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Now showing at Everyman Winchester Southgate Street,Winchester,Hampshire SO23 9EG 0871 906 9060

  • A Little Chaos
  • Avengers: Age Of Ultron
  • Child 44
  • Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story Of Dream Alliance
  • Woman In Gold

A Little Chaos 3 stars

movie title

King Louis XIV hires renowned landscape gardener Andre Le Notre to transform the grounds of Versailles into a fantasia "of exquisite and matchless beauty". It is a Herculean task, so Le Notre hires fellow landscapers to oversee different sections of the garden. Sabine De Barra catches his eye. She flouts rigid form and prefers a more haphazard approach to her planting. The arrival of Sabine in the court sets tongues wagging and incurs the wrath of Andre's jealous wife, Madame Le Notre.

  • GenreComedy, Drama, Historical/Period, Romance
  • CastAlan Rickman, Kate Winslet, Stanley Tucci, Helen McCrory, Matthias Schoenaerts, Jennifer Ehle.
  • DirectorAlan Rickman.
  • WriterAlison Deegan, Alan Rickman, Jeremy Brock.
  • CountryUK
  • Duration117 mins
  • Official site
  • Release17/04/2015

Sexual tension and skulduggery blossom in the magnificent gardens of the Palace of Versailles in Alan Rickman's entertaining second directorial feature. A Little Chaos is considerably more formal and predictable than the title suggests, but what this lusty period romp lacks in originality, it compensates with colourful performances and an uplifting bouquet of courtly intrigues.

Rickman sows the seeds of our simple enjoyment with a largely British cast led by Oscar-winner Kate Winslet as a spirited landscape gardener, who refuses to kowtow to expectations or gender stereotypes.

She is nestled between handsome Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts as her green-fingered love interest and Stanley Tucci in a typically scene-stealing comic role as the effete Duc d'Orleans, who is a stranger to restrained sophistication and "speaks from the opposite end of the fashion scale".

Some of Britain's finest stately homes, estates and mansions including Blenheim Palace, Cliveden, Hampton Court Palace and Waddesdon Manor double handsomely for late 17th-century France. Rickman's garden is exceedingly well turned out.

The director makes his mark in front of the camera as King Louis XIV, who has hired renowned landscape gardener Andre Le Notre (Schoenaerts) to transform the grounds of Versailles into a fantasia "of exquisite and matchless beauty".

It is a Herculean task, so Le Notre hires fellow landscapers to oversee different sections of the garden. Sabine De Barra (Winslet) catches his eye. She flouts rigid form and prefers a more haphazard approach to her planting.

The arrival of Sabine in the court sets tongues wagging - "You are no one where everybody is someone," a chaperone tells her - and incurs the wrath of Andre's jealous wife, Madame Le Notre (Helen McCrory).

Fellow labourers including Moulin (Danny Webb) rush to support Sabine in her epic undertaking and the gardener wins the approval of the king's mistress Madame De Montespan (Jennifer Ehle) by challenging the monarch's description of women in his court as faded and overblown roses. "That fate awaits all roses, sire," Sabine responds confidently.

A Little Chaos has the requisite array of heaving bosoms, lingering glances and deceptions, accentuated by swathes of eye-catching costumes and composer Peter Gregson's lively score.

Winslet isn't stretched in the lead role but she brings grit and determination to her trendsetter. On-screen sexual tension with Schoenaerts barely simmers, while McCrory vamps it up to the hilt as the wicked wench who envies Sabine's ability to impress powerful men with her intellect.

Rickman downplays his beleaguered monarch and enjoys one truly delightful scene with Winslet, in which he casts off the king's finery to mourn lost love. The resolution of the entangled plots will surprise no one, but A Little Chaos is a hardy perennial that will weather most criticism and delivers gentle sprays of laughter and romance when it counts.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 21st April 2015
Wednesday 22nd April 2015
Thursday 23rd April 2015

Avengers: Age Of Ultron 3 stars

movie title

Tony Stark hopes to jumpstart world peace using a dormant artificial intelligence program but he unwittingly unleashes the villainous Ultron. Nick Fury calls together his superhero team of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye to protect mankind from annihilation, testing the bonds of trust between the team members in the process. Uneasy alliances are forged and the Avengers cross paths with mysterious and powerful siblings Wanda and Pietro Maximoff.

  • GenreAction, Adaptation, Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Science Fiction
  • CastChris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Mark Ruffalo, James Spader, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L Jackson, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
  • DirectorJoss Whedon.
  • WriterJoss Whedon.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration141 mins
  • Official sitewww.marvel.com/avengers
  • Release23/04/2015

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) hopes to jumpstart world peace using a dormant artificial intelligence program but he unwittingly unleashes the villainous Ultron (James Spader). Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) calls together his superhero team of Iron Man, Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) to protect mankind from annihilation, testing the bonds of trust between the team members in the process. Uneasy alliances are forged and the Avengers cross paths with mysterious and powerful siblings Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). The team also encounters an old friend in his new form as Vision (Paul Bettany).

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Thursday 23rd April 2015

Child 44 3 stars

movie title

Leo Demidov, best friend Alexei Andreyev and cowardly rival Vasili Nikitin work side by side as Moscow's secret police under the aegis of Major Kuzmin. Alexei's young son dies on the train tracks in suspicious circumstances and the grieving father becomes convinced that a murderer is on the loose. When Leo investigates, Kuzmin shoots him down: "Stalin tells us murder is strictly a capitalist disease."

  • GenreAdaptation, Historical/Period, Romance, Thriller, War
  • CastJason Clarke, Tom Hardy, Vincent Cassel, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Noomi Rapace, Paddy Considine, Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman.
  • DirectorDaniel Espinosa.
  • WriterRichard Price.
  • CountryUS/UK/Cze/
  • Duration137 mins
  • Official sitewww.child44film.com
  • Release17/04/2015

Adapted from the first novel of Tom Rob Smith's award-winning trilogy, Child 44 is a dense crime thriller steeped in the suspicion and paranoia of the Stalin-era Soviet Union.

Scriptwriter Richard Price faces an uphill battle - one he doesn't always win - to condense more than 400 pages of political intrigue and sinewy subplots into a free-flowing narrative that won't distract multiplex audiences from their popcorn.

He succeeds in fits and spurts, aided by Swedish director Daniel Espinosa, who energised the Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds thriller Safe House, and performs some of the same magic here in propulsive action sequences.

Espinosa flexes his muscles in compelling early scenes, recreating a key moment in the Battle of Berlin in 1945, when Soviets raised their flag over the Reichstag building. War-hardened soldier Leo Demidov (Tom Hardy) is the man wielding the standard, cheered on by best friend Alexei Andreyev (Fares Fares), while cowardly comrade Vasili Nikitin (Joel Kinnaman) watches enviously from the sidelines.

Fast-forward eight years and these three men are working side by side as Moscow's secret police under the aegis of Major Kuzmin (Vincent Cassel). Alexei's young son dies on the train tracks in suspicious circumstances and the grieving father becomes convinced that a murderer is on the loose.

When Leo investigates, Kuzmin shoots him down: "Stalin tells us murder is strictly a capitalist disease." Soon after, Leo's wife Raisa (Noomi Rapace) is branded a traitor but the policeman refuses to disown her. "You should have given me up - that's what wives are for," she coldly informs him, before they are banished to the bleak industrial town of Voualsk.

Leo is determined to unmask the boy's murderer and joins forces with local lawmaker General Nesterov (Gary Oldman) to disprove Stalin's assertion that there can be no murder in paradise. Meanwhile, the unlikely culprit, a factory worker called Vladimir (Paddy Considine), hunts more unsuspecting victims with impunity.

Based on the real life case of Andrei Chikatilo, the so-called Butcher of Rostov, who was sentenced to death for 52 murders, Child 44 is a slow burn that gets bogged down in exposition. Some of the cast are more comfortable than others with the thick Russian accents, including a couple of noticeable wobbles.

Hardy is a typically brooding and emotionally conflicted central figure, who is forced to address his own transgressions when murderer Vladimir scolds: "Hero, monster - we are both killers, you and I."

The bitter rivalry with Kinnaman's backstabbing compatriot is sketched in broad strokes while Rapace's love interest feels slightly undernourished too, although she relishes one pivotal scene in which Raisa laments the lack of free will afforded her sex.

Espinosa sustains tension, despite occasional dramatic detours that prolong the running time to a testing 137 minutes.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 21st April 2015
Wednesday 22nd April 2015
Thursday 23rd April 2015

Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story Of Dream Alliance 3 stars

movie title

A life-affirming documentary about a group of friends and neighbours from a Welsh mining village, who came together to buy a racehorse and subsequently defied the odds. Jan Vokes is a barmaid in a working men's club in Cefn Fforest, who overhears local tax adviser, Howard Davies, talking about his disastrous efforts to breed a prize-winning horse. Without any experience but bundles of enthusiasm, Jan persuades Howard and his long-suffering wife Daisy to help her break into the horse racing elite.

  • GenreDocumentary, Drama, Indie
  • DirectorLouise Osmond.
  • WriterLouise Osmond.
  • CountryUK
  • Duration86 mins
  • Official sitewww.darkhorsefilm.co.uk
  • Release17/04/2015 (selected cinemas)

Not to be confused with James Napier Robertson's New Zealand drama The Dark Horse, Louise Osmond's life-affirming documentary reveals the true story of a group of friends and neighbours from a Welsh mining village, who came together to buy a racehorse and subsequently defied the odds. Jan Vokes is a barmaid in a working men's club in Cefn Fforest, who overhears local tax adviser, Howard Davies, talking about his disastrous efforts to breed a prize-winning horse. Without any experience but bundles of enthusiasm, Jan persuades Howard and his long-suffering wife Daisy to help her break into the horse racing elite. She establishes a syndicate of 30 locals, who pay 10 each per month towards the animal's care. They choose a foal with dubious racing pedigree and pay 7,000 pounds for the animal, christening the horse Dream Alliance, which they stable down on the allotments. With guidance from a top-class trainer, Dream Alliance becomes a beacon of hope for Cefn Fforest and stuns pundits when it wins a series of high-profile races against seasoned opposition.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 21st April 2015
Wednesday 22nd April 2015
Thursday 23rd April 2015

Woman In Gold 3 stars

Shortly before the Second World War, Nazis confiscate numerous artworks including Gustav Klimt's iconic portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, known as Woman In Gold. Following his death, Adele's niece Maria Altmann launches a protracted and bitter legal battle against the Austrian government to reclaim the painting, flanked by idealistic young lawyer Randol Schoenberg. Together, they take the grievance to the Supreme Court of the United States.

  • GenreBiography, Drama, Film, Historical/Period
  • CastHelen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Bruhl, Dame Helen Mirren, Katie Holmes, Max Irons.
  • DirectorSimon Curtis.
  • WriterAlexi Kaye Campbell.
  • CountryUS/UK
  • Duration109 mins
  • Official sitewww.facebook.com/WomanInGoldMovie
  • Release10/04/2015

During the Second World War, the Third Reich plundered countless artworks and possessions, some of which were traced back to their rightful owners by the Monuments Men. Today, more than 100,000 precious items are still separated from families.

Some may never be seen again. Woman In Gold is the inspirational true story of one Los Angeles resident, who challenged the legal status quo to reclaim a painting from her native Austria in the face of staunch resistance from bureaucrats in Vienna.

Director Simon Curtis and screenwriter Alexi Kaye Campbell distill this protracted war of words into a solid drama that juxtaposes harrowing events in late 1930s Europe with legal wranglings six decades later on both sides of the Atlantic.

At the turn of the 20th century, industrialist Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer (Henry Goodman) commissions artist Gustav Klimt to paint his wife Adele (Antje Traue), who dies a few years later. The glittering canvas hangs in the family apartment in Vienna until Nazis invade and seize works of art as well as precious trinkets.

Ferdinand leaves the country before the border shutdown, but his brother Gustav (Allan Corduner), his wife Therese (Nina Kunzendorf), their daughter Maria (Tatiana Maslany) and her opera singer husband Fritz (Max Irons) are not so fortunate. Maria and Fritz orchestrate a daring escape, leaving behind loved ones to a grim fate, while the iconic painting hangs in the Belvedere Gallery in the Austrian capital.

In 1998, Maria (now played by Helen Mirren) attempts to reclaim the canvas, aided by idealistic lawyer Randol Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds). "Can't you help me out on the side, like a little hobby?" she pleads. Inspired by Maria's resolve, Randol risks his job at a top California law firm to pursue the case, which everyone, including senior partner Sherman (Charles Dance), tells him is unwinnable.

Austrian investigative reporter Hubertus Czernin (Daniel Bruhl) pledges support but warns Maria and Randol to expect defeat. "She is the Mona Lisa of Austria," explains the reporter. "Do you think they will just let her go?

Woman In Gold deftly moves back and forth between the two timelines to establish Maria's tragic past and her claim on the painting. Mirren teases out the steeliness of her survivor, who gets caught up in the excitement of the case and jokes to Randol, "This is like James Bond film, and you are Sean Connery".

She pickpockets the lion's share of the one-liners while Reynolds has the more difficult task of adding emotional heft to his inexperienced underdog. Screenwriter Campbell simplifies legal arguments so they are easily digestible, while director Curtis maintains a steady pace apart from Maria and Randol's pulse-quickening escape bid that seems destined to end in tragedy. Not for the last time, Maria defies the odds.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 21st April 2015
Wednesday 22nd April 2015
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