ON CHESIL BEACH
2017, Bleecker Street Media, 110 min, UK, Dir: Dominic Cooke

Adapted by Ian McEwan from his bestselling novel, this drama centers on a young English couple in the summer of 1962. Florence Ponting (Saoirse Ronan), born into a prosperous, conservative home presided over by her overbearing father (Samuel West) and mother (Emily Watson), falls in love with Edward Mayhew (Billy Howle) whose chaotic but loving upbringing by a schoolteacher father (Adrian Scarborough) and brain-damaged artist mother (Anne-Marie Duff) stands in stark contrast. Following Florence and Edward through their idyllic courtship, the film explores sex and the societal pressure that can accompany physical intimacy, leading to an awkward and fateful wedding night.


THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
2014, Focus Features, 123 min, USA, Dir: James Marsh

Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) and Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones) met while students at the University of Cambridge shortly before Hawking was given a devastating diagnosis of motor neurone disease. Based on Jane’s 2008 memoir, this affecting biopic charts their 25-year marriage, as Stephen’s health problems mount along with his fame as one of the world’s leading theoretical physicists. Both Redmayne and Jones are extraordinary here, and they receive strong support from Charlie Cox, Emily Watson and David Thewlis.


THE PROPOSITION
2005, Millennium Entertainment, 104 min, Australia/UK, Dir: John Hillcoat

Nick Cave penned the screenplay and provided the evocative score to this Australia-set Western, a pitiless drama that is as beautiful as it is violent. The Burns gang is the scourge of the outback until Charlie Burns (Guy Pearce) and his simple-minded younger sibling are captured after a family is massacred. Facing execution, he is offered a deal – the two can go free if Charlie kills his older, more vicious brother, Arthur (Danny Huston). With Ray Winstone, Emily Watson and John Hurt. “A near-masterpiece of mood and menace, and one that deserves to be seen on the largest screen possible.” - Ty Burr, The Boston Globe.


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