The films to see in York this month – May 2018

The dead cool Deadpool returns in May. Photograph: Twentieth Century Fox

“A fourth wall break inside a fourth wall break? That’s like… 16 walls!”

Chimichangas at the ready this month as Ryan Reynolds’ motor-mouthed mercenary returns in Deadpool 2.

Elsewhere, a certain scruffy-looking nerf herder gets the origins story treatment, a horse and his boy make an epic trek across America, and the world’s greatest detective is gnomeward bound…

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Sci-fi / fantasy

Deadpool 2

Cert TBC, TBC mins

Vue York, City Screen, Everyman

From Tues May 15

Movie website

It’s quite refreshing these days to see a superhero sequel title that opts for the simple, prosaic method of just sticking a “2” on the end.

Of course, honest, unpretentious (and very foul-mouthed) fun was very much part of the first Deadpool film’s appeal when it came out two years ago.

This next chapter sees Ryan Reynolds’ wisecracking mercenary put a team together to protect a young mutant from time-travelling soldier Cable (Josh Brolin).

His new comrades include Domino (Zazie Beetz), whose power intriguingly involves the ability to manipulate luck, while many of the first film’s characters return, including Deadpool’s would-be mentor Colossus (Stefan Kapičić ) and fiancée Vanessa (Morena Baccarin).

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Cert TBC, TBC mins

Vue York, City Screen, Everyman

From Thurs May 24

Movie website

Following on from 2016’s Rogue One, here’s the second standalone Star Wars film, telling the backstory of one of the series’ most famous characters.

Yes, that’s right – the Stormtrooper who bumped his head in the original Star Wars finally gets his own movie. Follow Terry Sidebottom, a well-meaning but clumsy pastry chef in the Tatooine branch of Greggs, as he pursues his lifelong dream of working for the Empire…

Hang on, sorry, that one’s not due until 2029. This one’s about everyone’s favourite intergalactic rogue Han Solo, and sees Alden Ehrenreich take on the role made famous by Harrison Ford.

Set over a decade before the original trilogy, the film follows Han’s character-forming early escapades in the criminal underworld, including his first meetings with Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) and, of course, Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo).

Game Of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke plays his childhood friend Qi’ra, while Woody Harrelson is looking suitably grizzled as his mentor Tobias Beckett.

Drama

Lean On Pete

Cert 15, 122 mins

Vue York, City Screen, Everyman

From Fri May 4

Movie website

Charlie Plummer (recently seen as the kidnapped grandson in All The Money In The World) stars here as a teenager who forms a powerful bond with an ageing racehorse.

When Charley (Plummer) discovers that his new friend is destined for the slaughterhouse, the two escape and begin an epic journey across the American frontier.

This coming-of-age tale is the first US-set picture from Harrogate-born director Andrew Haigh, whose last two films, relationship dramas Weekend and 45 Years, were met with great acclaim on their release.

That’s a trend that looks set to continue with Lean On Pete, for which Plummer won the Best Young Actor or Actress Award at last year’s Venice International Film Festival.

On Chesil Beach

Cert 15, 110 mins

Vue York, City Screen, Everyman

From Fri May 18

Movie website

Author Ian McEwan adapts his acclaimed novel for the big screen, with Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle starring as young newlyweds in early 1960s Britain.

Florence (Ronan) and Edward (Howle), both in their early 20s and also both virgins, are spending their honeymoon on the Dorset coast.

The prospect of consummating their marriage hangs heavily over them as they look back to their lives before and after they met.

The film marks the feature debut of stage director (and four-time Olivier Award winner) Dominic Cooke, who also made BBC2’s series of Shakespeare adaptations The Hollow Crown.

Comedy

I Feel Pretty

Cert 12A, 110 mins

Vue York

From Fri May 4

Movie website

Amy Schumer (Trainwreck) stars in this new comedy as an insecure woman whose self-image receives a magical boost after she hits her head in an accident.

Renee (Schumer) falls from her bike during an exercise class and wakes up believing she is the most beautiful and capable woman on the planet.

Her new-found confidence quickly has a positive effect on her career and her love life – but what will happen when she realises her appearance never changed?

Featuring a rare comic outing for Michelle Williams (All The Money In The World) as a cosmetics company boss, the film marks the directorial debut of its writers Amy Kohn and Marc Silverstein, whose previous work includes comedies How To Be Single and Never Been Kissed.

While critics have been full of praise for Schumer’s stand-up and TV work, there’s been a general feeling that her film vehicles have failed to do her justice so far – and going by the response following its US release, it sounds as though I Feel Pretty is unlikely to change that.

Tully

Cert 15, 96 mins

Vue York, City Screen, Everyman

From Fri May 4

Movie website

Believe it or not, it’s now ten years since Ellen Page graced our screens as the pregnant teen heroine in Juno.

Tully reunites the team behind the much-loved teen pregnancy comedy, writer Diablo Cody and director Jason Reitman, for a look at the messy realities of motherhood.

It stars Charlize Theron (who also worked with Cody and Reitman on 2011’s Young Adult) as Marlo, an exhausted mum of three whose brother arranges a night nanny for her in the shape of Tully (Mackenzie Davis).

Marlo is hesitant at first, but the two gradually come to form a unique bond.

The film was well received after its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January, with Film Journal calling it “a smart, deeply empathetic ode to motherhood”.

Family films

Mary and the Witch’s Flower

Cert U, 103 mins

City Screen

From Fri May 4

Movie website

A young girl discovers a flower that grants magical powers in this Japanese animated adventure.

The mystical plant transports her to Endor College, a school of magic where she finds terrible deeds afoot.

This is the first animation from Studio Ponoc, a new studio founded by former Studio Ghibli producer Yoshiaki Nishimura which has become home to many ex-Ghibli staffers.

The film’s artwork and its focus on a young heroine in an enchanted world are certainly evocative of Ghibli’s celebrated works, and this should appeal to its many fans.

Showing in Japanese with English subtitles.

Sherlock Gnomes

Cert U, 86 mins

Vue York, Everyman

From Fri May 11

Movie website

In the story A Case Of Identity, Sherlock Holmes remarked that “Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent”, but here’s a film that might just test that theory.

What we have here is a sequel to an all-gnome, Elton John-soundtracked version of Romeo and Juliet which adds gnome versions of Holmes and Watson to the mix, and whose voice cast includes Michael Caine, Mary J. Blige, and Ozzy Osbourne as a garden deer.

Perhaps inevitably, Johnny Depp voices the garden ornament version of the Great Detective, while James McAvoy and Emily Blunt return as Gnomeo and Juliet.

Elton John (who’s also executive producer) again provides the music, and there are apparently several Elton-themed in-jokes to look out for in amongst the Shakespeare/Conan Doyle mash-up hijinks.

The plot? Oh, um, some garden gnomes go missing and Sherlock Gnomes has to find them. Now, if you’ll excuse me I need to lie down…

Live Screenings

Three one-off live broadcasts to note for this month, all showing at both Vue and City Screen.

First up, there’s four national treasures for the price of one on Wednesday 2nd, with premiere screenings of new BBC documentary Nothing Like A Dame.

It’s a look back at the lives and careers of Dame Eileen Atkins, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Joan Plowright and Dame Maggie Smith, based around footage of one of their occasional get-togethers in the English countryside. Cider and cow-tipping all round, I’d’ve thought…

Next up, Thursday 17th sees one of the classic British war films return to the big screen. The Dambusters At 75 is a commemorative screening marking 75 years to the day since the famous World War II raid.

Broadcast live from the Royal Albert Hall and hosted by Dan Snow, the evening promises interviews with very special guests and music from the Glenn Miller Orchestra, culminating in a screening of the film itself, newly restored in 4K.

Finally, another much-loved thesp gets the documentary treatment in McKellen: Playing The Part Live, showing on Sunday 27th.

A new film about Sir Ian McKellen built from 14 hours of interviews, the screening will be followed by a live broadcast of a Q&A with the man himself from London’s BFI Southbank, hosted by Graham Norton.

Seasons and one-offs

If you enjoyed Ready Player One last month, then there’s a chance to see two more of the many movies referenced in Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster in City Screen’s CultureShock strand on Monday nights.

Their season concludes with showings of two highly acclaimed sci-fi adaptations. 1999’s animation The Iron Giant (showing on 7th) was based on Ted Hughes’ 1968 novel The Iron Man, with the action being transposed from England to the USA for the film.

1968 also saw the publication of cult US sci-fi writer Philip K Dick’s story Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? which was, of course, the basis for Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, the Final Cut of which screens on 14th.

Meanwhile, on Sundays their Ingmar Bergman season has three more picks from the influential Swedish director’s filmography.

The Touch (showing on 6th), the tale of an affair between a married woman and her husband’s friend, was Bergman’s first English-language film. Little seen since its release in 1971, some critics are now hailing it as an overlooked gem.

Unless Mr Heckles got a look-in at some point, I’m guessing it’s probably also the only Bergman film to star a future cast member of Friends, with Jack Geller himself, Elliot Gould, in one of the lead roles.

It’s followed on the 13th by 1972 sibling relationship drama Cries and Whispers, before the season wraps up on 20th with The Magic Flute. Bergman’s take on Mozart’s opera is considered one of the best film adaptations of an opera ever made.

There’s plenty of intriguing-sounding fare on offer in City Screen’s Discover Tuesdays slot this month.

Fans of Frances Ha may want to check out French drama Jeune Femme (8th), a film about a 31-year-old trying to find her place in the world after a break-up, which has earned comparisons to the Greta Gerwig comedy.

On the 15th there’s a nail-biting documentary in The Deminer, which puts together a Kurdish officer’s home video footage of his work disarming landmines in Iraq.

Meanwhile, the 22nd sees a screening of the new animation from Irish studio Cartoon Saloon, whose previous feature was the hugely acclaimed Song Of The Sea. The Breadwinner follows an 11-year-old girl in Afghanistan who disguises herself as a boy in order to support her family when her father is arrested.

On Wednesday 9th, City Screen also have a showing of documentary Skid Row Marathon, which tells the story of a running club set up for recovering addicts and criminals by an LA judge, whose members have gone on to participate in marathons around the world.

Finally, a couple of one-offs to flag at Everyman. On Monday 21st there’s a screening of the late, great John Hurt’s final role, in That Good Night. Hurt plays a famous screenwriter dealing with a terminal illness in this drama, based on a stage play.

Prior to that on Tuesday 8th, there’s a source of succour for all those music lovers missing Glastonbury on its year off. Documentary Lost In Vagueness tells the story of the festival’s famous Lost Vagueness area, which the blurb describes as ‘reminiscent of a permissive 1920s Berlin, but all in a muddy field’.

Sure to make those plush sofa seats feel comfier than ever, then…

Community Cinema

The lighter nights may be here, but the warmer weather has largely remained stubbornly absent so far. However, the good people of South Bank Community Cinema are set to bring the sweltering heat of a Brooklyn summer to Clement’s Hall this month, with a welcome screening of Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing on Friday 11th.

The classic 1989 film sees tempers and racial tensions rising in a Brooklyn neighbourhood on the hottest day of the year, when an argument erupts over the all-white portraits hanging on the wall of a local pizzeria.

Lee himself stars as pizza delivery man Mookie, with Danny Aiello as the restaurant’s owner Sal, in what the Guardian described as “a film at once as intense as a city in the grip of a heatwave, and as bracing as the storm that comes after”.

Another family food-making business figures in SBCC’s second film this month, in 2010 Italian comedy Loose Cannons.

Screening on 25th, the film sees Tomasso (Ricardo Scamarcio) plan to announce to his conservatice family that he’s gay, only to be pipped at the post by his brother Antonio (Alessandro Preziosi).

Complications ensue as Tomasso is forced to take over the family pasta-making business and further secrets emerge…

Both screenings are in Clement’s Hall on Nunthorpe Road. Tickets are £3 for members or £4 for guests.