A literary biopic, a salute to one of the great screen comedy teams, and a spotlight on the great Michael Caine are some of the must-see offerings from the sixth MINI British Film Festival, which hits Palace Cinemas around the country from October 23.
This year’s opening night film is Colette, which sees Keira Knightley taking up the mantle of renowned Belle Époque writer Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette for director Wash Westmoreland. (Still Alice), with Dominic West and Fiona Shaw co-starring.
Closing night sees Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly take up the battered bowler hats of beloved comedians Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in Stan and Ollie, from BAFTA-winning writer Jeff Pope (Philomena).
British acting legend Michael Caine stars alongside Jim Broadbent, Tom Courtenay, Michael Gambon and Ray Winstone in King of Thieves, an amiable crime drama from The Theory of Everything director James Marsh that tells the true story of the Hatton Garden robbery, the most daring heist in British criminal history.
Caine is also the centrepiece of the festival’s Swinging ’60s retrospective, which looks at the explosion of colour and creativity that followed the years of post-war austerity and grim British New Wave offerings, with screenings including The Knack… and How to Get It (1965); Alfie (1966); Georgy Girl (1966); To Sir, With Love (1967); and The Italian Job (1969).
Other films this year include Red Joan, based on the life of British KGB agent Melita Norwood and starring Judi Dench and Sophie Cookson; and Vita and Virginia, which sees Australian Elizabeth Debicki (Breath, The Kettering Incident) play literary icon Virginia Woolf with Gemma Arterton as her lover, Vita Sackville-West.
The full program will be announced late September. The MINI British Film Festival runs across the nation at the following dates and venues:
Tue 23 Oct – Wed 14 Nov Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona, Palace Central, Chauvel Cinema
Thu 25 Oct – Wed 14 Nov Palace Cinema Como, Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Westgarth, The Astor Theatre
Wed 24 Oct – Wed 14 Nov Palace Nova Eastend, Palace Nova Prospect
Thu 25 Oct – Wed 14 Nov Cinema Paradiso, Palace Raine Square, Luna on SX and The Windsor
Wed 24 Oct – Tue 13 Nov Palace Electric Cinema
Wed 24 Oct– Wed 14 Nov Palace Barracks, Palace Centro on James Street