• From left: The Lives of Others, Certain Women, An Education, A Fantastic Woman (SBS Movies)Source: SBS Movies
Your guide to some of the stories from around the world, screening on Australia's own HD SBS World Movies channel (Digital channel 32).
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SBS Movies

31 Jan 2020 - 10:59 AM  UPDATED 31 Jan 2020 - 10:59 AM

MONDAY 3 FEBRUARY

An Education
7:35PM

M
UK, 2009
Genre: Drama
Language: English
Director: Lone Scherfig
Starring: Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Dominic Cooper
What's it about?
Jenny (Mulligan) is a bright young girl on the cusp of 17 who finds herself in a whirlwind romance with the much older David (Sarsgaard). Once she sees the lifestyle David can provide, one she never imagined might so easily be hers, she is hooked. Thoughts of prep school and one day attending Oxford fly out the window. Nominated for three Oscars in 2010, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay (by Nick Hornby, from the memoir by Lynn Barber), and Best Actress for Mulligan.

Why You Should Watch: An Education
An Education review: A clever, astutely observed adaptation

Tsotsi
9:30PM

M
South Africa, 2005
Genre: Drama, Crime
Language: Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, English
Director: Gavin Hood
Starring: Presley Chweneyagae, Mothusi Magano, Israel Matseke-Zulu
What's it about?
Set amidst the sprawling Johannesburg township of Soweto – where survival is the primary objective – this film traces six days in the life of ruthless young gang leader Tsotsi (Chweneyagae), who ends up caring for a baby accidentally kidnapped during a car-jacking. Winner of the 2006 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

TUESDAY 4 FEBRUARY

Night Train to Lisbon
7:30PM

M
Germany, 2013
Genre: Romance, Thriller, Mystery
Language: English
Director: Bille August
Starring: Jeremy Irons, Charlotte Rampling, Lena Olin, Bruno Ganz, Mélanie Laurent
What's it about?
Raimund Gregorius (Irons) is a Latin teacher from Berne. When he encounters a book by the Portuguese poet and doctor Amadeu de Prado (Jack Huston), he drops everything and takes the night train to Lisbon. He is determined to find out more about this writer who appears to have been obsessed by the very same questions that plague him: the purpose of human deeds and the unrealised potential of each and every life. From two-time Palme d'Or-winning director Bille August (The Best Intentions, Pelle the Conqueror).

A Separation
9:35PM

PG
Iran, 2011
Genre: Drama
Language: Persian-Farsi
Director: Asghar Farhadi
Starring: Peyman Moaadi, Leila Hatami, Sarina Farhadi, Sareh Bayat
What's it about?
A married couple (Moaadi and Hatami) is faced with a difficult decision - to improve the life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimer's disease. Winner of both the Golden Bear (top prize) at the 2011 Berlin Festival and the 2012 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, this remains one of the most celebrated and acclaimed Iranian films of all time.

A Separation Review: A mesmerising account of a complicated coupling.

WEDNESDAY 5 FEBRUARY

The Best Offer
7:30PM

M
Italy, 2013
Genre: Drama, Romance
Language: English, Italian
Director: Giuseppe Tornatore
Starring: Geoffrey Rush, Donald Sutherland, Jim Sturgess, Sylvia Hoeks
What's it about?
Virgil Oldman (Rush) is a misogynist auctioneer and art collector who puts his friend Billy (Sutherland) in charge of purchasing works of art undisturbed. One day he receives a call from Claire (Hoeks), heiress to a sprawling villa full of paintings and antiques. She convinces him to evaluate her late parents’ property. From here begins a story full of passion and intrigue. From Giuseppe Tornatore, director of Cinema Paradiso.

The Best Offer: Giuseppe Tornatore interview
The Best Offer: Geoffrey Rush interview
The Best Offer review: A fine portrait of art and obsession

The Lives of Others
9:55PM

MA15+
Germany, 2006
Genre: Drama
Language: German
Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Starring: Ulrich Mühe, Sebastian Koch, Martina Gedeck, Ulrich Tukur
What's it about?
East Berlin, November 1984. Five years before its downfall, the former East-German government ensured its claim to power with a ruthless system of control and surveillance. Party-loyalist Captain Gerd Wiesler (Mühe) hopes to boost his career when given the job of collecting evidence against a playwright (Koch) and his girlfriend (Gedeck). He doesn't anticipate the impact that the exercise will have upon him. Winner of the 2007 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

THURSDAY 6 FEBRUARY

Certain Women
7:30PM

M
USA, 2016
Genre: Drama
Language: English
Director: Kelly Reichardt
Starring: Michelle Williams, Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, Lily Gladstone
What's it about?
A handful of intersecting lives across Montana. A lawyer (Dern) tries to diffuse a hostage situation and calm her disgruntled client (Chernobyl's Jared Harris), who feels slighted by a workers’ compensation settlement. A married couple (Williams, James Le Gros) breaks ground on a new home but exposes marital fissures when they try to persuade an elderly man to sell his stockpile of sandstone. A ranch hand (Gladstone) forms an attachment to a young lawyer (Stewart), who inadvertently finds herself teaching a twice-weekly adult education class, four hours from her home. From acclaimed director Kelly Reichardt (Wendy & Lucy, Meek's Cutoff).

Certain Women review: A quiet triumph

A Fantastic Woman
9:30PM

M
Chile, 2017
Genre: Drama
Language: Spanish
Director: Sebastián Lelio
Starring: Daniela Vega, Francisco Reyes, Luis Gnecco, Aline Küppenheim
What's it about?
Marina's (Vega) life is thrown into turmoil following the death of her partner (Reyes). Mourning the loss of the man she loved, she finds herself under intense scrutiny from those with no regard for her privacy. Winner of the 2018 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

'A Fantastic Woman': Empathetic, Resonant Oscar-winning Chilean Melodrama
'A Fantastic Woman' star takes historic Oscars win in her stride

FRIDAY 7 FEBRUARY

Made in Dagenham
7:30PM

M
UK, 2010
Genre: Drama
Language: English
Director: Nigel Cole 
Starring: Sally Hawkins, Miranda Richardson, Rupert Graves, Bob Hoskins, Rosamund Pike
What's it about?
Based on a true story, this film portrays a decisive moment in the '60s when the fight for equal rights and pay was led – unexpectedly – by ordinary working-class women with one foot in the kitchen, one foot on the factory floor, and ears glued to the pop coming over the radio and telly from far-off London. Led by a young married mother (Hawkins), one of 187 women who worked for the Ford Motor Company, the region‘s principal employer, these feisty factory girls shook their world with spirit and courage, and achieved lasting social change.

Made in Dagenham review: Factory girls fight back in warm UK comedy

The Counterfeiters
9:35PM

MA15+
Germany, 2008
Genre: Drama, Crime, War
Language: German
Director: Stefan Ruzowitzky
Starring: August Diehl, Karl Markovics, Devid Striesow
What's it about?
Salomon 'Sally' Sorowitsch (Markovics) is an expert Jewish counterfeiter enjoying the good life until he’s sent to Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp. Sally manages to survive for five years before transfer to Sachsenhausen, where he is assigned to produce perfect forgeries of British and US banknotes for the Third Reich. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, 2008.

The Counterfeiters review: A stunning piece of cinema

SATURDAY 8 FEBRUARY

Vanilla Sky
7:30PM

MA15+
USA, 2001
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Science Fiction
Language: English
Director: Cameron Crowe
Starring: Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Kurt Russell, Tilda Swinton, Jason Lee, Noah Taylor, Timothy Spall, Michael Shannon
What's it about?
David Aames (Cruise) has it all: wealth, good looks and gorgeous women on his arm. But just as he begins falling for the warmhearted Sofia (Cruz), his face is horribly disfigured in a car accident. That's just the beginning of his troubles as the lines between illusion and reality, between life and death, are blurred. A remake of the 1997 Spanish film Open Your Eyes (also starring Cruz) from director Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous, Jerry Maguire).

Vanilla Sky: The Movie Show Review (December 2001)

Labyrinth of Lies
10:00PM

M
Germany, 2014
Genre: Drama, History
Language: German
Director: Giulio Ricciarelli
Starring: Alexander Fehling, André Szymanski, Friederike Becht, Johann von Bülow
What's it about?
Germany, 1958. Nobody wants to look back to the time of the Nazi regime, so when young prosecuting attorney Johann Radmann (Fehling) comes across sensitive documents that would bring members of the SS who served in Auschwitz to trial, he is told to bury the past. However, against the will of his superiors, he begins to examine the case and lands in a web of repression and denial.

'Labyrinth of Lies': Bringing Nazis To Justice in Postwar Germany

SUNDAY 9 FEBRUARY

Bugsy
7:30PM

M
USA, 1991
Genre: Drama, Crime, Biography
Language: English
Director: Barry Levinson
Starring: Warren Beatty, Harvey Keitel, Annette Bening, Ben Kingsley, Elliott Gould, Joe Mantegna
What's it about?
New York gangster Ben 'Bugsy' Siegel (Beatty) takes a brief business trip to Los Angeles. A sharp-dressing womaniser with a foul temper, Siegel doesn't hesitate to kill or maim anyone crossing him. In L.A. the life, the movies, and most of all strong-willed Virginia Hill (Bening) detain him while his family wait back home. Then a trip to a run-down gambling joint at a spot in the desert known as Las Vegas gives him his big idea. Nominated for ten 1992 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Bugsy review: A supremely satisfying cinema experience (The Movie Show, 1992)

Pan's Labyrinth
9:55PM 

MA15+
Spain, 2006
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, War
Language: Spanish
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Starring: Ivana Baquero, Sergi López, Maribel Verdu
What's it about?
Accompanied by her parents, Ofelia (Baquero) moves from a large Spanish city to a  rural area in the North of the country. Faced with the upheaval of moving home, an abusive stepfather (Lopez) and the general unpleasantness surrounding Franco's victory in 1944, Ofelia enters an imaginary world of creatures and demons, in a bid to escape. From acclaimed director Guillermo Del Toro (The Shape of Water), and the winner of three 2007 Academy Awards for cinematography, art direction and makeup.

Pan's Labyrinth review: Fantasy cinema at its finest (5 stars)