian food.



DATE  February 18
DIRECTOR  Michael Winterbottom
CAST  Shirley Henderson, John Simm, Shaun Kirk, Robert Kirk, Katrina Kirk, Stephanie

FUN FACT  The film was shot over a five-year period, with the filmmakers visiting the kids for a week or so every six months to add more scenes.

SYNOPSIS  With paterfamilias Ian (Simm) in prison, mother Karen (Henderson) and her four children (the Kirks) have to adjust to life without him. Over a five-year period we see them coping with his absence and visiting him in prison.

WHAT TO EXPECT  The critical response at festivals has generally been positive and the word is that Winterbottom has produced a compelling look at the effects of imprisonment on families and at the lives of children. Expect this to be quietly powerful.
• Watch the trailer on YouTube

Quick Poll   Which of these films are you looking forward to most?

Do Elephants Pray?
For Ellen
Good Vibrations
The Look Of Love
Robot & Frank
The Place Beyond The Pines
About Time

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