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All films start at 7.45pm unless otherwise stated.

Thursday 15 March


Adapted from Guy De Maupassant’s novel, Une Vie, A Woman’s Life follows the life of Jeanne le Perthuis de Vauds over 27 years, from rural beginnings, to life married to an aristocrat, and all the painful realisations, dreams and disappointments along the way. Judith Chemla gives a superb central performance as Jeanne, alongside Yolande Moreau and Jean-Pierre Darroussin as her parents, in Stéphane Brizé’s compelling story about a woman's experiences in 19th Century Normandy.

France/Belgium (French dialogue with English subtitles), 2017, 119 mins

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

Friday 16 and Saturday 17 March


+++ Saturday Matinée at 3.00pm +++

Early Man is the new adventure from Nick Park and Aardman Animations, the much acclaimed creators of Wallace & Grommit. Set in the Neo-Pleistocene era it tells the story of courageous caveman hero Dug and his best friend Hognob as they unite their tribe against mighty enemy Lord Nooth to save their home. The voices of Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston and Timothy Spall, among others, complement Aardman’s distinctive stop-motion in a gloriously funny tale of Stone Age football’s finest hour.

UK/France, 2018, 89 mins

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

Tuesday 20 and Thursday 22 March


A haunting maritime biopic from Man On Wire director James Marsh. Colin Firth stars as Donald Crowhurst, the amateur British sailor who in 1968 entered the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, the first non-stop, single-handed, round-the-world yacht race. Marsh captures the inexperience, dramatic struggles and intense loneliness of Crowhurst, to offer an insight into the life of a man who remains a quixotic and mysterious figure in British history. Colin Firth, Rachel Weisz and David Thewlis provide complex, expressive performances in a gripping tale of ambition and adventure.

UK, 2017, 102 mins

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

Friday 23, Saturday 24 and Tuesday 27 March


At the height of the Cold War, two workers in a US government laboratory discover a terrifying secret experiment in this otherworldly fairytale from Guillermo del Toro. Sally Hawkins stars as Eliza, a lonely cleaner who communicates through signing after her vocal chords were removed as a child. Appalled by the cruel experiment, she forms a bond with its subject, an amphibious creature of unknown origin. With subtext and allegory for those who are looking for it, The Shape Of Water is a delight, a blend of romantic fantasy, B-movies and Cold War thriller; proof that love takes many forms.

USA, 2017, 123 mins

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

Thursday 29 March


One of the UK’s most distinctive contemporary filmmakers, Clio Barnard follows The Selfish Giant and The Arbor with this acclaimed Yorkshire-set drama. Ruth Wilson excels as Alice in an atmospheric and layered drama about the old wounds and bitter new grievances prompted when a woman returns home to settle the tenancy of her family’s farm. Battling sibling discord in a fraught and fragile situation, Alice must come to terms with her past and the trauma she suffered at the hands of her abusive father. Inspired by Rose Tremain’s novel Trespass, Dark River is an assured and atmospheric work with an acute sense of place.

UK, 2017, 90 mins

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

Friday 30, Saturday 31 and Tuesday 3 April


Greta Gerwig's sweet and much adored ode to adolescence, small towns and the bonds between mothers and daughters. Saoirse Ronan stars as the confused, precocious teenager Christine, or as she prefers to be called, Lady Bird. She's in her last year at a Catholic school and dreams of cosmopolitan culture and Ivy League universities, aspirations that antagonise her mother (Laurie Metcalf), a nurse working tirelessly to keep her family afloat. Lady Bird is a moving and gloriously funny film about growing up, mother-daughter relationships and the anxiety of separation.

USA, 2017, 94 mins

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

Thursday 5 April


A rising young police detective in Cairo is assigned the case of a murdered singer in this brilliant Egyptian thriller. Detective Noredin initially views the investigation as just another opportunity to squeeze the usual suspects and pocket a few more bribes, but as he uncovers increasingly disturbing details about the reach of the crime, this ambivalent anti-hero finds his conscience piqued. Based on a true story, this is a political thriller that grips like a vice, an excoriating portrait of systemic corruption, set in the days before the 2011 Tahrir Square uprising.

Sweden/Denmark/Germany/France (Arabic, Dinka, English and French dialogue with English subtitles), 2017, 106 mins

Friday 6 and Saturday 7 April


A heart-warming modern comedy about refinding yourself and starting over, starring Imelda Staunton as Lady Sandra Abbot, who, while celebrating the retirement of her husband of 40 years, discovers he's been having an affair with her best friend. After reluctantly moving in with her estranged sister Bif, she even more reluctantly allows herself to be dragged along to the local community dance class, where a new lease of life, new friends and the possibilities of romance await her. An all-star cast includes Timothy Spall, Joanna Lumley and Celia Imrie.

UK, 2017, 111 mins

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

Tuesday 10 April


The tale of Prince Tamino and his quest to rescue the beautiful Princess Pamina from the clutches of the evil Sarastro. Ingmar Bergman directs this warm and witty adaptation of Mozart’s opera with a light touch, highlighting its exuberant theatrical illusion and the emotions conveyed by an excellent young cast. Beginning with the faces of a rapt audience (including Bergman himself) enjoying the overture, in a set replicating a lovely 18th century theatre, in which Bergman presents a performance of musical excellence, dramatic vitality and enormous, effortless charm. A celebration of love, forgiveness, and the brotherhood of man.

Sweden (In Swedish with English subtitles), 1975, 137 mins

Thursday 12 April


Chilean director Sebastián Lelio follows the acclaimed Gloria with this Academy Award nominated, luminous and life-affirming portrait of a young transgender woman. Marina is a waitress and aspiring singer making tentative steps towards moving in with her partner, Orlando. When he suffers a fatal aneurysm, Marina comes under suspicion by virtue of her gender identity, and is treated like a criminal by doctors, police and most callously by Orlando’s family. A superb performance from Daniela Vega as Marina is at the heart of a powerful, touching film about a truly complex, strong, and fantastic woman.

Chile/Germany/Spain/USA (Spanish dialogue with English subtitles), 2017, 104 mins

Friday 13 April

I, TONYA (15)

Based on the unbelievable, but true events, I, Tonya is a darkly comic tale of American figure skater, Tonya Harding, and one of the most sensational scandals in her sport’s, or any sport’s, history.  An irreverent and at times absurd, tragicomic biopic, I, Tonya presents the ill-conceived (and even more poorly executed) plan that defines her legacy. Margot Robbie’s performance as Tonya is picking up award nominations for its piercing portrayal of Harding’s life and career in all of its unchecked and checkered glory.

USA, 2017, 119 mins

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

Saturday 14 and Tuesday 17 April


Director Ruben Östlund returns with this Palme d'Or-winning satire on art, culture and communication in the digital age, centred on Christian, the chief curator of a respected art museum in Stockholm. On the verge of opening his next exhibition, his life and the museum's reputation is thrown into crisis by a series of troubles, including a backfiring PR campaign, an awkward fling with a journalist and a performance art centrepiece that simply defies wisdom. The Square is a funny and bracingly surreal dissection of the art-world starring Claes Bang, Elisabeth Moss and Dominic West.

Sweden/Germany/France/Denmark (subtitled), 2017, 151 mins

Thursday 19 April


It's 1929 and Sam works for a preacher in the outback of Australia's Northern Territory. When Harry, a bitter and racist war veteran moves into a neighbouring outpost, the preacher sends Sam and his family to help, with dire consequences. Accused of murder, Sam and his wife Lizzie try to stay ahead of an enraged posse in this powerful period drama from Australian director Warwick Thornton. With gorgeous cinematography and impressive performances from Hamilton Morris, Sam Neill, Natassia Gorey Furber and Bryan Brown, Sweet Country is a compelling tale.

Australia, 2017, 113 mins

Friday 20 and Saturday 21 April


We Need To Talk About Kevin and Ratcatcher director, Lynne Ramsay, makes her long-awaited return with this brilliantly executed minimalist noir starring Joaquin Phoenix. Phoenix plays Joe, a traumatised Gulf War veteran and former FBI agent who has become desensitised to violence and conventional morality. When Nina, a US senator’s daughter, is kidnapped by a child sex ring, Joe is tasked with bringing his particular talents to bear upon the perpetrators and affect her rescue.

Less concerned by thriller conventions and its sensational subject matter, Ramsay focuses on her relentless protagonist’s psyche, using imagery and Jonny Greenwoods superlative score to create a masterful new work.

UK/France/USA, 2017, 90 mins

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