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THE GREAT
2020, Hulu, 50 min, UK/Australia, Dir: Tony McNamara

THE GREAT is a satirical, comedic drama about the rise of Catherine the Great from outsider to the longest-reigning female ruler in Russia’s history. Season One is a fictionalized, fun and anachronistic story of an idealistic, romantic young girl, who arrives in Russia for an arranged marriage to the mercurial Emperor Peter. Hoping for love and sunshine, she finds instead a dangerous, depraved, backward world that she resolves to change. All she has to do is kill her husband, beat the church, baffle the military and get the court onside. A very modern story about the past which encompasses the many roles she played over her lifetime as lover, teacher, ruler, friend and fighter. Incorporating historical facts occasionally, the series stars Elle Fanning as Catherine, Nicholas Hoult, Phoebe Fox, Adam Godley, Gwilym Lee, Charity Wakefield, Douglas Hodge, Sacha Dhawan, Sebastian de Souza, Bayo Gbadamosi and Belinda Bromilow.


THE NEON DEMON
2016, Broad Green Pictures, 110 min, Dir: Nicolas Winding Refn

Writer-director Nicolas Winding Refn’s first foray into horror follows Jesse (Elle Fanning), who moves to Los Angeles in pursuit of a career as a fashion model, only to find herself pursued by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will stop at nothing to devour her youth and vitality. Christina Hendricks, Jena Malone and Keanu Reeves costar in this blood-drenched thriller, shot with Refn’s customary visual panache.


TRUMBO
2015, Bleecker Street Media, 124 min, USA, Dir: Jay Roach

Screenwriter Dalton Trumbo earned Oscars for ROMAN HOLIDAY and THE BRAVE ONE, but his name didn’t appear in the films’ credits – he’d been blacklisted in 1947. Bryan Cranston (of TV’s “Breaking Bad”) stars in this sharp-eyed and entertaining look at one of Hollywood history’s darker chapters, leading a great cast that also includes Diane Lane, Elle Fanning, Helen Mirren, John Goodman and Louis C.K.


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