The Shape of Water is rated 15 for strong violence, language, sex, nudity
It’s the height of the Cold War, and Elisa (Sally Hawkins) works as a cleaner at a military facility in Baltimore. She’s isolated by her disability – she’s mute – but has two true friends in Giles (Richard Jenkins), her artist neighbour, and Zelda (Octavia Spencer), her warmhearted co-worker.
When a man called Strickland (Michael Shannon) arrives at the facility with a mysterious ‘asset’ in tow, Elisa is immediately intrigued. This scaly creature (Doug Jones), worshipped as a God by Amazon tribes, is in danger of being killed and dissected by a government only interested in gaining an advantage over the Russians.
Elisa vows to save him – and in the process her tentative bond with the creature becomes a strange and wonderful love affair.
Usually, it’s the people with power – but sometimes, their wishes die with them. When Queen Victoria died in 1901, one of the most important chapters in her life was erased, and it took more than a hundred years and some intrepid journalism to recover it.
The upcoming historical drama (in UK cinemas 15th September) reveals the extraordinary true story of an unexpected friendship in the later years of Queen Victoria’s (Academy Award winner Judi Dench) remarkable rule. When Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal), a young clerk, travels from India to participate in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, he is surprised to find favour with the Queen herself. As the Queen questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance with a loyalty to one another that her household and inner circle all attempt to destroy. As the friendship deepens, the Queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes and joyfully reclaims her humanity.
Damaris Media is partnering with Age UK to spread the word about the film. Age UK has a vision for helping everyone love later life – and Victoria & Abdul tells the story of someone learning to do just that.
This companion booklet includes a glimpse into the film, an insight into the making of it, and a chance to reflect on the themes within.
Last week Damaris Media gathered together community leaders and influencers for a sneak preview of Victoria & Abdul, a new historical drama coming to cinemas 15th September.
The film, which stars Judi Dench and Ali Fazal, tells the true story of an elderly Queen Victoria’s friendship with her Indian aide Abdul Karim. It’s gently comedic, but also an insightful look at the loneliness which can sometimes accompany old age, and the way that human connection can restore life and dignity.
We invited representatives of charities like the Samaritans, Rotary and Age
Action Alliance – as well as luminaries such as Dame Jenni Murray and former Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman – to see what they made of the film. I spoke to John Norley, CEO of Age UK Medway, about the challenges he sees in the community he works with, and how Victoria & Abdul might speak to
This is a child-friendly guide; some of the discussion questions are for younger viewers. The BFG is rated PG for mild threat.
TheScoop – A delight from start to finish, The BFG sees Spielberg bottle Roald Dahl’s magic.
Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) knows how to stay safe from the monsters that lurk in the small hours of the night. Don’t get out of bed. Don’t go to the window. Don’t pull back the curtain.
But when she catches a glimpse of a huge, shadowy figure lurking outside the London orphanage where she lives, Sophie can’t help herself. The giant (Mark Rylance) snatches her away and carries her off to the ramshackle cave where he lives – but it turns out that he’s nothing to be afraid of. In fact this big, friendly, word-mangling, dream-catching creature needs help defeating some monsters of his own.
Hey, it’s a new Film Blog feature! I’ll now also be covering films which have recently been released on Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, or other popular on-demand services, or on DVD. This way, you can host a film club evening from the comfort of your own home, or catch up on hidden gems you might have missed the first time around.
Slow West is rated 15 for strong violence. Available on DVD and Netflix.
The Scoop –An odd, atmospheric arthouse Western with a few surprises up its sleeve
Young Jay (Kodi Smit-McPhee) has travelled all the way from Scotland to the American frontier to find the girl he loves: Rose (Caren Pistorius), who fled there with her father under shady circumstances. A helpless idealist in a country of hard, cynical men, Jay looks set to meet a violent end, and soon.
He is rescued by Silas (Michael Fassbender), who offers to protect him on his journey in exchange for money. But unbeknownst to Jay, Silas is hoping to kill Rose and her father and claim the bounty on their heads.
The Scoop – A pitch-dark satire on the contemporary relationship game. Would make an excellent double-bill with ‘Her‘.
Think it’s tough being single? At least you don’t live in the off-kilter futuristic world inhabited by David (Colin Farrell). When his wife leaves him, he is sent to stay in a hotel where he and a large group of other singletons have forty-five days to fall in love with someone, or be turned into an animal. David decides that if it comes to that, he’ll be a lobster. He’s always liked the sea.
When things at the hotel go awry, David runs away to the woods, where he encounters a group of rebel Loners whose fearsome leader (Lea Seydoux) enacts bloody punishments on those who are tempted by romance. Falling in love with a Loner woman (Rachel Weisz) could be a short-sighted move.