Got your social diary sorted yet? We're here to help – there are tons of great things to do in Bristol this week. Have a look through our round-up of all the best events and films that Bristol has to offer. You'll find theatre, art, music and more in our list, so have a look and plan a week's worth of things to do in Bristol.
Things to do in Bristol this week
Films showing this week
The breakout star of 2014’s 'The Lego Movie' now gets his own action-packed, completely batshit superhero spinoff. The first Lego film was a real surprise: what could have been a lazy cash-in turned out to be sweet, funny and fiendishly original in the way it acknowledged and celebrated its own artificiality. And one of the film’s highlights was its take on Batman: a self-involved millionaire playboy who dresses in black body armour to fight crime and chase chicks. The inept egomaniac is a time-honoured comedy archetype – think Jack Sparrow, Daffy Duck or Donald Trump – but thanks to razor-sharp writing and Will Arnett’s snarling, impossible-to-hate vocal performance, this Batman felt fresh and fun. Happily, the same goes for his solo debut, a ferociously paced, wildly silly pastiche of those comic-book blockbusters we’re all getting a bit sick of. The plot may draw on another creaky comic cliché – Batman inadvertently adopts adorable orphan Robin (Michael Cera) and has no idea what to do with him – but ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ is so jam-packed with ideas, asides and barmy cameos (Lego Bane! Lego Marlon Brando! Lego gremlins!) that there’s barely time to notice. Some of it might go over kids’ heads – there’s a running gag about ‘Jerry Maguire’ that will bemuse anyone under 35 – but they will lap up the frenetic action and slapstick. Like its predecessor, ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ also manages to find an emotional centre among all this mayhem. Batman may be outwardly invincible
Acts of politeness small and large mark Steven Spielberg's latest film, a deeply satisfying Cold War spy thriller that feels more subdued than usual for the director – even more so than 2012's thoughtful 'Lincoln' – but one that shapes up expertly into a John Le Carré-style nail-biter. In a knockout and near-wordless intro, a long-faced canvas painter (Mark Rylance, magnetic) finishes an oil in his 1957 Brooklyn apartment, makes his way to the park, picks up a secret coin under a bench containing a tiny folded document, and eventually gets picked up by the Feds on his tail. He's Rudolf Abel, the real-life Soviet spy who is then charged with espionage. But the decent, often feisty man at the film's centre is James Donovan (Tom Hanks), the lawyer who, at great risk to his family, defended Abel's life as a matter of due process and integrity. One could be forgiven for finding this early stretch a little like a Kevin Costner movie: apart from cinematographer Janusz Kaminski's blooming windows, it doesn't quite feel like a Spielberg film until a burning American spy plane plunges past its parachuting pilot, Francis Gary Powers (Austin Stowell). He's about to become a Russian prisoner and a pawn in a secret trade that the government hopes Donovan will broker in a wintry Berlin split by the Wall: the plan is to swap Abel for Powers. The verbal gamesmanship brings on a new, energised movie, beginning with Hanks's charming Donovan, slightly amused in his Irish crankiness, even as hi
Before seeing ‘Wonder Woman’, I got a sinking feeling. It’s been more than a decade since a woman headlining a superhero film saved the world. I had visions of middle-aged male studio execs huddled together in a conference room Googling feminism and group-thinking how to make a lady-hero. Would the result feel like a two-and-a-half-hour tampon advert? Actually, no. ‘Wonder Woman’ feels like the real deal, a rollicking action adventure in the tradition of ‘Indiana Jones’, with a fully functioning sense of humour and the year’s most lip-smackingly evil baddie. It has a wobbly opening on a women-only island where hot chicks in fabulous Ancient Greek sandals appear to have wondered in from a Dolce & Gabbana ad campaign. This is Themyscira where the Amazon tribe have lived in peace for thousands of years. Actress and former Miss Israel Gal Gadot (Gisele in the ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise) is their princess, Diana (Wonder Woman), who was sculpted from clay and brought to life by Zeus. The island’s tranquillity is broken by the arrival of a cocky American soldier played by ‘Star Trek’ actor Chris Pine, who is adorable. He knows he’s here as eye-candy and does smoking-hot sexy sidekick with a good sense of humour. The plot is functional. It’s World War One and Pine is an American spy who has discovered that evil German chemist Dr Maru (Elena Anaya) – aka Doctor Poison – is cooking up a dirty bomb to wipe out Allied soldiers on the Front. Wonder Woman volunteers to save humankind, st
It may have been a bleak period in human history, but the Second World War was a golden age for British cinema, as filmmakers discovered purpose and commitment in stories of resistance, fortitude and togetherness. 'An Education' director Lone Scherfig's witty, sophisticated and unexpectedly sober romcom pays tribute to those artists – writers, actors, directors, producers, even agents – and slips in a spry, timely investigation of women's roles in cinema for good measure. Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton) comes to the attention of the Ministry of Information as a copywriter for newspaper cartoons. They're looking for someone to script a series of propaganda short films urging the women of Britain to work in factories and grow vegetables, and she's looking for a way to support her moody artist boyfriend Ellis (Jack Huston). But it's not long before Catrin is assisting writer Tom Buckley (Sam Claflin) on an inspirational feature film script inspired by a pair of Southend sisters who stole their father's boat and headed to Dunkirk to assist in the evacuation. The story is largely bunk, the Ministry brass are always lurking and washed-up leading man Ambrose Hilliard (Bill Nighy) is forever sticking his oar in. But Catrin and Buckley get stuck in, transforming this simple fable into a rousing tribute to everyday British pluck. Like its film-within-a-film, 'Their Finest' might so easily have been sentimental hogwash, a jolly, stiff-upper-lipped love story set against the picturesque
After the campy in-flight antics of ‘I’m So Excited’ and the creepy shivers of ‘The Skin I Live In’, Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar is back on familiar ground with ‘Julieta’. A sombre, ravishing study of grief, guilt and burden, you could in all fairness sub-title the film ‘all about my daughter’ (a nod to Almodóvar’s arthouse hit ‘All About My Mother’). Told over 30 years, with two actresses (Emma Suárez and the younger Adriana Ugarte) playing one woman, this is the story of Julieta, who is facing a tragedy not dissimilar to those in Almodóvar melodramas like ‘Talk to Her’ or ‘Volver’. Based on three Alice Munro short stories, ‘Julieta’ doesn’t soar as passionately as those earlier films – the emotions are more buttoned-up, the twists more maudlin. But the way the film’s story is gradually pieced together through extended flashbacks offers a cumulative power that’s finally extremely moving and teasingly free of easy resolution. Suárez and Ugarte don’t just play the same woman at different ages; they play the same woman on either side of two family crises that change her forever. We first meet Julieta (Suárez) middle-aged and living in Madrid, preparing to move with her partner (Darío Grandinetti) to Portugal. But a chance meeting with Bea (Michelle Jenner), a childhood friend of her daughter Antía, changes her mind about the move and she starts writing notes about her earlier adult life. These memories lead us through the film. We meet Julieta as a punky young teacher
Co-produced by Japan’s legendary Studio Ghibli (makers of ‘Spirited Away’), this elegantly spare and dialogue-free animated film casts a magical spell. Set entirely on a speck of desert island, ‘The Red Turtle’ wrecks you with its luscious hues: turquoise shallow waters, a dense olive-green forest untouched by humankind, angry pink dawns and – most impressively – a series of black-and-white starry nights. At first, the film resembles one of those gripping Sunday afternoon survival dramas, as a dot-eyed shipwrecked man stirs to life on the beach (thanks to some nosy crabs). He finds fruit and fresh water, learns the rhythms of the daily rain showers and barely escapes a fall into a slippery grotto. He has no company, no volleyball à la Tom Hanks in ‘Cast Away’. As he charges out into the water on his makeshift raft, you can feel his desperation. The majestic red turtle of the title, meanwhile, has other ideas about this Robinson Crusoe’s getaway. As it evolves into something deeper, like other films in the Studio Ghibli universe, ‘The Red Turtle’ shares the company’s holistic belief in a wider natural world with powers of its own.
Everyone in ‘Baywatch’ seems on the verge of cracking up about being in a movie version of ‘Baywatch’ – how could they not be? The laughs in director Seth Gordon’s surprisingly fun and self-mocking comedy don’t sneak up on you so much as hail you from a mile off with an air-horn blast and then bonk you over the head. This is a film in which lifeguard Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson explodes out of the water – in slo-mo – with a rescued paraglider in his arms, while porpoises flip behind him in celebration. The thing about this Hollywood version of the butt-ogling ’90s TV phenomenon is that, pretty quickly, it makes you feel in on the gag. Taking lessons from 2012’s wonderfully silly ‘21 Jump Street’ (in which Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill scientifically proved that bad television need not result in bad filmmaking), ‘Baywatch’ owns its preposterousness. The actors are what save it. Johnson builds on his subversive persona of hulking, dimwitted likability, and he’s joined by ‘Neighbours’ star Zac Efron, who plays a cocky, disgraced Olympic swimmer, Matt Brody, nicknamed the Vomit Comet. (Confused by his bodacious lifeguard team’s role in solving crime, Brody says it sounds like a ‘really entertaining but far-fetched TV show.’) Because this is ‘Baywatch’, it’s crude (brace yourself for several movies’ worth of penis jokes – flaccid and otherwise), but at least the camera is an equal-opportunity lech. Kelly Rohrbach and Alexandra Daddario bring a winking awareness and unprudish confi
Richard Gere has made a career out of playing hustlers and chancers – from ‘Days of Heaven’ and ‘American Gigolo’, to recent triumphs like ‘The Hoax’ and the hedge-fund drama ‘Arbitrage’. Here, he plays Norman Oppenheimer, a New York schemer desperate to parlay his contacts into a big score – and he’s never been better. Constantly on the make in his tan overcoat and iPhone earbuds, Norman is a schmoozer, always on the make. His cryptic business card (ever at the ready) reads “Oppenheimer Strategies” and as the company’s sole proprietor, he’s always asking what people need. The script, by the Israeli writer-director Joseph Cedar has the kind of intricate structure that impresses you the more you think about it. After Norman lures a minor Israeli deputy minister (Lior Ashkenazi) into his confidence with a fancy pair of shoes, the movie pauses to settle its accounts: one politician impressed, one ritzy dinner infiltrated, one ignominious rejection. Then it skips ahead three years. The shoe-loving deputy has become his country’s prime minister and Norman can almost taste his own arrival to the major leagues. But with global peace negotiations in the balance, scandal rains down on both men, while Norman’s rabbi (Steve Buscemi) expects his congregant to deliver on a promised windfall. Built out of complex performances, unobtrusive camera work and the faintest tinge of comic whimsy, ‘Norman’ is an intimate film that simply has no drawbacks. It ends on a note of metaphysical witti
Sad-eyed and possessed of a rare stillness for stop-motion animation, this Oscar-nominated Swiss-French import beguiles you with its look, especially that of its main character. He’s a little boy named Icare, yet he goes by Courgette, and we’re not sure if that’s a term of endearment. His nose makes the sobriquet fitting, but his blue hair and scared expressions hint at a miserable existence. And when his alcoholic single mom yells at him through a beer-soaked slur, we know things are not well in his world. The main reason to commit to this movie’s tough story of orphan loneliness is the screenplay by Céline Sciamma, herself a major French talent devoted to tales of youthful resilience (her 2014 film 'Girlhood' is breathtaking). As directed by Claude Barras, Sciamma’s sense of aching empathy comes through with zero pity and just the right amount of tenderness.
Set in 1902, on a barrier island off Georgia, this first feature is an impressionistic portrait of the ritual last supper of the Peazant family before migrating to the mainland. The younger generations are leaving the matriarch Nana (Day) and the insulated traditional life she symbolises. Tensions are raised by the return of family members Viola, a Baptist missionary, and Yellow Mary (Barbara-O), a proud whore, and by Eli's apprehension that his wife Eula (Rogers) is carrying the child of a rapist. Nana fears these rifts will destroy her family when they leave the home of their African ancestors and calls on the spirit of Eula's unborn child to heal them. Steeped in symbolism, superstition and myth, this disconcertingly original film is structured in tableaux which jump through time. The characters speak in the islanders' Gullah dialect and little is explained; however, Dash's universal message about holding on to tradition in the face of change rings clear.