VICTORIA & ABDUL
2017, Focus Features , 106 min, Dir: Stephen Frears

A humorous exploration of race, religion, power and the farce of Empire through the prism of an unusual and deeply moving friendship, this extraordinary true story had been deliberately hidden for a century. In 1887, Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal) travels from India to present a ceremonial medal as part of Queen Victoria’s (Judi Dench) Golden Jubilee but surprisingly finds favor with the elderly monarch. The unprecedented and unlikely relationship causes a battle royale within the royal household, pitting the queen against court and family.


RUSHMORE
1998, Buena Vista Pictures, 93 min, USA, Dir: Wes Anderson

Director Wes Anderson came up with THE GRADUATE for the late 1990s with this affectionate but unblinking look at the rewards and pitfalls that come with the naivete of adolescence. Jason Schwartzman plays Max, a prep school kid who befriends disillusioned businessman Bill Murray - until both are attracted to Max's beautiful teacher (Olivia Williams).


THE LAST DAYS ON MARS
2013, Magnet Releasing, 98 min, UK / Ireland, Dir: Ruairi Robinson

On the first manned mission to Mars, an astronaut discovers fossilized evidence of bacterial life. But when crew members begin to vanish, the rest of the team wonders if the lifeform they have discovered is not yet dead, and the group falls apart as it awaits a relief ship. Starring Liev Schrieber, Elias Koteas, Romola Garai and Olivia Williams, LAST DAYS is a lean, muscular and fast-moving genre picture that shows that science fiction smartly done on a budget can hold its own with anything.


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