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

New this week: Saoirse Ronan shines in the hilarious and touching Lady Bird, while I, Tonya is an edgy, only-in-America blast

The girl can’t help it: Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird

The girl can’t help it: Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird

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LADY BIRD ★★★★★
Directed by Greta Gerwig. Starring Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein, Stephen McKinley. 15A cert, general release, 94 min

Gloriously funny, surprisingly moving comic-drama about the struggles between a feisty teenager (Ronan, delightful) and her harassed mum (Metcalf, nuanced) in millennial Sacramento. For somebody so often identified as the most fashionable of cinematic hipsters, actor-turned-director Gerwig proves (not for the first time) to have an enormously generous spirit. Nobody is perfect in the Lady Bird universe. But nobody is fully malign either. Laurie gets her moment of catharsis. Ronan is eventually allowed the chance to breath. Essential. Review/Trailer DC

I, TONYA ★★★★
Directed by Craig Gillespie. Starring Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney, Julianne Nicholson, Bobby Cannavale. 15A cert, general release, 110 min

After one violent scene in ‘I, Tonya’, someone turns to the screen and says: ‘This didn’t happen’

Searing, politically edgy study of the journey that took Tonya Harding (Robbie) from ice skating star to the most reviled woman in 1994 America. The film’s sympathies lie with Harding, roundly abused by her ruthless mother and manager, LaVona (Janney), and her violent, shotgun-wielding husband (Stan). The film’s treatment of domestic violence is occasionally a little uneasy. But a fired-up Robbie and an incandescently horrid Janney make it work. A blast. Review/Trailer TB

FINDING YOUR FEET ★★★
Directed by Richard Loncraine. Starring Imelda Staunton, Timothy Spall, Celia Imrie, Joanna Lumley, David Hayman, John Sessions, Josie Lawrence. 12A cert, general release, 111 min

When Little Englander Sandra (Staunton) discovers her husband is having an affair, she sensibly packs her bags and heads to London to stay with her estranged and free-spirited sister, Bif (Imrie). It takes a little time, but slowly Sandra acclimatises to Bif and her community dance group chums, a lively bunch including some of Britain’s best loved character actors. The film quickly swerves into Full Monty territory. But between the capering, there are subplots concerning Alzhiemer’s, terminal cancer, adultery, and in flagrante death. Review TB

THE ICE KING ★★★★
Directed by James Erskine. Featuring John Curry. Club, limited release, 89 min

Fascinating, well-structured documentary about the brilliant English ice skater John Curry – one of the first British celebrities to discuss a diagnosis of Aids. The Ice King is an agreeably unfussy affair. A precise, clipped voiceover from Freddie Fox brings Curry to life again. Contemporary interviews are kept to a minimum as we enjoy impressive footage of the skater in his pomp. Particularly strong on the media’s unease about homosexuality in the 1970s. Review DC

THE TOUCH/BERÖRINGEN ★★★★
Directed by Ingmar Bergman. Starring Elliott Gould, Bibi Andersson, Max von Sydow, Sheila Reid. Club, QFT, Belfast; Triskel, Cork, 106 min

Elliott Gould and Bibi Andersson in The Touch

Welcome reissue of Bergman’s 1971 film concerning one of his typically bleak, unsettled romantic relationships. The Touch, a film which Bergman himself despised and which has languished in obscurity for the best part of five decades, has more truth in its dated depictions of hoovering than most relationship dramas can wring from their best Albee-esque approximations. Gould has seldom been less predictable. Andersson is as rooted as ever. Well worth discovering or rediscovering. Review TB

THE SHAPE OF WATER ★★★★
Directed by Guillermo del Toro. Starring Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg, Octavia Spencer 15A cert, general release, 123 min

Hawkins plays a lonely mute janitor who falls for a (literally) fishy humanoid imprisoned in a CIA research centre during the cold war. Anybody who savoured Del Toro’s work on Pan’s Labyrinth will be at home in The Shape of Water’s green universe. Alexandre Desplat’s score wheezes warmly beneath a story that powers towards an epiphany so inevitable that . . . Well, if you haven’t worked that out we won’t spoil it for you. Maybe it’s a bit too cosy. Remarkable nonetheless. Review/Trailer DC

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