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British Film Festival 2022

Melbourne's annual celebration of British cinema is back with films starring Paul Mescal, Olivia Colman, Lily James and Colin Farrell — and a big 'Bond' retrospective.
By Sarah Ward
September 30, 2022
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By Sarah Ward
September 30, 2022
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Bond and big-name festival hits. Everyone from Paul Mescal and Lily James and to Olivia Colman and Colin Farrell. Established and up-and-coming filmmakers from across the UK.  That's the British Film Festival's 2022 lineup, which'll hit Melbourne's Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Westgarth, The Kino, Pentridge Cinema and The Astor from Wednesday, October 19–Wednesday, November 16.

Get ready to catch Mescal's latest post-Normal People role, Aftersun, then check out a rom-com starring James (Pam & Tommy) with Shazad Latif (Toast of Tinseltown), before seeing the Australian premiere of Colman's (Mothering Sunday) newest movie Joyride. As always, it's a star-studded affair,  including opening with Mrs Harris Goes to Paris, as set in the world of French fashion, with Oscar-nominated Phantom Thread actor Lesley Manville in the titular role.

At the other end, that aforementioned rom-com What's Love Got to Do With It? will wrap things up, with James and Latif joined on-screen by Emma Thompson (Good Luck to You, Leo Grande).

Other standouts include The Banshees of Inisherin, which reunites In Bruges writer/director Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) and his stars Farrell (After Yang) and Brendan Gleeson (The Tragedy of Macbeth); plus the Bill Nighy (The Man Who Fell to Earth)-starring Living, about a terminally ill man in the 1950s.

Also on the complete bill, and a huge inclusion: Empire of Light, the new film from 1917, Skyfall and Spectre's Sam Mendes. Skyfall will also play as part of the Bond retrospective, but the director's latest has been called a love letter to cinema — because charting a romance in an old picture palace in the 1980s was always going to earn that description.

An Emily Brontë biopic, aptly named Emily, and directed by Australia actor-turned-filmmaker Frances O'Connor (The End), also sits on the lineup — as do more sea shanties in song-filled sequel Fisherman's Friends 2: One and All. Or, there's Rogue Agent, which dramatises conman (and fake undercover MI5 agent) Robert Freegard's IRL story; In From the Side, about an affair between two members of a fictional South London gay rugby club; and Aisha, focusing on a young Nigerian woman seeking asylum in Ireland.

As for that shaken-not-stirred contingent, it celebrates six decades since Dr No, the first movie in the 007 franchise, initially graced cinemas — and includes 14 films, with tickets $13 for each. The title that started it all is well and truly on the lineup, as are the fellow Connery-led You Only Live Twice, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger and Thunderball; Roger Moore-era titles Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun; On Your Majesty's Secret Service with Australia's Bond George Lazenby; Timothy Dalton in The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill; Goldeneye and The World Is Not Enough with Pierce Brosnan; and Daniel Craig's Casino Royale and Skyfall.

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