This Week’s Movie Menu (22 – 28 January 2024)

As Hollywood braces itself for this week’s long-awaited Oscar nominations, you too should be prepared for the jam-packed week of releases coming your way, including a soulful new musical, a tear-jerking relationship drama, Shia LaBeouf as a priest, and more…

Movie of the Week

 

The Color Purple (2023, dir. Blitz Bazawule)

CAST: Fantasia Barrino, Phylicia Pearl Mpasi, Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, Colman Domingo, Corey Hawkins, H.E.R., Ciara, Halle Bailey, Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, Jon Batiste, Louis Gossett Jr., David Alan Grier, Deon Cole, Tamela J. Mann, Stephen Hill, Elizabeth Marvel

CREW: Blitz Bazawule (director), Marcus Gardley (writer), Quincy Jones, Scott Sanders, Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey (producers), Kris Bowers (composer), Dan Laustsen (cinematographer), Jon Poll (editor)

PLOT: In early 1900s Georgia, young Black woman Celie (Barrino) suffers hardships throughout her life, including her abusive marriage to farmer Mister (Domingo), but through her friendships with strong-willed Sofia (Brooks) and jazz singer Shug Avery (Henson), she soon finds personal salvation…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The acclaimed musical based on Alice Walker’s controversial book of the same name is adapted into a rousing and uplifting cinematic experience
  • American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino makes her film debut as the film’s unwavering lead, a role she also played during the show’s Broadway run
  • A powerful ensemble featuring Colman Domingo, Danielle Brooks and Taraji P. Henson bring to life the invigorating music by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray
  • It has a shot of possibly winning more Oscars than Steven Spielberg’s 1985 book adaptation, which famously won none of its 11 nominations
  • Despite some grim subject matter, you’ll be singing and dancing to your heart’s content as you hear some absolute showstoppers!

The Colour Purple is showing in cinemas from Friday 26 January 2024

What’s Showing in Cinemas This Week?

 

All of Us Strangers (2023, dir. Andrew Haigh)

CAST: Andrew Scott, Paul Mescal, Jamie Bell, Claire Foy, Carter John Grout

CREW: Andrew Haigh (director, writer), Graham Broadbent, Peter Czernin and Sarah Harvey (producers), Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch (composer), Jamie Ramsay (cinematographer), Jonathan Alberts (editor)

PLOT: Adam (Scott) is a lonely writer living alone in a London apartment block, where he soon meets and begins a relationship with his neighbour Harry (Mescal). He is soon drawn to his childhood home, where he lived with his parents (Bell and Foy) before their untimely death – and is surprised to be invited in by them…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Filmmaker Andrew Haigh’s loose adaptation of Taichi Yamada’s novel Strangers is a deeply emotional viewing experience
  • Andrew Scott delivers a powerful lead turn as a man confronting his inner grief and feelings of loneliness
  • He shares intimate chemistry with on-screen love interest Paul Mescal, and shares some heart-breaking scenes with on-screen parents Jamie Bell and Claire Foy
  • The film plays around heavily with supernatural elements, but it wisely stays focused on the drama behind such ghostly apparitions
  • There won’t be a dry eye left in the house by the time it reaches a profound and utterly devastating conclusion

All of Us Strangers is showing in cinemas from Friday 26 January 2024

 

Jackdaw (2024, dir. Jamie Childs)

CAST: Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Jenna Coleman, Thomas Turgoose, Rory McCann, Allan Mustafa, Vivienne Acheampong, Joe Blakemore, Leon Harrop, Austin Haynes

CREW: Jamie Childs (director, writer, producer), Kate Glover, Callum Grant and Sébastien Raybaud (producers), Damon Baxter and Si Begg (composers), Will Baldy (cinematographer), David Fisher (editor)

PLOT: Jack Dawson (Jackson-Cohen), an army veteran and former motocross champion, is struggling to provide for him and his younger brother Simon (Leon Harrop). Desperate, he accepts a job to collect a package in the North Sea, but soon finds himself on a dangerous path…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • This intense action-thriller combines thoughtful human drama with impeccable motocross stunts
  • It is the feature debut of writer-director Jamie Childs, best known for directing episodes of shows like Doctor Who, His Dark Materials, The Sandman and more
  • Oliver Jackson-Cohen leads a formidable cast that also includes former Doctor Who star Jenna Coleman, This Is England’s Thomas Turgoose and Game of Thrones veteran Rory McCann
  • Its moody cinematography and fast-paced editing give it the look and feel of a 90s era thriller that would have been headlined by the likes of Chris O’Donnell or even Leonardo DiCaprio (it’d have been fitting: the lead character in this film shares the same name as Leo’s in Titanic!)
  • You’ll be endlessly entertained by its no-holes-barred action and dark suspense that position Childs as a filmmaker to watch

Jackdaw is showing in cinemas from Friday 26 January 2024

 

Baghead (2024, dir. Alberto Corredor)

CAST: Freya Allan, Ruby Barker, Jeremy Irvine, Peter Mullan, Saffron Burrows, Ned Dennehy, Svenja Jung, Julika Jenkins, Anne Müller

CREW: Alberto Corredor (director), Christina Pamies and Bryce McGuire (writers), Alex Heineman and Andrew Rona (producers), Suvi-Eeva Äikäs (composer), Cale Finot (cinematographer), Jeff Betancourt (editor)

PLOT: After her estranged father (Mullan) suddenly dies, Iris (Allan) learns that she has inherited a dilapidated pub. Soon, she discovers a terrifying secret in its basement: a shapeshifting creature known as Baghead, which can transform into the dead, but at a horrific price…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • A rundown pub is the scene of a tense and terrifying new supernatural story to chill your spine
  • Director Alberto Corredor expands his acclaimed short film into an unnerving feature that dives more into the myth of its titular creature
  • Said creature is brought to life by an intriguing mix of camera trickery, practical and virtual effects, and a considerable amount of performance art
  • The Witcher star Freya Allan leads the cast of humans that also includes War Horse’s Jeremy Irvine and Ruby Barker from Bridgerton
  • With its unpredictable story and creepy atmosphere, expect this to be a memorable horror experience to close out January with

Baghead is showing in cinemas from Friday 26 January 2024

 

Samsara (2023, dir. Lois Patiño)

CAST: Amid Keomany, Toumor Xiong, Simone Milavanh, Mariam Vuaa Mtego, Juwairiya Idrisa Uwesu

CREW: Lois Patiño (director, writer, editor), Garbiñe Ortega (writer), Leire Apellaniz (producer), Mauro Herce and Jessica Sarah Rinland (cinematographers)

PLOT: Within the temples of Laos, a group of teenage monks accompany the soul of Mon (Simone Milavanh), an elderly woman, across the realm between worlds and into the body of a baby goat in Zanzibar…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Get ready for a very different kind of cinematic experience with this meditative and experimental new film from Spanish filmmaker Lois Patiño
  • The piece deals with the natural process within the Buddhism religion of souls being transferred from one body to another
  • Part of the film requires the viewer to close their eyes and experience the sensory journey of the soul
  • With stunning cinematography that captures some surreal and breath-taking shots, you’ll also be visually stimulated by its raw beauty
  • It’s unlike anything you’d ever expect to see in a cinema, and will come out of it with a newer appreciation for life and its many cycles

Samsara is showing in cinemas from Friday 26 January 2024 (and will be available to rent exclusively on Curzon Home Cinema)

 

Forever Young (2024, dir. Henk Pretorius)

CAST: Diana Quick, Amy Tyger, Bernard Hill, Mark Jackson, Stephanie Beacham, Anna Wolf, Julian Glover, Jack Bennett, Gilbert Wynne, Elizabeth Counsell, Cleo Sylvestre, Anabela Teixeira, Sidney Kean

CREW: Henk Pretorius (director, writer), Barend Kruger (producer), Walter Mair (composer), Lorenzo Levrini (cinematographer), Megan Gill (editor)

PLOT: Robyn Smith (Quick), a 70-year-old writer, faces retirement in the serene English countryside, after a life of diminishing returns. However, when she is introduced to a groundbreaking new age-reversing drug, she decides to take a leap of faith and live life as a younger version of herself (Tyger), but soon finds herself on a transformative adventure…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • A woman’s youth is magically recaptured in this moving romantic drama with more than a drop of sci-fi imagination
  • The fine cast of British thespians including Diana Quick, Julian Glover and Lord of the Rings veteran Bernard Hill give the plot plenty of humanity
  • It comes from South African writer-director Henk Pretorius, who found success in his home country with films like Leading Lady
  • With intriguing themes and ponderous questions about it, this should be a curious one to look out for
  • If nothing else, think of it as a more serious version of Sky Cinema’s Arthur’s Whisky from earlier this month!

Forever Young is showing in cinemas from Friday 26 January 2024

 

Padre Pio (2023, dir. Abel Ferrara)

CAST: Shia LaBeouf, Cristina Chiriac, Marco Leonardi, Salvatore Ruocco, Brando Pacitto, Luca Lionello, Asia Argento

CREW: Abel Ferrara (director, writer), Maurizio Braucci (writer), Maurizio Antonini, Philipp Kreuzer and Diana Phillips (producers), Joe Delia (composer), Alessandro Abate (cinematographer), Karin Scuderi (editor)

PLOT: The life of Saint Padre Pio (LaBeouf), the Italian priest who became known for his mystical experiences and stigmata, as well as his unwavering faith in the Lord…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The life of a literal saint is the focus of this new faith-based biographical drama from filmmaker Abel Ferrara, known for films like Bad Lieutenant, The Driller Killer and King of New York
  • Shia LaBeouf takes on the title role in a film that explores the priest’s spiritual journey from a young man grappling with his faith to the revered figure he soon became known as
  • As a result of his deep immersion into the world of his character, which included residing in a Capuchin monastery, LaBeouf ended up converting to Catholicism after production wrapped
  • The film uses many of the actual locations that Padre Pio himself occupied, adding a neat layer of authenticity to the filmmaking
  • Whether you are of faith or not, this is a fascinating dive into an equally interesting figure, as portrayed by a controversial yet intriguing actor

Padre Pio is showing in cinemas from Friday 26 January 2024

 

This Blessed Plot (2023, dir. Marc Isaacs)

CAST: Various

CREW: Marc Isaacs (director, producer, cinematographer, editor), Adam Ganz (writer), Lydia Kivinen (producer), Sarah González Centeno and David Charap (editors)

PLOT: Lori, a young Chinese filmmaker, travels to the historic Essex village of Thaxted in search of a new subject for her film. She soon begins encountering some of the eccentric locals, who introduce her to English folklore and spirituality, and even a number of ghosts from the past…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • This unique film blends fact and fiction with an observant eye for the absurd
  • Filmmaker Marc Isaacs presents a documentary set in and around the village of Thaxted that also adopts a strange farcical narrative involving ghosts and nefarious plots
  • The cast is made up entirely of local non-professional performers, who take the viewer along its odd path that provides new insight into English folklore
  • It taps into Thaxted’s rich cultural history, including its use as a key location in Paolo Pasolini’s adaptation of The Canterbury Tales
  • You might just come away with a whole new appreciation for the strange and endearing culture embedded deep within England’s roots

This Blessed Plot is showing in cinemas from Friday 26 January 2024

What’s Showing At Home This Week?

 

The Underdoggs (2024, dir. Charles Stone III)

CAST: Snoop Dogg, Tika Sumpter, George Lopez, Andrew Schulz, Mike Epps, Nancy De Mayo, Gavin Cole, Jonigan Booth, Adan James Carrillo, Kylah Davila, Caleb Dixon, Alexander Michael Gordon, Shamori Washington

CREW: Charles Stone III (director), Isaac Schamis and Danny Segal (writers), Kenya Barris, Calvin Broadus, Mychelle Deschamps and Jonathan Glickman (producers), Joseph Shirley (composer), TBA (cinematographer), Paul Millspaugh (editor)

PLOT: After hitting rock bottom, former pro American football star Jaycen Jennings (Dogg) is sentenced to community service, where he must coach an unruly team of young football players in his hometown. As he begins coaching the team to unlikely success, Jennings rediscovers his passion for the game…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The legendary Snoop Dogg headlines this fun sports comedy with plenty of laughs and even more charisma
  • The film is based on a pitch by the rapper himself, who also produces under his real name Calvin Broadus
  • Filmmaker Charles Stone III, no stranger to directing sports movies like Drumline and 3000, teams with producer and Black-ish creator Kenya Barris to bring Dogg’s pitch to life
  • You’ll be pummelled by an endless flow of reliable sports movie conventions, but only the strongest ones that bring out the best in this genre
  • It’s a light-hearted and well-intentioned ride that scores a nice touchdown for viewers everywhere

The Underdoggs is streaming exclusively on Prime Video from Friday 26 January 2024

That’s about it for this week – be sure to come back next week for a whole new set of movies to work up an appetite for!

Want to see our past menus?

Want to find a specific film?

Search for it in the box below:

Lisa Frankenstein (2024, dir. Zelda Williams)

A misunderstood teen resurrects a handsome corpse…

Spaceman (2024, dir. Johan Renck)

A lonely astronaut makes an unexpected connection on a solo mission…

American Star (2024, dir. Gonzalo López-Gallego)

An aging hitman travels to Fuerteventura for a final mission…

Dune Part Two (2024, dir. Denis Villeneuve)

Paul Atreides leads the Fremen of the desert planet Arrakis on a defiant mission…

Wicked Little Letters (2024, dir. Thea Sharrock)

In 1920s Littlehampton, a series of vulgar letters rock the community…

Perfect Days (2023, dir. Wim Wenders)

A Tokyo toiler cleaner leads a carefully structured life…

Memory (2023, dir. Michel Franco)

A woman has a surprise encounter with an old high school classmate…

Someone’s Daughter, Someone’s Son (2024, dir. Lorna Tucker)

Filmmaker Lorna Tucker explores the UK’s ongoing homeless crisis…

Bob Marley: One Love (2024, dir. Reinaldo Marcus Green)

Reggae musician Bob Marley rises to prominence throughout the world…

Madame Web (2024, dir. S.J. Clarkson)

A clairvoyant paramedic protects a trio of young women from a mysterious assailant…

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