A working-class Italian-American bouncer becomes the driver of an African-American classical pianist on a tour of venues through the 1960s American South
Oscar winning film, Green Book (2018) is set in 1962. Tony "Tony Lip" Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen), a tough bouncer, is looking for work when his nightclub is closed for renovations. The most promising offer turns out to be the driver for the African-American classical pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) for a concert tour into the Deep South states.
Although hardly enthused at working for a black man, Tony accepts the job and they begin their trek armed with The Negro Motorist Green Book, a travel guide for safe travel through America's racial segregation. Together, the snobbishly erudite pianist and the crudely practical bouncer can barely get along with their clashing attitudes to life and ideals.
However, as the disparate pair witness and endure America's appalling injustices on the road, they find a newfound respect for each other's talents and start to face them together. In doing so, they would nurture a friendship and understanding that would change both their lives.
78% Rotten Tomatoes
Running time approx: 2 hours and 10 minutes
Cold War (2018) is a passionate love story between two people of different backgrounds and temperaments, who are fatefully mismatched and yet condemned to each other.
Set against the background of the Cold War in the 1950s in Poland, Berlin, Yugoslavia and Paris, the film depicts an impossible love story in impossible times.
Paweł Pawlikowski won the best director award at Cannes in May for this sweepingly intimate love story about a star-crossed couple falling together and apart, through the iron curtain of postwar Europe.
Cold War, the film, is inspired by (and dedicated to) his parents, whom Pawlikowski has described as “the most interesting dramatic characters I’ve ever come across … both strong, wonderful people, but as a couple a never-ending disaster”.
92% Rotten Tomatoes
Running time approx: 1 hour and 29 minutes
The Wife (2017) stars Glenn Close in her Oscar Nominated role as a long suffering literary wife, who questions her life choices as she travels to Stockholm to see her husband receive the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Behind any great man, there's always a greater woman - and you're about to meet her. Joan Castleman (Glenn Close): a highly intelligent and still-striking beauty - the perfect devoted wife.
Forty years spent sacrificing her own talent, dreams and ambitions to fan the flames of her charismatic husband Joe (Jonathan Pryce) and his skyrocketing literary career. Ignoring his infidelities and excuses because of his "art" with grace and humour. Their fateful pact has built a marriage upon uneven compromises. And Joan's reached her breaking point.
On the eve of Joe's Nobel Prize for Literature, the crown jewel in a spectacular body of work, Joan's coup de grace is to confront the biggest sacrifice of her life and secret of his career.
The Wife interweaves the story of the couple's youthful passion and ambition with a portrait of a marriage, thirty-plus years later--a lifetime's shared compromises, secrets, betrayals, and mutual love.
85% Rotten Tomatoes
Running time approx: 1 hour and 39 minutes
Can You Ever Forgive Me
When biographer Lee Israel falls out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception.
Can You Ever Forgive Me (2018) stars Oscar Nominated Melissa McCarthy as Lee Israel, the best-selling celebrity biographer (and cat lover) who made her living in the 1970's and 80's profiling the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, Estée Lauder and journalist Dorothy Kilgallen.
Fast forward to New York in the 1990's and Lee Israel is a frustrated, hard drinking author who has fallen out of step with the marketplace and who can barely afford to pay her rent or bills.
Desperate for money, she soon hatches a scheme to forge letters by famous writers and sell them to bookstores and collectors.
When the dealers start to catch on, Lee recruits a dubious friend, Jack (Richard E. Grant) to help her continue her self-destructive cycle of trickery and deceit.
81% Rotten Tomatoes
Running time approx: 1 hour and 47 minutes
The White Crow
Ralph Fiennes' film The White Crow (2018) was inspired by the book "Rudolf Nureyev: The Life by Julie Kavanaugh". This biopic drama charts the iconic dancer's famed defection from the Soviet Union to the West in 1961 during a European tour, despite KGB efforts to stop him.
Rudolf Nureyev changed the face of ballet in the West, with his wild animal magnetism and a hard to define charisma that grabbed the audience the moment he stepped on stage. Nothing like that had been seen on more sedate Western ballet stages before.
And yet, it could all have been lost to us, were it not for his impulsive defection at Paris Le Bourget airport on 16 June 1961, during a rare tour of the West by the Kirov (now Mariinsky) Ballet.
The film, The White Crow, focuses on Nureyev’s early life in the Soviet Union culminating in the events that led to his fateful jump to freedom.
65% Rotten Tomatoes
Running time approx: 2 hour and 7 minutes