VICTORIA & ABDUL
2017, Focus Features , 106 min, Dir: Stephen Frears

A humorous exploration of race, religion, power and the farce of Empire through the prism of an unusual and deeply moving friendship, this extraordinary true story had been deliberately hidden for a century. In 1887, Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal) travels from India to present a ceremonial medal as part of Queen Victoria’s (Judi Dench) Golden Jubilee but surprisingly finds favor with the elderly monarch. The unprecedented and unlikely relationship causes a battle royale within the royal household, pitting the queen against court and family.


THE DANISH GIRL
2015, Focus Features, 120 min, UK/Germany/USA, Dir: Tom Hooper

The Danish girl of the title started out as a man - Einar Wegener, who was one of the first recipients of sex-reassignment surgery in 1930. Eddie Redmayne has drawn raves for his performance in the role, as has Alicia Vikander, who plays Wegener’s painter wife, Gerda. The shift in their relationship is complicated by the arrival of art dealer Hans Axgil (Matthias Schoenaerts) in this thought-provoking adaptation of David Ebershoff’s novel. “There’s no denying that Hooper and screenwriter Lucinda Coxon have delivered a cinematic landmark, one whose classical style all but disguises how controversial its subject matter still remains.” - Peter Debruge, Variety


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