Enys Men

Newlyn-born Mark Jenkin scored big in 2019 with super low-budget black and white film Bait, about life and community in a Cornish fishing village. Here he returns to his old stomping ground for a (sort of) folk horror set in 1973. His partner, Bait actor Mary Woodvine, returns to star, again it’s shot on 16mm film though this time it’s in colour. Oh, and the title means Stone Island in Cornish, by the way, though Jenkin’s film has nothing to do with the fashion label of that name so beloved of soccer casuals and everything to do with loneliness, isolation and the hallucinatory effects it can have on a person. “Daringly strange expressionist cinema,” was one critic’s description of Jenkin’s oeuvre and it’s hard to argue with that.

Out now


Oscar-winning La La Land director Damian Chazelle turns his gaze on early, pre-Hays Code Hollywood in this widescreen comedy-drama kicking off in 1926 and running through to the early 1950s. Brad Pitt is party-loving silent film star Jack Conrad, Margot Robbie is Nellie LaRoy, an upcoming actress, and Diego Calva is Manny Torres, the aspiring Mexican American filmmaker who falls for her. There’s an impressive supporting cast (Tobey Maguire, Li Jun Li, Lukas Haas, Olivia Wilde etc.) and keep an eye out for cameos from Spike Jonze, Red Hot Chilli Peppers bassist Flea, and former Factory star Joe Dallesandro, the ‘Little Joe’ of Walk On The Wild Side fame. Robbie was Golden Globe-nominated for her performance and the film won the award for Best Soundtrack.

January 20

Dreaming Walls

The Hotel Chelsea, a 12-storey Gothic lump on New York’s West 23rd Street, is legendary. It has been home in its day to everyone from Arthur C Clarke (he wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey there) to Dylan Thomas and Allan Ginsberg, and the haunt of iconic musicians such as Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, Patti Smith and Leonard Cohen, whose song Chelsea Hotel #2 recounts a dalliance there with Janis Joplin. Plenty of history to unpack, in other words, which director Amélie van Elmbt does in this documentary with the help of some sublime archive footage. However, there’s another side to the story: the hotel was sold in 2010, again in 2013 and again in 2016. Bohemian ‘holdouts’ still live there at low rents set years ago, but they exist in the teeth of increasing gentrification which will eventually see them ousted. Touring the Chelsea room by room, van Elmbt turns her camera on some of the hotel’s most extraordinary residents and listens to their stories. The film is executive produced by Mr New York himself, Martin Scorsese.

January 20

More Than Ever

Phantom Thread and Bergman Island star Vicky Krieps featured in two films which wowed last year’s Cannes Film Festival, and this is one of them, an intense three-hander from French Iranian director Emily Atef. Krieps plays 33-year-old French woman Hélène who leaves husband Matthieu (Gaspard Ulliel) in sunny Bordeaux to travel to Norway for an encounter with a blogger known only as Mister (veteran Norwegian actor Bjørn Floberg). Mister’s clear-eyed outlook on life has awakened something in her, something she needs to understand before she can return to her life with Matthieu. He, meanwhile, sets out to bring her home. A tragic coda to this portrait of marriage and stifled self-fulfilment: Ulliel was killed in a skiing accident six months after shooting ended.

January 20


“We just came here for some peace,” whines Douglas Booth’s Jamie in this folk horror from Northern Irish filmmaker Jon Wright. ‘Here’ is rural Ireland, where Jamie and heavily pregnant wife Maya (Hannah John-Kamen) find themselves living after inheriting a ramshackle old house. It seems idyllic, even after helpful local Maeve (Niamh Cusack) warns them not to forget the nightly “blood offering” to “the redcaps”, malevolent goblins found in Scottish and Irish folklore. At first the only real worries are Daddy Whelan (Colm Meaney) and his boys. But when Maya forgets to plate up, the little people emerge. And, predictably, they’re both hungry and anrgy. Gremlins-meets-Straw Dogs is the director’s winning description.

January 27

The Fabelmans

From the work of Federico Fellini to Cinema Paradiso and beyond, the power of cinema and the lure of cinema theatres have long been attractive subjects for filmmakers. Just this month Sam Mendes released the 1980s-set Empire Of Light, starring Toby Jones as the manager of a dowdy cinema in Margate. Here, Steven Spielberg gets in on the act with The Fabelmans, a semi-autobiographical story in which young Sammy Fabelman (Gabriel Labelle) sets his heart on a career in the movies after being taken to see Cecil B DeMille’s The Greatest Show On Earth one night in 1952. Michelle Williams, Paul Dano and Seth Rogan also star – and there’s a sizzling cameo from David Lynch playing Hollywood directing legend John Ford. The film won big at this month’s Golden Globes. Expect Oscar nods to follow. It is Spielberg, after all.

January 27


Best known in the UK for directing cult 1970 film Deep End, Polish filmmaker Jerzy Skolimowski made a return to directing in 2008 after a break of nearly 20 years and, aged 84, won the Jury Prize at last year’s Cannes Film Festival with this gem following the life of a donkey born in a Polish circus. The premise may sound unpromising, but then people probably said the same thing about the film which influenced and informs EO: Robert Bresson’s 1966 masterpiece Au Hasard Balthazar, also starring a donkey. Chief among Skolimowski’s two-legged helpmates is iconic French actress Isabelle Huppert and, as any dedicated film fan knows, her name on a poster is always a mark of quality. This is another film likely to be in contention when the Oscar nominations are announced on January 24.

February 3

The Whale

Director Darren Aronofsky famously demands blood, sweat and tears from his actors – remember Mickey Rourke’s performance in The Wrestler? – and as a result his work, while not always being an easy watch, has a power few other filmmakers can achieve. Here it’s Brendan Fraser who goes all in for the sake of his art. He plays Charlie, a reclusive, morbidly obese English professor who teaches online with his webcam always turned off. Yes, Fraser was swathed in prosthetics, but the performance he found in its folds has seen The Whale billed as a career comeback for the former comedy-action star. Of course, both obesity and its flipside, body positivity, are hot topics these days, so naturally controversy has dogged the film. But that too is an Aronofsky trademark. Samantha Morton plays Charlie’s ex-wife Mary while Stranger Things star Sadie Sink is estranged daughter Ellie.

February 3

Knock At The Cabin

If you loved Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery and want more of Dave Bautista, who played dodgy men’s rights activist Duke Cody, check out M Night Shyamalan’s latest, described as an “apocalyptic psychological horror” and based on 2018 novel The Cabin At The End Of The World by dark fantasy luminary Paul Tremblay. The plot: a young girl holidaying with her two dads in a remote cabin has her world turned upside down when four strangers arrive and demand a sacrifice in order to avert the apocalypse. Decisions, decisions … Shyamalan has never quite lived up to the promise shown in 1999 breakthrough hit The Sixth Sense, but the source material is solid and even at his worst he’s a safe pair of hands. Expect chills, thrills and menace aplenty. Oh, and one Rupert Grint, aka Ron Weasley, is among Bautista’s troupe of apocalypse-thwarting weirdos.

February 3

Full Time

This one will strike a chord with anyone who has fallen foul of the recent rail strikes (or who loved the Dardennes Brother’s Oscar-nominated hit Two Days, One Night). Eric Gravel’s film was a double winner at September’s Venice Film Festival and stars Call My Agent’s Laure Calamy as Julie, a struggling mother-of-two working as a maid in a Paris hotel. Things look like they’re taking a turn for the better when she lands an interview for a much better job but it falls on the day of a city-wide transport strike. Juggling childcare, her hotel job and the demands of (she hopes) her future employers, she races across the city. Or tries to.

March 17