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2014, 149 min, Dir: Mike Leigh

Timothy Spall (in a Cannes Best Actor-winning performance) stars as unconventional, groundbreaking painter J.M.W. Turner in this gorgeous biopic by Mike Leigh.

2013, The Weinstein Company, 108 min, China, Dir: Wong Kar Wai

The latest film from acclaimed director Wong Kar Wai is based on the life of Ip Man (Tony Leung), the kung fu expert who trained Bruce Lee. When grandmaster Gong Baosen (Wang Qinxiang) announces his retirement, Ip Man seems a likely successor – but Gong’s fiery daughter (CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON’s Ziyi Zhang) doesn’t want to abandon the family business. Set during China’s Republican era (the country’s golden age of martial arts), THE GRANDMASTER is as rich with period detail and martial arts philosophy as it is with stunningly choreographed action sequences. In Chinese and Japanese with English subtitles.

2006, Miramax, 97 min, UK, Dir: Stephen Frears

Combining the vicarious rewards of a detailed biopic with the gentler pleasures of an insightful character study, director Stephen Frears puts the monarchy under the microscope in this irreverent comedy-drama. Set in 1997, it details the bond of trust that slowly develops between the 71-year-old Queen Elizabeth – humanized by the Oscar-winning performance of Helen Mirren in the title role – and prime minister, Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) following the death of Princess Diana. With James Cromwell, Sylvia Syms.

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