Dream Alliance is an unlikely race horse bred by small-town Welsh bartender Jan Vokes. With no experience, Jan convinces her neighbours to chip in their meagre earnings to help raise Dream in the hopes he can compete with the racing elites.
Experience the inspiring true story of Dream Alliance, an unlikely race horse bred by small town bartender, Jan Vokes (Toni Collette). With very little money and no experience, Jan convinces her neighbors to chip in their meager earnings to help raise Dream and compete with the racing elites. Their investment pays off as Dream rises through the ranks and becomes a beacon of hope in their struggling community.
We can see every plot point rounding the turn long before the finish line, but that’s OK, because we’re having a (dare I say it) jolly grand time every step of the way.
Sure it’s hokey, but this fact-based crowd-pleaser starring a terrific Toni Collette as a struggling Welsh villager who risks everything on a racehorse she breeds and raises is an underdog story that works like a charm.
On the eve of retirement a middle class, judgmental snob discovers her husband has been having an affair with her best friend and is forced into exile with her bohemian sister who lives on an impoverished inner-city council estate.
When “Lady” Sandra Abbott discovers that her husband of 40 years is having an affair with her best friend, she seeks refuge in London with her estranged, older sister Bif. The two could not be more different – Sandra is a fish out of water next to her outspoken, serial dating, free-spirited sibling. But different is just what Sandra needs at the moment, and she reluctantly lets Bif drag her along to a community dance class, where she starts finding her feet.
Finding Your Feet finds its own footing by putting its trust in its sturdy performers and avoiding many of the usual tea-time clichés as it allows its British cast to be defined by their relatable human circumstances more than quaint Anglo quirks.
In 1961, Kempton Bunton stole a valuable painting from the London National Gallery. He sent ransom notes saying that he would return it on condition that the government invested more in care for the elderly. What happened next became the stuff of legend. An uplifting true story about a good man who set out to change the world.
In 1961, 60-year-old Kempton Bunton stole Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London. He sent ransom notes saying that he would return the painting on condition that the government invested more in care for the elderly. What happened next became the stuff of legend. An uplifting true story about a good man who set out to change the world and managed to save his marriage.
You could dine on nothing but lard for twenty years and still not develop the hardness of heart necessary to avoid being won over by Roger Michell‘s The Duke, a ridiculously charming British comedy that dunks a gamely accented prestige cast into an appealingly milky true story like so many digestives into a warm, well-earned, early evening cuppa.
A film based on a true story. Outstanding performances by Jim Boadbent as a man with an active social conscience and Helen Mirren as his long suffering wife. The story is touching, a balance of grief, justice and many humorous moments.
I greatly enjoyed the whole film and would happily watch it again.
An oil company executive gets more than he bargained for when a seemingly simple business trip to Scotland changes his outlook on life. Sent by his boss he quickly begins to question whether he is on the right side.
Up-and-coming Houston oil executive “Mac” MacIntyre (Peter Riegert) gets more than he bargained for when a seemingly simple business trip to Scotland changes his outlook on life. Sent by his colourful boss (Burt Lancaster) to the small village of Ferness, Mac is looking to quickly buy out the townspeople so his company can build a new refinery. But after a taste of country life Mac begins to question whether he is on the right side of this transaction.
Here is a small film to treasure, a loving, funny, understated portrait of a small Scottish town and its encounter with a giant oil company.
Local Hero, which concerns the frustrations of a Texas oilman’s attempts to buy up an idyllic Scottish village, ranks as a lyrical anti-urban comedy in the great tradition of films like I Know Where I’m Going and Whisky Galore!; and its essential triumph is to prove that comedy can still contain a gentle, almost mystical, aspect without necessarily being old-fashioned.
A re-imagining of Charles Dickens’ classic through the comedic lens of its award-winning filmmakers – giving the Dickensian tale new life for a cosmopolitan age with a diverse ensemble cast of stage and screen actors.
Shown: 1 December 2021
Exminster Film Club Rating: 82%
Date of release: 2019
Running time: 1h 59m
Director: Armando Iannucci
Writers: Simon Blackwell, Charles Dickens, Armando Iannucci
The Personal History of David Copperfield Plot Synopsis
A re-imagining of Charles Dickens’ classic ode to grit and perseverance through the comedic lens of its award-winning filmmakers – giving the Dickensian tale new life for a cosmopolitan age with a diverse ensemble cast of stage and screen actors from across the world. Armando Iannucci and Simon Blackwell lend their wry, yet heart-filled storytelling style to revisiting Dickens’ iconic hero on his quirky journey from impoverished orphan to burgeoning writer in Victorian England.
Restructuring some story arcs and jettisoning others, Iannucci and his collaborator, Simon Blackwell, have created a souped-up, trimmed-down adaptation so fleet and entertaining that its cleverness doesn’t immediately register.
In 1970, the Miss World competition took place in London, hosted by US comedy legend, Bob Hope. At the time, Miss World was the most-watched TV show on the planet with over 100 million viewers. Claiming that beauty competitions demeaned women, the newly formed Women’s Liberation Movement achieved overnight fame by invading the stage and disrupting the live broadcast of the competition. Not only that, when the show resumed, the result caused uproar: the winner was not the Swedish favourite but Miss Grenada, the first black woman to be crowned Miss World. In a matter of hours, a global audience had witnessed the patriarchy driven from the stage and the Western ideal of beauty turned on its head.
If there is a tonal uncertainty in this comedy, then that’s because there was a tonal uncertainty in the real-life events, and the movie nicely conveys how they were at one and the same time deadly serious and Pythonically silly.
Well written, -acted, -cast and -produced, this wholly entertaining yet stingingly relevant story of the 1970 Miss World finals should have been a smash hit when it opened in UK theatres on March 13, but events overtook its release.
Inspired by global phenomenon of military wives choirs, the story celebrates a band of misfit women who form a choir on a military base. As unexpected bonds of friendship flourish, music and laughter transform their lives.
Inspired by global phenomenon of military wives choirs, the story celebrates a band of misfit women who form a choir on a military base. As unexpected bonds of friendship flourish, music and laughter transform their lives, helping each other to overcome their fears for loved ones in combat.
In a classic Brit-com flanking manoeuvre, the film tries to simultaneously reduce the viewer to tears while inviting us to bask in the fuzzy glow of our friends and neighbour’s innate decency. Luckily it succeeds, thanks in no small part to the commitment shown by Horgan and Scott Thomas.
You are well aware of the shameless manipulation and can second-guess exactly where it is going and yet resistance is futile. It tugs at the heartstrings with such determination and sincerity that there may not be a dry eye in the cinema.
Having seen on the programme that the film “Military Wives” was to be shown on 4th December, despite social distancing, I decided not to miss a film I had been waiting to see, (I missed it when on general release some while ago).
I certainly wasn’t disappointed. From the opening scenes, I was “hooked”. The cast, headed by Kristin Scott Thomas, were so realistic in the way they portrayed “living on the base” where the hierarchy of military life flows down to the families as well as to the “enlisted men and women”. The leaving of the recruits to do a tour of duty on the front line would strike a chord with all of those people who are connected to the service way of life. Musically, the choir was very well portrayed in the story, and with the added bonus of the heightened emotions of performing in front of “the boss”, it showed so many dimensions to being a forces wife and what the family has to embrace in those circumstances.
The emotion of the film left “not a dry eye in the house!”
Pam Healey. (formerly the daughter of a WW2 gunnery officer and wife of a Trials/Design Officer in the RN and RNZN!)
The Peanut Butter Falcon was Exminster Film Club’s October 2020 film. It is an adventure story that begins when Zak, a young man with Downs syndrome, runs away from the nursing home where he lives to chase his dream of becoming a professional wrestler.
The Peanut Butter Falcon is an adventure story set in the world of a modern Mark Twain that begins when Zak, a young man with Downs syndrome, runs away from the nursing home where he lives to chase his dream of becoming a professional wrestler by attending wrestling school. Through circumstances beyond their control Tyler, a small-time outlaw on the run, becomes Zak’s unlikely coach and ally. Together they wind through deltas, elude capture, drink whisky, find God, catch fish, and convince Eleanor to join them on their journey.
By keeping the humour rooted in the performances and only letting sentimentality creep in when necessary, Nelson and Schwartz have crafted a film that feels refreshing, unique, and emotional.
Stan & Ollie was Exminster Film Club’s showing for January 2020. It pays tribute to the beloved entertainers Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy and brings you an affectionate look behind the scenes and a moving insight into the burdens and blessings of a creative bond.
Laurel & Hardy, one of the world’s great comedy teams, set out on a variety hall tour of Britain in 1953. Diminished by age and with their golden era as the kings of Hollywood comedy now behind them, they face an uncertain future. As the charm and beauty of their performances shines through, they re-connect with their adoring fans.
The tour becomes a hit, but Stan & Ollie can’t quite shake the spectre of Laurel and Hardy’s past; the long-buried ghosts, coupled with Oliver’s failing health, start to threaten their precious partnership. A portrait of the most tender and poignant of creative marriages, they are aware that they may be approaching their swan song, trying to rediscover just how much they mean to each other.
It is eccentric, sad and stirring to the core. Oh yes – and incredibly funny, too.
Stan & Ollie muddles up the history a bit, as all biopics do, but it’s a film without any meaningful flaws. Every character is wonderfully realised, every performance is spectacular. You’ll laugh all the way through, you’ll cry by the end, and you’ll see the brilliance of Laurel & Hardy come back to life via the very same cinematic magic that made them legends in the first place.