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All films start at 7.45pm unless otherwise stated.

Tuesday 28 March

TAXI DRIVER (18)

Martin Scorsese's classic film of alienation is back in cinemas after 40 years, and Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) is still cinema’s ultimate outsider, capturing the post-Vietnam mood of the USA. His loneliness and complete isolation from the world, his inability to communicate spoke to that generation and every generation since, and has never lost any of its relevance. Indeed it would be hard to under-estimate the significance of Taxi Driver in film history. Taxi Driver has been fully restored for this theatrical reissue.

USA, 1976, 114 mins

Further information regarding scenes used by the BBFC to determine the film's certification, may be found at the extended classification link on the – please note that this page contains spoilers.

Reviews: :: The Guardian ::

Thursday 30 March

20th CENTURY WOMEN (15)

20th Century Women is an engaging comedy from Mike Mills set in late 1970s Santa Barbara, California. Dorothea (Annette Benning) is a single mother raising her teenage son, in a sprawling bohemian house shared by an itinerant carpenter (Billy Crudup) and a punk artist with a Bowie haircut, Abbie (Greta Gerwig). This is a refreshingly rich and intelligent female led film, with first rate performances from its cast in a thoughtful and fully formed evocation of an era.

USA, 2016, 99 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer :: The Telegraph ::

Friday 31 March and Saturday 1 April

HIDDEN FIGURES (PG)

Hidden Figures tells the incredible untold story of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, brilliant African-American mathematicians, whose work at NASA enabled America to gain an upper hand in the Space Race.

Theodore Melfi’s uplifting period drama traces their struggles to fulfil their potential in a segregated society, with radiant performances from its leading actresses Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe.

USA, 2016, 127 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer :: The Telegraph ::

Monday 3 April

JACKIE (15)

Pablo Larrain's first English-language film, starring Natalie Portman in possibly her most impressive and demanding role to date; Jackie Kennedy in the immediate aftermath of John F. Kennedy's traumatic assassination. The personal and political intersect as she struggles to maintain the her husband's legacy, while also dealing with the very public side of her loss.

Jackie is produced by Darren Aronofsky and features a stellar supporting cast including Peter Sarsgaard, Billy Crudup, Greta Gerwig and John Hurt.

Chile/France/USA (English and Spanish dialogue with English subtitles), 2016, 100 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer :: The Telegraph ::

Tuesday 4 April

FENCES (12A)

Denzel Washington directs August Wilson’s award-winning play, creating a compelling critique of masculinity, centred on middle-aged refuse collector Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington) in 1950s Pittsburgh. Embittered by myriad past disappointments, Troy is also resentful that the professional sportsman career denied to him has been afforded to his son, Cory. Viola Davis gives a superb, BAFTA winning performance as Troy’s ever stoic wife Rose, so long subject to Troy’s frustrations and erratic behaviour. Fences is a powerful drama about race, family and dysfunction.

USA, 2016, 139 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer :: The Telegraph ::

Thursday 6 April

IT’S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD (15)

Xavier Dolan’s latest work is a gorgeously shot melodrama centred on a terminally ill writer, Louis, who returns home to break the news of his condition to his estranged family. Once there, Louis struggles to articulate the real reason for his unexpected visit, thwarted by his family's inability to listen and overwhelmed by buried resentments and old feuds.

Gaspard Ulliel plays Louis, leading a stellar cast including Nathalie Baye, Marion Cotillard, Léa Seydoux and Vincent Cassel, who excel in a taut, tense story in a bold and emotional film that marks a more mature, intimate approach for Dolan.

Canada/France (French dialogue with English subtitles), 2016, 99 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer :: The Telegraph ::

Friday 7 and Saturday 8 April

MOONLIGHT (15)

Barry Jenkins' beautiful, sensitive Moonlight tells its gripping story in three passages, to chronicle the youth, adolescence and adulthood of Chiron; growing up poor, gay and black in Florida, navigating the drug-plagued inner city and discovering the possibility of change within himself.

An Academy Award favourite and one of the most significant films of the year, Moonlight is being hailed as a masterpiece that demands to be seen. A fiercely intelligent, compassionate film that is, ultimately, about identity, about finding connections in a lonely world, and how we all try to prevent ourselves from getting hurt.

USA, 2016, 111 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer :: The Telegraph ::

Tuesday 11 April

THE STUDENT (15)

Venya is a high school student in Russia’s coastal city of Kaliningrad, who believes that the world is nearing its end. He studies the Bible obsessively, incessantly quoting chapter and verse. Setting off on a disturbing path to religious extremism when he refuses to undress for swimming lessons, he soon progresses to challenging the schools ‘modern’ teachings on sex and evolution. Inevitably conflicts follow; with his mother, classmates and particularly with his biology teacher Elen.

Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov delivers a scathing satire on the state of Russia today, in a powerful, mesmerising and deeply unsettling study of religious fundamentalism.

Russia (Russian dialogue with English subtitles), 2016, 118 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer ::

Thursday 13, Friday 14 and Saturday 15 April

VICEROY’S HOUSE (12A)

In 1947, after 300 years of British rule, Lord Mountbatten assumed the post of the last Viceroy of India, charged with handing India back to its people. Gurinder Chadha’s deeply personal film examines events through the prism of both a marriage – that of Louis and Edwina Mountbatten – and the romance of a young Hindu servant, Jeet and his intended Muslim bride, Aalia.

Hugh Bonneville and Gillian Anderson play Lord and Lady Mountbatten, whose opposition adds to the conflict from their own communities as the hopeful young lovers (Huma Qureshi and Manish Dayal) find themselves caught up in the end of empire.

UK/India, 2017, 106 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer :: The Telegraph ::

Tuesday 18 April

THE SALESMAN (12A)

Emad is a teacher and Rana his stay-at-home wife. In their spare time, they’re also part of a theatre group, working on a production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman playing Willy and Linda Loman. Preparations are going well until a disturbing domestic incident gives rise to an atmosphere of simmering tension and their onstage roles begin to resonate with their fractured lives.

winner of this year’s Best Foreign Film Academy Award, The Salesman is  a beautifully observed and much acclaimed drama from director Asghar Farhadi, posing questions of morality and the power of pride, guilt and shame.

Iran/France(Persian dialogue with English subtitles), 2016, 124 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer :: The Telegraph ::

Thursday 20 April

THE LOVE WITCH (15)

Elaine is a beautiful young witch who is determined to find a man to love her. In her Gothic Victorian apartment she makes spells and potions to seduce them, if a little too successfully, leaving her with a string of hapless swains. When she finally meets the man of her dreams, her reckless desire to be loved knows no bounds.

The Love Witch is a spellbinding homage, blending 1970s exploitation films and 1960s technicolour thrillers, to explore female fantasy and the repercussions of pathological narcissism.

USA, 2016, 121 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer ::

Friday 21 and Saturday 22 April

ELLE (18)

Paul Verhoeven’s first French language film stars Isabelle Huppert as Michèle, the head of a successful videogame company, who is beaten and raped in her home by a masked assailant. After he leaves, Michèle cleans up and arranges to have the locks changed, deciding not to call the police. As the days pass she finds herself fantasising about the assault and thoughts of exacting a brutal revenge take hold.

Covering themes of brutality and malice, Elle is a provocative and perhaps divisive thriller. Huppert is sensational, and Elle will provide much to discuss and debate.

France/Germany/Belgium (French dialogue with English subtitles), 2016, 131 mins

Further information regarding scenes used by the BBFC to determine the film's certification, may be found at the extended classification link  – please note that this page contains spoilers.

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer :: The Telegraph ::

Tuesday 25 and Thursday 27 April

CERTAIN WOMEN (12A)

The latest work from Kelly Reichardt confirms her as as one of today’s leading filmmakers and an extraordinary director of actors. Based on the short stories of Maile Meloy, Certain Women is a portrait of four independent women in small town Montana. Reichardt’s nuanced direction focuses on character and place rather than narrative, to reveal intersecting lives against a backdrop of Montana’s mountains and pastoral, big-skied landscapes.

Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams and Lily Gladstone star in a deeply involving, melancholic drama.

USA, 2016, 107 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer :: The Telegraph ::

Friday 28 and Saturday 29 April

PERSONAL SHOPPER (15)

Kristen Stewart reunites with her Clouds of Sils Maria director, Olivier Assayas, to play Maureen, a young woman trying to contact the spirit of her recently departed twin brother, in this artful ghost story. Maureen is employed as a personal shopper for Kyra, a high-powered and high maintenance German model; something that both bores and frustrates her, but allows time for her otherworldly search. As time passes contact begins to look increasingly unlikely, until she begins to receive mysterious text messages.

France/Germany (mainly English language with subtitles for French and Swedish dialogue), 2016, 105 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer :: The Telegraph ::

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Stoke Film Theatre, College Road, Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire ST4 2EH Registered Charity no. 504600