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Misbehaviour, Wild Rose, VFW, 21 Bridges, Official Secrets, Angel Has Fallen, Burden & Oscar-winning classics

MISBEHAVIOUR | Comedy drama

Two-time Oscar nominee Keira Knightley (Pirates of the Caribbean, The Imitation Game) stars in Misbehaviour, which is based on the true story of the women who disrupted and subverted the 1970 Miss World pageant.

Oscar nominees Lesley Manville (Harlots, The Crown) and Greg Kinnear (Little Miss Sunshine); BAFTA nominees Jessie Buckley (Wild Rose, Fargo); Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle and the upcoming Loki miniseries); Keeley Hawes (Line of Duty), Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill); and Charlotte Spencer (Sanditon). Also look out for 2021 Golden Globe winner Emma Corrin (Princess Diana in The Crown – and the child of a South African mother) as South African contestant Jillian Jessup.

Directed by BAFTA winner Philippa Lowthorpe (Call the Midwife), Misbehaviour is a feelgood flick with 85% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes and costume and makeup awards from the 2021 British Independent Film Awards, not to mention a 2020 Women’s Image Network Awards nomination for Outstanding Feature Film. As Guardian says, you’ll find “a very British sort of wackiness to this bizarre and farcical true story from the annals of pop culture, told here with charm and fun.”

WILD ROSE | Musical drama

Jessie Buckley (Chernobyl, Fargo, I’m Thinking Of Ending Things) shines in Wild Rose as Rose-Lynn, a fresh-out-of-jail mother-of-two from Glasgow who dreams of becoming a Nashville country music star. The role earned Buckley a 2020 BAFTA nomination for Best Leading Actress. Wild Rose has won 18 awards internationally, including a Critics Choice Award for Best Song and a British Independent Film Award for Best Music.

Directed by BAFTA nominee Tom Harper (Peaky Blinders), Wild Rose has a 92% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Hollywood Reporter hailing it as “terrific… wonderful… a break-out, toe-tapping hit.”

Look out for Oscar nominees Dame Julie Walters (Brooklyn, Mamma Mia!) and Sophie Okonedo (His Dark Materials) as well as Grammy winner Kacey Musgraves.

VFW | Grindhouse

Action, crime and horror come together in VFW, a grindhouse movie that sees a group of war veterans put their lives on the line to defend a young woman taking shelter in their local VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) bar when a deranged drug dealer and his relentless army of drug-addled punks come for their stash.

VFW has an 81% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus praises “VFW’s solid cast, deft direction, and surprisingly weighty subtext.” Consequence of Sound calls it “ultra stylish, pure cinema,” while AV Club says it’s “an 80s exploitation throwback that’s outrageous in all the right ways.”

William Sadler (Bill & Ted Face the Music, Power, Die Hard II) was up for a 2020 Fright Meter Award for Best Supporting Actor, opposite the likes of 2021 Critics Choice Super nominee Sierra McCormick (The Vast of Night), Fangoria Chainsaw Award winner Stephen Lang (Avatar and its upcoming sequels, The Girl on the Train), six-time Emmy nominee George Wendt (Cheers), David Patrick Kelly (Twin Peaks), and Martin Kove (Kreese in Cobrai Kai and The Karate Kid).

21 BRIDGES | Action thriller

21 Bridges is the third last movie from the late Chadwick Boseman, aka Black Panther, who won the 2021 Golden Globe for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which also earned him an Oscar nomination. In 21 Bridges, Boseman was up for a 2020 Image Award as Andre Davis, an NYPD detective who shuts down the island of Manhattan to find two suspected cop killers.

Produced by the Russo brothers (Avengers: Endgame) and directed by BAFTA nominee Brian Kirk (Game of Thrones, Luther), 21 Bridges also scooped a nomination for Hardest Hit at the 2020 World Stunt Awards.

The star-studded cast includes Oscar winner J.K. Simmons (Whiplash), Golden Globe nominee Sienna Miller (The Loudest Voice), triple Emmy winner Keith David (Greenleaf), Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Stephan James (If Beale Street Could Talk), and Teen Choice nominee Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights, Wolverine).

OFFICIAL SECRETS | Biographical drama

In Official Secrets, Oscar-winning South African Gavin Hood (Tsotsi, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Eye in the Sky) directs two-time Oscar nominee Keira Knightley (Pirates of the Caribbean) as whistle-blower Katharine Gun, who exposed illegal spying operations by the US and British intelligence services ahead of the Iraq War.

Oscar nominee Ralph Fiennes (The English Patient) co-stars, alongside Emmy and BAFTA nominee Matt Smith (The Crown); Emmy and Teen Choice nominee Matthew Goode (A Discovery of Witches); Indira Varma (Game of Thrones, Rome); and BAFTA nominee Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill).

Official Secrets holds an 82% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and earned widespread praise for both Knightley’s understated performance and Hood’s co-writing and direction. As Financial Times says, “Hood knows how to crank the tension… a certain fury ticks under the story,” while New York Magazine adds, “Bloody hell, the Brits do low-key, paranoid procedural dramas like Official Secrets well, with a pervading chill and no flash. The crispness cuts like a knife.”

ANGEL HAS FALLEN | Action thriller

The #1 box office hit Angel Has Fallen – the third instalment in the Fallen film series – stars People’s Choice nominee Gerard Butler (300, Olympus Has Fallen) as Secret Service agent Mike Banning, who’s framed for a drone attack on the President of the United States (Oscar winner Morgan Freeman).

This action-packed crowd pleaser was nominated for a 2020 World Stunt Award, with the Observer calling it “a doom-invoking, cathartic and strangely satisfying head-trip” and the San Francisco Chronicle reminding us that Butler is “so good at doing this one thing that it has become his brand. […] That might be a blessing or a curse, but if it’s a curse, there are worse curses.”

The impressive cast also includes People’s Choice nominee Jada Pinkett Smith (The Matrix, Girls Trip), Screen Actors Guild nominee Lance Reddick (John Wick, The Wire), and triple-Oscar nominee Nick Nolte (Warrior, The Mandalorian).

MODERN CLASSICS TO STREAM NOW, FROM BURDEN TO THE BEGUILED, THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS TO SCARFACE

Modern classics recently added to Showmax include:
• The 2018 Sundance Audience Award-winning drama Burden (above), starring Oscar winner Forest Whitaker (Godfather of Harlem) as an idealistic reverend protecting a KKK member

  • The Beguiled, which earned Sofia Coppola the Best Director award at Cannes 2017, and stars the likes of Oscar winner Nicole Kidman (Big Little Lies, The Undoing) and three-time Golden Globe nominee Kirsten Dunst (On Becoming a God in Central Florida)
    • The biographical drama Jackie, nominated for three Oscars in 2017, including Best Actress for Natalie Portman (Black Swan) as Jackie Kennedy
  • Room, which won Brie Larson the Best Actress Oscar in 2016 as a woman held captive for years in a room with her young son (Jacob Tremblay from Wonder)
  • Todd Haynes’ romantic drama Carol, nominated for six Oscars in 2016, including for Best Actress for Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth, The Lord of the Rings) and Best Supporting Actress for Rooney Mara (Lion, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)
  • The romantic drama Brooklyn, nominated for three Oscars in 2016, including Best Film, Best Screenplay (Nick Hornby of An Education, High Fidelity and About A Boy fame)  and Best Actress (Saoirse Ronan from Lady Bird)
  • Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper, which earned six Oscar nominations in 2015, including Best Film and Best Actor (Bradley Cooper from A Star Is Born), winning for Sound Editing
  • The must-see historical drama 12 Years A Slave, winner of three Oscars in 2014, including Best Film and Best Supporting Actress for Kenya’s Lupita Nyong’o
    • The crime classic Fargo, winner of two Oscars in 1997, for Best Actress (Frances McDormand) and Best Screenplay (the Coen brothers)
    • The classic romcom Four Weddings and a Funeral, nominated for two Oscars in 1995: Best Film and Best Writing (Richard Curtis of Love Actually and About Time fame)
  • The serial killer classic The Silence of the Lambs, winner of five Oscars in 1992, including Best Film, Best Actor (Anthony Hopkins) and Best Actress (Jodie Foster) and currently at #23 on IMDb’s list of the top-rated films of all-time
    • Ridley Scott’s crime classic Thelma and Louise, starring Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon, which won the Best Screenplay Oscar in 1992
  • Brian de Palma’s gangster classic Scarface, nominated for three Golden Globes in 1984 – including Best Actor for Al Pacino and Best Score for Giorgio Moroder – and still #106 on IMDb’ top-rated films of all-time

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