Each year we see a number of Independent British films go under the radar and don’t get the much needed attention they really deserve. 2014 was no different, yes there were a few truly awful independent British films which we should never have been subjected to, but due to lack of budgets and support from the UK’s powers that be we can hardly blame them for that.
However, over the next 2 weeks we have decided to share with you our Top 5 British Independent films you really should make the effort to see. These showcase the quality of both acting and film making talent the UK has to offer.
Director: Morgan Matthews. Main Cast: Rafe Spall, Sally Hawkins
A young maths genius has his logic thwarted by the one thing he can’t make sense of – love. Teenage maths prodigy Nathan (Asa Butterfield) struggles with people, not least his mother, Julie (Sally Hawkins), but finds comfort in numbers. Mentored by unconventional and anarchic teacher Mr Humphreys (Rafe Spall), Nathan’s talents win him a place representing GB at the International Mathematics Olympiad. When the team go to train in Taiwan, headed up by squad leader Richard, Nathan is faced with unexpected challenges – not least his new and unfamiliar feelings for his Chinese counterpart, the beautiful Zhang Mei.
X+Y is a compelling and beautiful coming of age film that truly captivates its audience. It’s so emotionally charged and will take you on a bit of a rollercoaster of a ride. Fine performances throughout make this a truly endearing film.
Director: Matthew Warchus. Main Cast: Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominc West.
Set in the summer of 1984 – Margaret Thatcher is in power and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is on strike. At the Gay Pride March in London, a group of gay and lesbian activists decides to raise money to support the families of the striking miners. But there is a problem. The Union seems embarrassed to receive their support, but the activists are not deterred. They decide to ignore the Union and go direct to the miners. They identify a mining village in deepest Wales and set off in a mini bus to make their donation in person. And so begins the extraordinary story of two seemingly alien communities who form a surprising and ultimately triumphant partnership.
Pride is another good ol’ British comedy that will warm the cockles of your heart. Whilst touching on true story of the hardship Thatcher brought to the hard working mine working communities of Britain you can’t help but smile at the fight and Pride shown on screen as this one community slowly opens up to the another as they make this fight, sticking two fingers up at the tyrannical Iron Lady. With a cast of great British comedy actors in Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton and Paddy Considine, this film fully embraces its principles, charming you into hearing its message.
- Mr Turner
Director: Mike Leigh. Main Cast: Timothy Spall, Paul Jesson, Dorothy Atkinson
British painter J.M.W. Turner (Timothy Spall) is deeply affected by the death of his father, loved by a housekeeper he takes for granted and occasionally exploits sexually, he forms a close relationship with a seaside landlady with whom he eventually lives incognito with in Chelsea, where he dies. Throughout this, he travels, paints, stays with the country aristocracy, visits brothels, is a popular if anarchic member of the Royal Academy of Arts, has himself strapped to the mast of a ship so that he can paint a snowstorm, and is both celebrated and reviled by the public and by royalty.
Spall’s portrayal of Turner is nothing short of genius, if he doesn’t win an abundant of awards for this character he would have been robbed. Whilst this historical period drama won’t be for everyone, it’s full of interesting, weird, touching and funny moments to fill the senses.