IF it’s February it must be Downton Abbey time! Moviola in February. The movie version of Julian Fellowes’ international television hit is on screen with the rural cinema project at more than 40 village halls and other venues in the Fine Times Recorder area.
It is hugely enjoyable – and if you were a fan of the long-running series, you will almost certainly love the film. It ties up a few loose ends, moves the story on for several much-loved characters and is a very pleasant way to pass a couple of hours on a cold February night.
There is little need to introduce the film as it features all the favourite and familiar characters, plus a few new ones to keep the plot moving. The clothes and the cars are gorgeous, and if it is all a bit fairytale make-believe, don’t we all need a bit of that?
Venues showing Downton Abbey during February are: Mere (Lecture Hall), Churchinford, Codford (Woolstore Theatre), Kilmington (Devon), Royal Wootton Bassett (RWB Academy), Hardington Mandeville, Stogumber, Hinton St George, Crowcombe, Hawkchurch, Shrewton, Bourton, Bransgore, Fontmell Magna, Nether Wallop, Ringwood (Greyfriars), Sherborne, Colyton, Dunster, South Petherton (David Hall), West Lydford, Halstock, Steeple Ashton, Hythe, Pewsey, Winsford, Calne, Motcombe, Charmouth, Ditcheat, Brockenhurst, Cheddon & West Monkton, Clayhidon, Edington, Rode, Winterslow, Martock, Grittleton, Great Bedwyn, Netherbury and Somerton (Parish Rooms).
For dates and times check our the Arts Diary and for more info on venues visit www.moviola.org
Two more favourite British actors – Helen Mirren and Sir Ian McKellen – provide the entertainment in The Good Liar, which is being shown by Moviola at Highcliffe, Leigh, Colerne, Norton sub Hamdon, Hanging Langford, Downton, Teffont, Castle Cary (Caryford Hall), Bishopstone (near Salisbury), Frogham, Norton Fitzwarren, Watchet, West Camel and Westbury sub Mendip.
Career con artist Roy Courtnay (McKellen) can hardly believe his luck when he meets well-to-do widow Betty McLeish (Mirren) online. But as Betty opens her life and home to him, Roy is surprised to find himself caring about her, turning what should be a cut-and-dry swindle into the most treacherous tightrope walk of his life.
If it isn’t some of our favourite actors, the next best thing is a good country-house murder involving an eccentric detective and a dysfunctional family. Fitting that bill is Knives Out, on screen at Kingsbury Episcopi, Watchet, Warminster (Civic Centre), Milborne Port, Marnhull, Boscombe (Shelley Theatre), Bishopstone (near Swindon) and East Stour. The cast includes Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans and Toni Colette.
When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey dies just after his 85th birthday, the inquisitive and debonair Detective Benoit Blanc arrives at his estate to investigate. From Harlan’s dysfunctional family to his devoted staff, Blanc sifts through a web of red herrings and self-serving lies to uncover the truth behind Thrombey’s untimely demise.
Other February films on screen with Moviola are:
The Current War at Yetminster (Jubilee Hall), and South Petherton (David Hall); Meeting Gorbachev at Wookey Hole (Community Hall); Yesterday at Beaminster (Public Hall) and Tatworth; Bait at Beer. Crowcombe, Royal Wootton Bassett (RWB Academy); The Lion King at Chard (Guildhall), Hythe and Collingbourne Ducis; Blinded By The Light at Nunney; Judy at Membury, Nether Stowey, East Knoyle, Stogursey, Fordingbridge and Norton St Philip; Mrs Lowry and Son at Bothenhampton; and Rocketman at Dunster.
Pictured: Downton Abbey, Knives Out and The Good Liar.