2016 British Cinema

It has been a great year for British cinema and to celebrate the release of A United Kingdom we take a look back at some of the year’s top British releases – from much loved television series that have made the leap to the big screen, to adaptations of novels and true life stories as well as new innovative scripts.

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Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie

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Starring Jenifer Saunders as Eddy and Joanna Lumley as Patsy, this adaptation of the hit sitcom Absolutely Fabulous brought all the outrageousness and hilarity that fans first fell in love with, wrapped up in a very glamorous package. Still oozing glitz and glamour, Eddy and Patsy are living the high life they are accustomed to; shopping, drinking and clubbing their way around London’s trendiest hotspots, until they have a slight accident involving Kate Moss… One of the film’s biggest draws was its incredible number of cameos. Giving Zoolander 2 a run for its money the film starred over 60 celebrity cameos including John Hamm, Rebel Wilson, Rylan, Dame Joan Collins, Jerry Hall, Jean Paul Gaultier, Suki Waterhouse, Stella McCartney…. the list is endless darling!

 

Brotherhood

Every story has a beginning, middle and end. Noel Clarke’s Brotherhood marks the end of the acclaimed Kidulthood trilogy. The final instalment of this UK franchise sees Sam, played by Clarke, having to deal with new problems which require the help of old friends. Whilst Adam Deacon may not be returning to the final instalment, it has paved the way for new cast member Stormzy who is best known for his MOBO award winning music. Having written all three films and directed both Adulthood and Brotherhood, this final instalment also sees Noel Clarke take a seat in the producer’s chair.

 

Dad’s Army

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In February this year the much loved iconic British comedy Dad’s Army was brought to the big screen. Directed by BAFTA award-winning Oliver Parker the line-up included an all-star British cast including Toby Jones, Michael Gambon, Bill Nighy, Bill Paterson and Catherine Zeta Jones. In the film, there is a new mission and new threats – not only is glamorous journalist Rose Winters setting pulses raising but after intercepting a radio signal sent direct to Berlin from Walmington-on-Sea, they discover that there is a spy on the loose! The adaptation includes nods to the original series with iconic catchphrases still in use, and the brigade’s van remaining the same, Frank Williams reprises his role as Rev Timothy Farthing whilst the series’ Private Pike, Ian Lavender, takes on a new role as Brigadier Pritchard.

 

Eddie the Eagle

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A feel good hit of the year, Eddie the Eagle is a story inspired by true events. Michael Edwards was an underdog who always aspired to compete in the Olympics, his dream came true in 1988 as he represented Great Britain at Winter Olympics in Calgary competing in the ski jumping event. Whilst Eddie came last in both events his heroic failure made him one of the most popular and most talked about athletes of the games. The film premiered at the 2016 Sundance Festival and starred Taron Egerton as Eddie the Eagle alongside Hugh Jackman as Eddie’s trainer Bronson Peary. Eddie himself has commented that the BBC filmmakers had “done a very, very good job” and that Egerton’s performance was “uncanny”. This didn’t go unnoticed as Taron Egerton was nominated for the 2016 Teen Choice Award for his portrayal.

 

High Rise

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Whilst it screened at the London Film Festival last year audiences had to wait until 2016 to see High Rise in cinemas. Based on the novel of the same name by J G Ballard, the film, directed by Ben Wheatley, is a dystopian drama which gives a stark account of class conflicts among the residents of the apartment block. The film descends into chaos as violence, self-indulgence and power take a grip on the residents. Tom Hiddleston plays the character of Laing, a well-off single man who lives in the bizarre complex alongside residents who are played by stars including Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans and Elizabeth Moss.

 

Me Before You

JoJo Moyes’ number one bestselling novel Me Before You was also adapted for the big screen this year. Emilia Clarke stars as Lou, a local girl who gets a job looking after a recently-paralysed guy Will Traynor (Sam Claflin), the pair form a close relationship. Alongside the main leads were fellow British actors Brandan Coyle, Jenna Coleman, Matthew Lewis and Charles Dance. Adapting her own novel for the big screen Moyes earned her first screenplay writing credit for the film. Even though the original novel was published in 2012 it can still be found in top 10 best selling book lists in the UK.

 

A United Kingdom

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This November sees Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom come to the big screen following its previews at both the Toronto and London Film Festivals. The British film stars David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike in the true life story of Botswanan Prince Seretse Khama and his British wife Ruth, a couple pulled apart by countries and governments who didn’t approve of their interracial marriage.

A United Kingdom is in UK cinemas 25 November 2016. 

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