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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

The British Film Festival Has Just Unveiled Its Full Star-Studded Program for 2021

The touring festival's 31-movie lineup includes Edgar Wright's new thriller, a David Bowie biopic, and films starring Olivia Colman, Jamie Dornan, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy.
By Sarah Ward
October 14, 2021
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By Sarah Ward
October 14, 2021
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Australian movie lovers, prepare to be spoiled for choice when it comes to getting your next big-screen fix. With Sydney out of lockdown and Melbourne likely to do the same this month, cinemas across the country are about to be inundated with high-profile features — and, with film festivals showing them.

One such event getting the projectors whirring is the annual British Film Festival, which'll tour its 31-movie lineup of Brit flicks around the country between Wednesday, November 3–Wednesday, December 1. Gracing the fest's titles is a who's who of UK acting talent, so if you're a fan of The Crown's Olivia Colman, Claire Foy and Josh O'Connor — or of everyone from Jamie Dornan, Colin Firth, Judi Dench and Benedict Cumberbatch to Helen Mirren, Michael Caine, Joanna Lumley and Peter Capaldi — you'll be spying plenty of familiar faces.

The festival will open with true tale The Duke, starring Mirren and Jim Broadbent, with the latter playing a 60-year-old taxi driver who stole a portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London. From there, highlights include the Kenneth Branagh-directed Belfast, about growing up in 1960s Northern Ireland; Last Night in Soho, Edgar Wright's new thriller featuring Anya Taylor-Joy and Thomasin McKenzie; romantic period drama Mothering Sunday, with Colman, Firth and O'Connor; and Best Sellers, a literary comedy with Michael Caine and Aubrey Plaza.

Or, there's also Stardust, a biopic about the one and only David Bowie — and The Electrical Life of Louis Wan, about the eponymous artist, with Cumberbatch and Foy leading the cast.

Opera singing in the Scottish highlands drives the Lumley-starring Falling for Figaro, which also features Australian Patti Cake$ actor Danielle Macdonald; Benediction marks the return of filmmaker Terence Davies (Sunset Song), this time focusing on English poet and soldier Siegfried Sassoon; and Firth pops up again in World War II-set drama Operation Mincemeat with Succession's Matthew Macfadyen.

Plus, To Olivia dramatises Roald Dahl's marriage to Oscar-winning actress Patricia Neal, Stephen Fry explores bubbly booze in documentary Sparkling: The Story of Champagne, and novelist Jackie Collins also gets the doco treatment.

And, as part of the British Film Festival's retrospective lineup, Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange and Barry Lyndon will grace the big screen — the former in a 4K restoration to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

BRITISH FILM FESTIVAL 2021 DATES:

Wednesday, November 3–Wednesday, December 1 — Palace Norton, Palace Verona, Palace Central and Chauvel Cinema, Sydney
Wednesday, November 3–Wednesday, December 1 — Palace Electric, Canberra
Wednesday, November 3–Wednesday, December 1 — Palace James Street and Palace Centro, Brisbane
Wednesday, November 3–Wednesday, December 1— Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas and Palace Nova Prospect Cinemas, Adelaide
Wednesday, November 3–Wednesday, December 1— Palace Raine Square, Luna Leederville, Luna on SX and Windsor Cinema, Perth
Wednesday, November 3–Sunday, November 21 — Palace Byron Bay, Byron Bay
Friday, November 5–Wednesday, December 1 — Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Westgarth, The Kino, Pentridge Cinema and The Astor, Melbourne

The 2021 British Film Festival tours Australia between Wednesday, November 3–Wednesday, December 1. For more information and to buy tickets, visit the festival website.

Published on October 14, 2021 by Sarah Ward

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