BABE
1995, Universal, 91 min, USA, Australia, Dir: Chris Noonan

“That'll do, pig.” This charming story of a pig who wants to be a sheepdog remains one of the most magical family films ever made. James Cromwell was never better than as Arthur Hoggett, a simple farmer who sees Babe’s potential and gives him a chance. Co-written and produced by George Miller (the MAD MAX mastermind, of all people), this heartwarming box office hit was nominated for seven Oscars, including a win for Best Visual Effects.


THE QUEEN
2006, Miramax, 97 min, UK, Dir: Stephen Frears

Combining the vicarious rewards of a detailed biopic with the gentler pleasures of an insightful character study, director Stephen Frears puts the monarchy under the microscope in this irreverent comedy-drama. Set in 1997, it details the bond of trust that slowly develops between the 71-year-old Queen Elizabeth – humanized by the Oscar-winning performance of Helen Mirren in the title role – and prime minister, Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) following the death of Princess Diana. With James Cromwell, Sylvia Syms.


L.A. CONFIDENTIAL
1997, Warner Bros., 138 min, USA, Dir: Curtis Hanson

Director Curtis Hanson brings James Ellroy’s epic, muckraking crime novel to vivid life, zeroing in on murder, scandal-mongering and police corruption in 1950s Los Angeles. A white-hot slab of ensemble acting adds to the fireworks, including Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kevin Spacey, James Cromwell, Danny DeVito and Kim Basinger, who won a much-deserved Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance. One of those all-too-rare movie literary adaptations that matches the quality of the original book.


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