Suffragette (12A)

four stars

Dir: Sarah Gavron

With: Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep

Runtime: 106 minutes

SARAH Gavron’s drama tells the story of the women’s suffrage movement through the experiences of Maud, an East End of London laundry maid played by Carey Mulligan (An Education). The approach makes a refreshing change from the usual Pankhurst-centric history, though Meryl Streep does pop up for a second as Mrs P. While understandably reverential towards the women, lending a slight tinge of worthiness to proceedings, the focus on Maud helps to keep the dramatic end up, with Scotland’s Anne-Marie Duff particularly strong as Maud’s militant mate. An education for all and an involving drama besides, Gavron’s film catches the spirit of tumultuous times.

Opens October 12

Pan (3D) (PG)

three stars

Dir: Joe Wright

With: Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund

Runtime: 111 minutes

JOE Wright’s fantasy adventure, opening a week before the rest of the UK to chime with Scottish school holidays, tells the story of Peter Pan before he even knew he was PP, he of never growing old, flying fame. At the start of Wright’s picture the humble Peter is just another orphan in wartime, but one destined to go on to fantastical things. Wright tries to tell the tale like a Raiders of the Lost Ark for the very young, but at 111 minutes the film does not exactly fly by and some interpretations of the characters, chief among them Hook, may strike some as odd. Never mind; there are always the inventive visuals and Hugh Jackman in pure, pantomime baddie mode as Blackbeard the pirate ruler of Neverland.

Zarafa (PG)

three stars

Dirs: Remi Bezancon, Jean-Christophe Lie

Voices: Simon Abkarian, François-Xavier Demaison

Runtime: 79 minutes

HAVING escaped from slavers, the future for young Maki looks bleak unless he can find a way to survive the desert. Fortune leads him into the path of a young giraffe, Zarafa, and a kindly nomad, and from there a whole new world of adventure, and peril, opens up. While the subtitles and material might skew this French-language animation towards older children, it is a beautifully rendered piece, with a heart is as big as the Sahara.

Filmhouse Edinburgh, October 14-20