Movies – 223

20 Feet From Stardom

“And the coloured girls go, Doo doo doo doo doo doo…” You know the rest, but Lou Reed’s 70s hit was probably the last time you (or any of us) ever even thought about the back up artists on stage – the gifted singers who stand behind some of this century’s greatest musical legends.

In director Morgan Neville’s loving tribute, they finally get to step into the spotlight. We learn of their triumphs and tragedies, their own ambitions and frustrations, but best of all, we get backstage and listen to the making of some of rock’s most memorable songs, including Merry Clayton’s hair-raising vocals on “Gimme Shelter” and Lisa Fischer’s amazing work with Chaka Khan and Tina Turner.

It’s rare for superstars like Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen to step into the background. But they do, willingly and with respect here, giving credit where credit is due. It’s also rare (astonishingly so) for a movie to get a 99% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. So when that happens, it means something really special. Go along, check it out.

CTC from Nov 21. (Unpreviewed)

Thanks to Transmission Films we have 10 double in-season passes to give away.
For details on how to enter, see our Giveaways page.





Asked why he joined the police force, Detective Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy, clearly having the time of life) answers, “Police oppression.” “To stamp it out from the inside?” “No, to be part of it,” he clarifies.

And this cop takes his job seriously; basically it involves snorting, scheming, rooting, swearing and running amok in the streets of Edinburgh like a crack-addicted lunatic. Of course in Irvine Welsh books we’ve seen characters like this before (well, all of them, actually) but not since Danny Boyle’s groundbreaking Trainspotting has an adaption of one of his occasionally “difficult” novels worked so well.

It doesn’t quite catch the spirit of the times in quite the same way, but it’s still a rip-snorting, raucous, profane very good movie. Affecting even, for yes, this man has to suffer for his sins. And as unlikely as it may seem, we do care for him – McAvoy gives us a performance that sticks around, and messes with our heads.

Jon S Baird directs, Jamie Bell plays Bruce’s coked up chum. Also starring the always gorgeous Imogen Poots, and did I mention the fabulous soundtrack? This is a good one!

R18+ from Nov 21

Thanks to Icon Films we have 5 double in-season passes to give away.
For details on how to enter, see our Giveaways page.



whats-on-cover-movies-brit-film-AustenlandThe first ever British Film Festival

Here’s yet another reason to check out the brand new Palace Norton Street – some new unseen films from Britain, plus some old favourites

Surprisingly, quite a few deserving films from Britain never make it to our shores, especially ones from Northern Ireland and the hard-hitting “difficult” ones that distributors get jittery about. This year’s inaugural British Film Festival aims to redress that. It’s being presented exclusively by Palace Cinemas (at Verona as well as Norton St) and happily, Ciao has been able to preview some of the offerings.

Highly recommended: How I Live Now (set after a nuclear attack on London); opening film One Chance (an inspirational rags to riches tale); Good Vibrations (edgy but lovable rock flick set in Belfast), Le Weekend (just hilarious) and Dom Hemingway (potty-mouthed nasty crims like Sexy Beast, just as funny!). Then there’s the BFI top 5, all time faves like the noir classic The Third Man and ripping adventure yarn The 39 Steps. Eric Bana is the Festival guest.

Full program details at or Palace’s own website. At Palace Norton St and Verona from Nov 21 to Dec 1.

We have 10 double in-season passes to the 2013 British Film Festival to hand out.
For details on how to enter, see our Giveaways page.




Closed Circuit

Jim Broadbent pops up as Attorney General(!) in John Crowley’s provocative political thriller, where Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall play lawyers (and ex-lovers) knee-deep in a murky terrorist case involving dirty deals and undercover surveillance. Once again we learn,“the eyes of the state are watching you” (who would’ve thought?).

Screening as part of the The British Film Festival (see above), this taut film has all the chilling, matter of fact cynicism we have come to expect from this  genre.

Note the special Q&A screening with Eric Bana at Verona on Sat Nov 23, 6.30pm



movies-after-mayAfter May

Olivier Assayas’ bittersweet account of the years after the May ‘68 upheavals in France has been called “indulgent.” Yet surely that’s his point, capitalism wasn’t overthrown, the revolution just fizzled – into druggie hedonism and lots of partner swapping.

Super cool Lola Créton and Clément Métayer play the Marx-spouting arty hotheads. They’d be in their 60s themselves today – thoroughly respectable and counting their generous capitalist-supplied super. “Demand the Impossible!” was one of the era’s slogans. They got it.

MA15+ from Nov 21.



IFF-worst-weekItalian Film Festival

If you missed the festival the first time round or loved it so much you want to enjoy it all over again, this is your chance!

Palace Cinemas Norton St will also be screening the best films of the 2013 Lavazza Italian Film Festival in a limited season from November 21st to 26th.

For a full program visit

To WIN a double pass to the Best of the 2013 Italian Film Festival or the exclusive Gala Re-Opening Night, see our Giveaways page.


Reviews – Russell Edwards

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