Six of the best films to see at the cinema this weekend

Maudie finds humanity in unlikely places, Williams profiles an icon for whom racing is life

Ethan Hawke and Sally Hawkins in Maudie

Ethan Hawke and Sally Hawkins in Maudie

 

MAUDIE ★★★★
Directed by Aisling Walsh. Starring Sally Hawkins, Ethan Hawke. 15A cert, general release, 116 min

Ethan Hawke and Sally Hawkins in Maudie
Ethan Hawke and Sally Hawkins in Maudie

There are people who will remain unmoved by Walsh’s wonderful study of the Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis. There are also people who wilfully stand on spiders. I can’t say I’d like to spend any time alone with such a fellow. Hawkins is heart-breaking as the title character: a simple, determined woman who sticks to her painting despite the advance of severe arthritis. Hawke gives a crafty performance as the brutal fisherman who becomes her husband. Essential. DC Review/Trailer

LAND OF MINE ★★★★
Directed by Martin Zandvliet. Starring Roland Moller, Louis Hofmann, Joel Basman. 15A cert, limited release, 101 min

Roland Møller in Land of Mine
Roland Møller in Land of Mine

Gripping, Oscar-nominated Danish drama concerning the German POWs who, after the armistice, were forced to clear mines from Danish beaches. The picture plays cleverly with our expectations by initially positioning the Allied commander as the villain and the young Germans as the heroes. The Danish sergeant is brutal. The prisoners are young and vulnerable. A slightly clunky softening does inevitably happen, but the tension counterbalances any sentimentality. A crowdpleaser. DC Review/Trailer

WILLIAMS ★★★★
Directed by Morgan Matthews. Featuring Frank Williams, Claire Williams, Jackie Stewart, Nigel Mansell, Alan Jones, Patrick Head. 15A cert, limited release, 109 min

Frank Williams works on an F1 car in his team garage in 1969. Photograph: Curzon Artificial eye
Frank Williams works on an F1 car in his team garage in 1969. Photograph: Curzon Artificial eye

Frank Williams doesn’t “do emotion” we are told early and often in this intriguing documentary portrait of the Formula One titan. Indeed, the highest praise Frank can think to bestow upon his daughter Claire is that, in common with her late mother Ginny (Virginia), she “Doesn’t make a lot of fuss” and “gets things done”. It’s that sort of world. Away from those personal dilemmas the film has plenty to tell us about a true sporting phenomenon. TB Review/Trailer

THE BIG SICK ★★★★
Directed by Michael Showalter. Starring Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano. 15A cert, general release, 120 min

Return of the romcom: Zoe Kazan and Kumail Najiani in The Big Sick
Return of the romcom: Zoe Kazan and Kumail Najiani in The Big Sick

Lively, funny, romantic comedy follows the classic template while finding fresh innovations. Nankiani plays a comic who falls for Kazan’s bright spark. He decides not to tell his Pakistani parents. Then Zoe’s character falls seriously ill. Nanjiani draws on the story of his romance with cowriter Emily V Gordon to construct a twisty, unusual entertainment. The female lead is missing for a good third of the picture, but she feels present throughout. The romcom is back. DC Review/Trailer

THE FARTHEST ★★★★
Directed by Emer Reynolds. PG cert, limited release, 120 min

Way, way out: The Farthest
Way, way out: The Farthest

Superb Irish documentary on the Voyager space programme. Lighter touches blend with denser science to create a substantial, but easily digestible, stew. The film is meticulous, epic and – Kate McCullough’s characteristically fine cinematography justifies theatrical distribution – beautiful throughout. What most surprises, however, is how moving The Farthest turns out to be. Our world is so fragile. We are so insignificant. But we can do hugely ambitious and generous things. – DC Review/Trailer

DUNKIRK ★★★★★
Directed by Christopher Nolan. Starring Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy. 12A cert, general release, 107 mins

Fionn Whitehead in a scene from Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk Fionn Whitehead in a scene from Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk
Fionn Whitehead in a scene from Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk Fionn Whitehead in a scene from Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk

The second World War film is hardly voguish, and this particular war film doesn’t play by the rules. There is hardly any blood, and nothing like guts. There’s little flashy CGI. Instead, we get real planes, boats and scenes shot on the actual French beaches where the infamous evacuation took place. Dunkirk is entirely experiential. There is no chatter about sweethearts back home; there is only the impulse to escape and survive. Hans Zimmer’s pounding score – a symphony that draws loudly from incoming fire, heartbeat, and finally, Nimrod – amplifies the rising panic. The crunching realism, as captured on large format film stock, puts every other rival summer spectacle to shame. TB Review/Trailer

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