The red carpet is being rolled up following the biggest, glitziest and most controversial night of the movie year.
Bookies heaved a collective sigh of relief as Spotlight foiled the punters to steal Best Picture. Leo finally got his Lifetime Achievement Award so can relax and rake in the cash with dodgy rom coms, Adam Sandler optional.
Chris Rock attempted to tackle the diversity issue head-on but had his thunder stolen by legendary Londoner Ali-G.
So does that mean we can all give up on cinema-going for a while? Absolutely not. March has a new round of quality movies, many with a London-y twist. Here’s our pick.
London Has Fallen – London Set
Director: Babak Najaf Certificate: 15 Release date: 3 March
Stars: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Charlotte Riley
No arguing with the London-y credentials of this one. Three years ago in Olympus Has Fallen Gerard Butler single-handedly saved The White House from [boo! hiss!] terrorists (the proper, old-skool kind with Kalashnikovs and humongous armoured trucks, none of this modern, cyber terrorist nonsense). Now he’s BACK to save us Londoners from the same — hurrah! Yes, it’s utterly ridiculous but that’s exactly the point.
Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen Certificate: 12A Release date: 4 March
Stars: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum
A new Coen brothers movie is always a cause for celebration and Hail, Caesar! doesn’t disappoint. Gloriously feel-good, it lampoons Old Hollywood in true screwball style. Featuring many of the Coen’s favourite actors including George Clooney at his goofiest and Tilda Swinton at her haughtiest, plus a slew of new recruits of which Scarlett Johansson as a fast talkin’ New Yoik actress and Channing Tatum performing a fabulously camp sailor boy song and dance routine are particular highlights. Miss it at your peril.
Truth — London Film Festival Gala
Director: James Vanderbilt Certificate: 15 Release Date: 4 March
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Robert Redford, Topher Grace, Dennis Quaid
These days Hollywood is all too frequently accused of dumbing down – Transformers 47, anyone? But thankfully, Robert Redford is on a one-man mission to stand up and be counted, with Truth his latest avocation for liberal free speech. Based on the real life case of American news stalwart 60 Minutes’ expose of George W. Bush’s less than squeaky clean military service record, it stars the wonderful Cate Blanchett and was a highlight of last year’s London Film Festival.
The Witch — London Film Festival Winner
Director: Robert Eggers Certificate: 15 Release date: 11 March
Stars: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Ellie Grainger, Lucas Dawson
Winner of Best First Feature at last year’s London Film Festival , the press screening for The Witch had hardened hacks queueing round the block to get a ticket. Finally, the general public can see what all the fuss was about. Set in 1630’s New England it follows a rural, deeply religious family tormented by malevolent spirits. Haunting, atmospheric and spine chillingly creepy, it also stars Finchy from The Office. Fact.
The Ones Below – London Set
Director: David Farr Certificate: 15 Release date: 11 March
Stars: Clémence Poésy, David Morrissey, Laura Birn, Stephen Campbell Moore
Ah, the joys of London metropolitan living where cramped, rabbit hutch buildings result in needlessly intimate knowledge of your neighbours’ personal habits. The One Below explores precisely this, focusing on two urban London couples, both expectant parents, whose proximately becomes a burden when their respective newborns arrive. A stifling, uncomfortable, psychological thriller, it may have you eyeing those sweet newlyweds from the flat downstairs in an entirely new light.
Director: Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson Certificate: 15 Release date: 11 March
Stars: David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan
Here’s one from the leftfield. Charlie Kaufman, creator of the supremely odd Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind raises his kooky game to new heights with Anomalisa, an animation most definitely for grown-ups. David Thewlis voices the protagonist Michael Stone, an everyman experiencing an existential crisis during a business trip. Deservedly Oscar nominated, it elevates the mundane to the universal with its astute observations and uncanny attention to detail.
High Rise — London Talent
Director: Ben Wheatley Certificate: 15 Release date: 18 March
Stars: Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans, Elisabeth Moss, James Purefoy, Keeley Hawes
Currently riding a career high, Londoner Tom Hiddleston stars in this dystopian, 1970s tale of different social classes attempting to cohabit in one giant, urban tower block to disastrous, self-destructive effect. Edgy and deeply disturbing, High Rise is based on the acclaimed novel by JG Ballard and whilst the tower block has no definitive setting, it requires little imagination to picture it here in our own capital. And then shudder.
Zootropolis — London Talent
Director: Byron Howard, Rich Moore Certificate: PG Release date: 25 March
Stars: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, J K Simmons, Octavia Spencer
Just in time to entertain mini-Londoners over the Easter holidays comes Zootropolis. Although that does it a disservice for its more than entertaining enough for full-sized Londoners. Set in a world where animals live in a human-like society, with prey and predators mingling amicably, it’s full of the laugh out loud gags and endearing characterisations you expect from Disney. It also stars Hackney boy Idris Elba as the voice of Police Chief (and buffalo) Bogo.
Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice
Director: Zack Synder Certificate: TBC Release date: 25 March
Stars: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Jesse Eisenberg
Where do you stand on The Great Affleck Debate? Get Your Fusty Coat Grandpa / How Refreshing To See Hollywood Employing Age-Blind Casting, Now If Only They Could Embrace Diversity In All Forms #OscarsSoWhite / Bat-who? Is He Still With J-Lo? Whichever way, the hugely anticipated clash of the comic book titans thunders into movie theatres later this month, hotly pursued by an army of fanboys AND fangirls.
Welcome to Me
Director: Shira Piven Certificate: TBC Release date: 25 March
Stars: Kristen Wiig, James Marsden, Linda Cardellini, Wes Bentley
Now best known for mainstream comedy roles in the likes of Bridesmaids and Anchorman 2, Kristen Wiig goes back to her Indie roots with this quirky comedy. Playing Alice, an avid Oprah fan and Mega-Millions lottery winner who uses her new found wealth to produce and star in her own talk show, Kirsten exposes her acting chops and, er, a whole lot more. For Alice suffers from a personality disorder and unwisely decides to quit her meds, resulting in a very public breakdown culminating in a naked romp through a casino. Funny, challenging and offbeat, it passes the Bechdel test with flying colours.