New year, new film releases. Don’t just join the queue at your local multiplex though, try some of these specially tailored film-venue matches and enjoy the best of this month’s movies at the best of London’s cinemas.
The Artist at The Electric, Notting Hill
With its mix of comedy, music and romance The Artist is an award-festooned homage to the great movies of the silent era when an arched eyebrow or cocked chin had the punch of a thousand Aaron Sorkin one-liners. What better place to watch a cinematic form gloriously resurrected than at one of London’s oldest, and most gloriously resurrected, picturehouses — the Electric in Notting Hill. Originally opened in 1910, the Electric, with its domed roof and baroque interior, is more reminiscent of a church than a cinema and has certainly welcomed its share of worshippers over the past 100 years.
The Artist. The Electric, Portobello Road. 6-19 Jan. 6.30pm, 9.20pm Mon-Fri, 2.45pm, 6.15pm, 9.15pm Sat 5.15pm, 8.30pm Sun
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol at The BFI Imax, Southbank
On first impressions, the Southbank is more esplanade than espionage but don’t forget that the whole cultural complex sits just downriver from the spy headquarters of MI5 and MI6. Add to this the incredible and immersive experience provided by the IMAX, which manages to make even the most lifeless of blockbusters engaging, and you have the ideal location to watch Tom Cruise dangling off things while blowing other things up in what is reportedly the best Mission Impossible film yet.
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. BFI Imax, Southbank. 6-19 Jan. 1pm, 3.45pm, 6.30pm, 9.20pm Mon-Fri. 3.45pm, 6.30pm, 9.20pm Sat-Sun
Shame at Curzon, Soho
The latest film from acclaimed director and Turner Prize winner, Steve McQueen, Shame is a provocative and striking meditation on obsession and gratification. The film follows the lives and lays of a charming sex addict (Michael Fassbender) and his tearaway sister (Carey Mulligan). The Curzon itself, voted London’s favourite cinema by Time Out readers, is laidback, luxe and far from seedy. The bars, backstreets and basements of surrounding Soho are another matter entirely.
Shame. Curzon Soho. 13-26 Jan. 11.50am, 2.05pm, 4.20pm, 6.40pm, 9.05pm every day
The Iron Lady at The Phoenix, East Finchley
While they may have rolled out the Blue Carpet for Meryl and Co at the glitzy BFI premiere, the only place to watch the Frock ‘n’ Poll saga that is The Iron Lady is the beautiful and historic Phoenix in Maggie’s old constituency of Finchley. In the 80s, as Thatcher herself was in the ascendency, the Phoenix had fallen on hard times and was on the verge of being demolished to make way for office blocks. It was only thanks to the work of a local young socialists group that the building was saved from the bulldozers. Surely that’s a piece of political history worthy of screen adaptation.
The Iron Lady. The Phoenix, East Finchley. 6-19 Jan. 4pm, 6.30pm, 9pm Mon & Fri. 11am (special baby friendly screening) 1.30pm, 4pm, 6.30pm, 9pm Tues. 1.30pm, 4pm, 6.30pm, 9pm Weds, Thurs & Sun. 1.30pm, 4pm, 6.30pm, 9.15pm Sat.
From last month...
You can still catch Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows near the great sleuth's home by visiting the Everyman on Baker Street.
By Matthew Hull