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Coton Cinema at the Village Hall

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Coton Cinema Autumn 2022 Programme

Wed 28 Sep        The Phantom Of The Open

Wed 26 Oct        Operation Mincemeat

Sun 23 Nov         Elvis

Wed 14 Dec        The Outfit

Wed 28 Sep        The Phantom Of The Open

Here’s a film about a guy who likes six sugars in his tea. It is an amiably daft and sentimental Britfilm, a comedy of the underdog starring Mark Rylance, based on the strange true story of Maurice Flitcroft, a Barrow-in-Furness shipyard worker and amateur golfer who took up the sport in middle-age. Flitcroft practised on the beach and became known for cheekily entering the British Open golf championship in 1976 as a self-declared professional, thus circumventing the handicap requirement for amateurs. He found himself competing with the likes of Seve Ballesteros, but chaotically chalked up the worst score in the tournament’s history, to the spluttering rage of the puce-faced, blazer-wearing gentlemen in charge. They tried to ban him but he kept on gatecrashing competitions with wacky disguises and fake names.

Rylance is good casting as Maurice: his delicate sing-song voice and sometimes faintly unfocused gaze fit nicely with our hero’s lovably awkward determination, as well as Flitcroft’s sense as a natural comedian that there is something more than a little absurd in the game of golf. – Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian

Wed 26 Oct        Operation Mincemeat

Operation Mincemeat was the bizarre real-life scheme cooked up by British intelligence in 1943 to fool Nazi Germany into thinking the allies planned to invade Greece and Sardinia, rather than their actual target, Sicily. The corpse of a tramp was dressed up as fictitious “Capt William Martin” and carried elaborate bogus plans for this non-existent invasion; the body was dumped into the sea so that it would wash up in Spain where the British were confident this phoney intelligence would be obediently passed to the Germans.

Screenwriter Michelle Ashford has adapted the nonfiction bestseller by Ben Macintyre about this extraordinary adventure and John Madden directs, with Colin Firth and Matthew Macfadyen playing the stiff upper lipped chaps in charge, Ewen Montagu and Charles Cholmondeley. And Johnny Flynn plays naval intelligence’s brightest spark: Lt Cdr Ian Fleming (the future creator of James Bond, who possibly had the idea in the first place) in an entertainingly tongue-in-cheek performance. – Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian

Sun 23 Jan          Elvis

From an opening that cheekily evokes the dropped snow globe of Citizen Kane to an Unchained Melody finale that had me crying in the chapel, Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis is a turned-up-to-11 treat. It’s a riotously audacious work, a kaleidoscopic portrait of the king of rock’n’roll and his puppet-master promoter, the latter of whom narrates the story (like Salieri in Amadeus) and who tells his money-spinning client: “We are the same, you and I – two odd, lonely children, reaching for eternity.”

“Without me there would be no Elvis Presley,” drawls Tom Hanks’s Colonel Tom Parker (aka Dutchman Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk), a “snowman” or carnival huckster who does his deals on a Ferris wheel and who sounds genuinely amazed that “there are some who make me out to be the villain of this story!” Most will share that view as the curtain comes down on this whirlwind chronicle of a career from which Parker took 50% of the profits and 100% of the control. Yet for all his monstrousness, Hanks’s prosthetically enhanced antihero has just enough wheedling pathos to make us understand how he wormed his way into Elvis’s confidence. With a sing-song voice that is part Elmer Fudd, part Lugosi’s Dracula, we watch him usurp first Elvis’s much-mourned mother, Gladys, and then his idolised wife, Priscilla, in the inner circle of trust, casting himself as Presley’s closest confidant and making him a star even while strangling his artistic ambition.

Of all the actors who have previously tried to bottle Elvis’s lightning-like magic, none has come close to the physical, emotional, electrical energy that throbs through Austin Butler’s titular performance here. An early scene of his pink-pegged Presley performing Baby, Let’s Play House on the Louisiana Hayride is pure cinematic dynamite, with the orgasmic reactions of girls in the crowd as elegantly choreographed as Elvis’s gyrations (part religious ecstasy, part blushing burlesque) by movement maestro Polly Bennett. – Mark Kermode in The Guardian

Wed 14 Dec        The Outfit

The title has a double edge: it means a suit of clothes, and also the mob. US screenwriter and novelist Graham Moore made his directing debut with his own co-written screenplay: an amusingly contrived single-location suspense thriller, full of twist and counter-twist, set in 1950s Chicago (the city of Moore’s birth). It sometimes feels like a more refined, more well-spoken and well-tailored version of Reservoir Dogs, with besuited gangsters turning guns on each other in an enclosed space and a shot tough guy seething in agony from his bullet wound. But it has a heavier tread than this: owing more, maybe, to Hitchcock’s Rope.

Mark Rylance provides a solid centre with a typically calm, coolly composed, quietly spoken performance, often giving us an opaque and unnerving twinkle of mischief. He plays Leonard, a British tailor who left his homeland (for shadowy reasons) with nothing but his tailor’s scissors and set up shop in Chicago. The reason he’s been able to make a success of things is that he is almost solely patronised by the local gangsters: the ageing capo is Roy Boyle (Simon Russell Beale), who runs this turf with his unreliable hothead son, Richie (Dylan O’Brien); Richie is snarlingly resentful that his old man now favours a smooth new lieutenant, Francis (Johnny Flynn). These bad-mannered gangsters often order fancy suits from Leonard but use his shop’s backroom as an HQ and hangout. – Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian

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