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Coton Cinema at the Village Hall

BFI_Neighbourhood_Logo_MONO_POSPerformances take place in Coton Village Hall. Tickets cost £5 on the door, including refreshments.  Evening performances start at 8pm, doors open for refreshments at 7.30pm.

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Coton Cinema at the Village Hall

2018 Spring Programme

Wed 24 Jan       The Exception
Wed 28 Feb       Goodbye Christopher Robin
Wed 28 Mar       Murder on The Orient Express
Wed 25 Apr       The Death of Stalin

Wednesday 24 January: The Exception (15) 1hr 47min
A riveting World War II thriller that is filled with espionage and romance in equal measure, The Exception follows German soldier Stefan Brandt (Jai Courtney) as he goes on a mission to investigate exiled German Monarch Kaiser Wilhelm II (Christopher Plummer). The Kaiser lives in a secluded mansion in The Netherlands, and as Germany is taking over Holland, the country’s authorities are concerned that Dutch spies may be watching the Kaiser. As Brandt begins to infiltrate the Kaiser’s life in search of clues, he finds himself drawn into an unexpected and passionate romance with Mieke (Lily James), one of the Kaiser’s maids whom Brandt soon discovers is secretly Jewish. When Heinrich Himmler (Eddie Marsan), Head of the SS, decides to come for an unexpected visit with a large platoon of Nazis in tow, the stage is set for a breathtaking showdown, as secrets are revealed, allegiances are tested, and Brandt is forced to make the ultimate choice between honouring his country and following his heart. – From the official website

The Exception won’t surprise you with its basic plot beats, TV-movie-like look and predictable outcomes, but will mostly please throughout. The film’s biggest asset is its well-written dialogue, particularly the material given to Plummer’s dethroned Kaiser. His unpredictable tantrums and wit delight throughout – possibly one of the best characters we’ve seen the seasoned actor play in recent years. . . Marsan is well-placed too as Hitler’s right-hand man and leader of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, though his appearance is sadly limited to just a couple of scenes. Any film with Marsan in it give it that extra gravitas and you know that the source material will be strong if he’s put his name to it – which is the case here. David Leveaux‘s motion picture debut is actually a strong one.” – The Hollywood News

Wednesday 28 February: Goodbye Christopher Robin (PG) 1hr 47min

With its bittersweet interweaving of fact and fantasy, youthful innocence and adult trauma, this tale of the creation of a children’s classic could have been called Saving Mr Milne. Like Mary Poppins, Winnie-the-Pooh occupies a sacred space in our hearts and anyone wishing to co-opt some of that magic must tread very lightly indeed. Director Simon Curtis’s movie could easily have tripped (like Piglet) and burst its balloon as it evokes a dappled glade of happiness surrounded by the monstrous spectres of two world wars. Instead, it skips nimbly between light and dark, war and peace, like a young boy finding his way through an English wood, albeit one drenched with shafts of sugary, Spielbergian light.

With his pudding-bowl hair and gender-neutral smocks (plaudits to ace costume designer Odile Dicks-Mireaux), young Will Tilston as Billy looks the spit of EH Shepard’s timeless illustrations, so much so that director Curtis is able to slip from live action to gently animated illustration with seamless ease. Whether he’s pulling on his boots or dragging his bear up the stairs, these images have a warm familiarity, tapping into vast wellsprings of affection.
Meanwhile, the script contrives to play the greatest hits: the little boy kneeling at the foot of the bed; the “hot’s so hot” in the bath; the circular tracks in the snow; the bees concerned only with making honey. A game of garden cricket evokes memories of John Boorman’s Hope and Glory, while the flashbulbs and popping champagne corks of success transport Milne back to the blood-soaked fields of France. – Mark Kermode’s film of the week in The Guardian

Wednesday 28 March Murder on The Orient Express (12) 1hr 55min

Kenneth Branagh’s film adaptation of Agatha Christie’s 1934 novel is a juicy fruitcake of a film (or, perhaps more accurately, a Belgian iced bun: a nostalgic pleasure, goes down easy, irresistible on a Sunday afternoon). Everyone’s favourite mustachioed detective, Hercule Poirot (Branagh himself), has decided to take a holiday to read Charles Dickens and enjoy three days on the Orient Express “without care, concern or crime”. But, as we know, no good deed goes unpunished, and a murder inevitably occurs on board. Poirot sets about solving the delicious, chewy whodunnit, each of the train’s curio passengers a potential suspect.

The ensemble cast comprises an enjoyable mix of actor’s actors (the brilliant Olivia Colman), British institutions (Derek Jacobi, Judi Dench) and Hollywood movie stars (Johnny Depp, Willem Dafoe and Penélope Cruz), with Michelle Pfeiffer’s kittenish widow and Star Wars heroine Daisy Ridley’s fiery, principled governess the best of a very good bunch. The whole thing works especially well if you don’t remember the book’s original ending (or Sidney Lumet’s 1974 film), though it’s not exactly spoiled if you do. Written by Blade Runner: 2049 scribe Michael Green, it doesn’t try (and so can’t fail) to reinvent Christie, though it does update her slightly, keeping the opulent colonial trappings but having characters call out the period’s racism.

There’s something endearing about the film’s middlebrow purity (it’s also a rare family-friendly 12A). It’s classic Branagh: sweeping landscapes, thundering score, capital-A Acting, and, excitingly – at least for format nerds like me – it’s shot on 65mm film. Large-format film allows for scope and scale, richness and colour, and a tactility reminiscent of the kind of British Raj films that Branagh is explicitly throwing back to. There’s giddy drama, too, in knowing the Steadicam sequences were created manually rather than engineered digitally. – Simran Hans, The Observer

Wednesday 25 April The Death of Stalin (15) 1hr 46min

Armando Iannucci’s black comedy has garnered rave reviews. It follows the Soviet dictator’s last days and depicts the chaos of the regime after his death. There are standout performances from Simon Russell Beale (Beria), Michael Palin (Molotov) and Andrea Riseborough (Stalin’s daughter Svetlana).

The Death of Stalin is superbly cast, and acted with icy and ruthless force by an A-list line-up. There are no weak links. Each has a plum role; each squeezes every gorgeous horrible drop. – Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian

Iannucci has proven time and again, with The Thick of It and its US spin-off, Veep, his ability to uncover the vanity of power-grabs and the ways weak, grasping personalities expose themselves in politics. Quip for quip, the face-offs here match those shows in speed and finesse, while heading towards an altogether more chilling conclusion: the laughs are fully intended to stop dead at a certain point, as the actual import of the back-stabbing and table-turning sinks in. – The Telegraph

Performances take place at Coton Village Hall. Doors open at 7.30pm for an 8pm start.
Tickets are £5 at the door (including refreshments)

The Coton Cinema Team

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