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Director: Augustine Frizzell Starring: Felicity Jones, Shailene Woodley, Callum Turner, Nabhaan Rizwan, Joe Alwyn Running Time: 109 minutes




There is an art to the particular kind of romance that we call the melodrama, and though some associate the term with gaudy, over the top antics, the melodrama has a rich history in cinema that is tapped into far too rarely these days. True melodrama, human sense and sensibilities brought to life more largely on the big screen, has brought us some of our greatest cinematic storytellers, from Douglas Sirk to Pedro Almódovar. We think of the blockbuster as all action, crash, bang, wham all immersed in IMAX, in part because that’s 90% of what we get at the multiplex these days. If action and superhero movies spark our excitement for immense physical feats and kinetic storytelling though, movies like The Last Letter From Your Lover can provide alternative, and engaging, popcorn movie extravagance, with immense yearning, electrifying feats of feeling to feast on.

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Director: Paul Thomas Anderson Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Vicky Krieps, Lesley Manville Running Time: 130 minutes


Throughout his long and acclaimed career, Daniel Day-Lewis has embodied personalities that burst forth from the screen, simply too powerful, or imposing, or strong of will to be restrained by mere celluloid and silver. From Christy Brown to Daniel Plainview to Abraham-by-God-Lincoln, DDL has method acted his way through dominating characters, willing audiences into awe, the most impressive man in the room when he isn’t really in it. In his supposed last performance, as the wonderfully and ludicrously named Reynolds Woodcock, DDL applies that same level of performance and applies it to a fussy dressmaker in the immaculate fashion scene of 1950s London. Working once again with Paul Thomas Anderson, the pair have taken what may seem at first glance to be an understated love story and intricately sown some of their best work just underneath the surface, a beautiful piece of work with as many hidden thrills as anything their fascinating main character himself might design.

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Director: Hallie Meyers-Shyer Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Candice Bergen, Nico Alexander, Nat Wolff, Jon Rudnitsky Running Time: 97 minutes

First off, Home Again is not a rom-com. Don’t listen to what the critics want to tell you. It follows Alice, played with aplomb by Reese Witherspoon, who has recently left her man-child husband (Michael Sheen) in New York and returned to the restorative comforts of Los Angeles. With the help of her mother, she reclaims her identity and finds fulfilment.

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Director: Woody Allen Starring: Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg, Steve Carell, Blake Lively Runtime: 96 minutes

If you want a taste of the glitz and glamour of 1930s Hollywood, Café Society seems to have it all. It has the lavish parties, the decadent clubs and even the criminal undercurrent all on display with lush, saturated colours and the snappy dialogue Woody Allen is known for. But just like Jay Gatsby, Café Society is all style and no substance.

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Director: Pedro Almodóvar Starring: Emma Suarez, Adriana Ugarte Running Time: 96 minutes


In Julieta, the latest film from prolific Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar, guilt casts a cloud over everything. It dooms relationships from the beginning, causes dramatic upheavals and deep denials and causes rifts between mother and daughter that neither fully understand until its years too late. Adapting three short stories from the book Runaway by Alice Munro, Almodóvar manages to make one cohesive story, using guilt as a throughline to explore the relationship between a mother and daughter. The director’s melodramatic style is present but toned down in Julieta, which presents the breakdown in their relationship as a mystery where the clues come in the form of character’s neurosis rather than a candle sticks left in conservatories.

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