• This Is England (2006) (SBS Movies)Source: SBS Movies
Celebrate the Queen's Birthday with these fine examples of British cinema available to watch anytime at SBS On Demand.
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SBS Movies

30 Apr 2015 - 4:50 PM  UPDATED 9 Jun 2016 - 1:26 PM

Joy Division

M
UK, 2007
Director: Grant Gee
What's it about?
Fans of the gloomy Manchester-based band from the late 1970s will have less to feel down about with this rockumentary, an insightful, intelligent look at Ian Curtis and his band’s incredible legacy. Joy Division follows the unlikely rise of these working class lads up to Ian Curtis's suicide, which tore the band apart until it was reborn as New Order. Included here is rare footage of the group as well as their moody and starkly photographed videos, capturing the essence of what made Joy Division so special and so tragic.  

Watch The Movie Show original ★★★★ review

 

This Is England

MA15+
UK, 2006
Director: Shane Meadows
Starring: Thomas Turgoose, Stephen Graham, Jo Hartley
What's it about?
Shane Meadows' raw and powerful film, based on his own troubled childhood, follows twelve-year-old Shaun, an isolated lad growing up in a grim coastal town, whose father has died fighting in the Falklands war. Over the course of the summer holiday, he befriends a group of local skinheads. With his pent-up rage and frustration, Shaun finds exactly what he needs in the gang-mischief, mayhem and brotherhood. Their leader, the volatile and boorish Combo, takes Shaun under his wing, and leads the gang down a hate spewing path that culminates in an irreversible act of violence.

Watch The Movie Show original ★★★★ ½ review

This Is England (2006)
 

The Angels' Share

MA15+
UK, 2012
Director: Ken Loach
Starring: Paul Brannigan, Roger Allam, John Henshaw
What's it about?
With The Angels' Share, Palme d'Or winner Ken Loach (I, Daniel Blake) offers us a gentle heist caper which, while still bearing his trademark social realism, will leave you feeling a bit more optimistic than his other films. We follow the misadventures of Robbie, a young ne'er do well, who after escaping a jail sentence, is given one last chance to rehabilitate by serving a community service order. When Robbie's baby is born, Robbie’s supervisor offers him a celebratory nip of whisky, and schools him on the art of savouring the drop. As it turns out, Robbie demonstrates acute olfactory senses, which opens a completely new world to him.

Read ★★★ ½ review

 

Wuthering Heights

MA15+
UK, 2011
Director: Andrea Arnold
Starring: Kaya Scodelario, James Howson, James Northcote
What's it about?
Director Andrea Arnold's gritty, stripped-bare take on Emily Brontë's epic novel, starring mostly non-professional actors, follows Heathcliff, a poor boy of African origins, rescued from poverty and taken in by the Earnshaw family on their moorland farmhouse. Over the years, he develops an intense relationship with his young foster sister, Cathy, which is not to the liking of her brother Hindley, who makes Heathcliff's life a hell. When Cathy later accepts to marry their rich neighbour Edgar, Heathcliff runs away from the farm. But a few years later, he returns with a vengeance to reclaim the love of his life.

Watch trailer & Read review
SBS On Demand: Andrea Arnold double bill

 

Fish Tank

MA15+
UK, 2009
Director: Andrea Arnold
Starring: Katie Jarvis, Michael Fassbender
What's it about?
Before directing Wuthering Heights, Andrea Arnold worked on the critically-acclaimed coming-of-age movie Fish Tank, in which Mia Williams (non-professional actress Katie Jarvis), a volatile and socially isolated 15-year-old, lives with her single mother and younger sister in a bleak Essex housing estate. When her party-loving mother brings home a handsome new Irish boyfriend (a sexy/sleazy Michael Fassbender), everything changes. Winner of the Jury Prize at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and 2010 BAFTA for Best British Film.

Watch trailer & Read ★★★★ ½ review
Watch interview with director Andrea Arnold
Read blog: Why you should watch Fish Tank
SBS On Demand: Andrea Arnold double bill

 

In the Loop

MA15+
UK, 2010
Director: Armando Iannucci
Starring: Peter Capaldi, James Gandolfini, Tom Hollander
What's it about?
This spin-off from the BBC political comedy The Thick of It, was directed by Armando Iannucci, who went on to work on the acclaimed US show Veep. It stars Peter Capaldi as the PM's Director of Communications, who desperately tries to fix the disaster provoked by a series of ill-advised comments by a hapless junior minister regarding the likelihood of an English-American alliance going to war in the Middle East. This political farce, replete with delectable colourful expletives, was nominated for an Oscar in 2010 for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Read ★★★★ review
SBS On Demand: Best movies about politics and power to stream in an election year

 

An Education

M
UK, 2009
Director: Lone Scherfig
Starring: Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Alfred Molina
What's it about?
Jenny, a bright young girl on the cusp of her 17th birthday, is destined to a bright future with plans to study at Oxford. But when she falls in love with David, a much older man, she experiences a lifestyle she'd never imagined, and thoughts of prep school and Oxford fly out the window. Written by Nick Hornby (About a Boy) and directed by Lone Scherfig, this clever cautionary tale (adapted from Lynn Barber’s memoir) revealed the talent of the young Carey Mulligan and was nominated for three Oscars in 2010.

Watch trailer
Read ★★★★ review
Read blog: Why you should watch An Education

 

Happy-Go-Lucky

M
UK, 2008
Director: Mike Leigh
Starring: Sally Hawkins, Eddie Marsan, Alexis Zegerman
What's it about?
This uplifting comedy by Mike Leigh (Mr. Turner) follows the adventures of Poppy, a life-loving, irrepressibly cheerful primary school teacher who is thirty years old, single, and infinitely optimistic and accepting. When her bike is stolen, she begins driving lessons with a jaded and angry instructor, Scott. Their diametrically opposed personalities lead to some heated clashes, which will affect their world views.

 

Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll

A 2010 biographical comedy film about English new wave musician Ian Dury, named after one of his songs, spanning from his childhood plagued by bullying and during which he contracted polio, to his rise to fame with the band The Blockheads and his continuing personal battle with the disability. A great music biopic that should appeal to all punk and new wave lovers, it was nominated for a British Academy Film Award for the impressive performance of Andy Serkis.

Read ★★★★ review

 

A Very British Gangster

MA15+
UK, 2007
Director: Donal MacIntyre
What's it about?
Dominic Noonan, 37 years-old (of which 22 spent in jail) is the head of one of Britain's biggest crime families. Irish investigative journalist Donal MacIntyre gives us an insight into the life of the charismatic, openly gay gangster, from gun trials to the murder of his brother on the streets of Manchester, and reveals a community struggling with poverty, violence and drugs.

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