We've rounded up some of the best things to do in Bristol this weekend, so there's no excuse to let your downtime go to waste. Whether theatre is your bag, you're mad for music or you'd rather stroll around an art exhibition, you'll find it all in our list, plus much, much more.
If you're looking for things to do in Bristol beyond today, plan ahead with our round-up of things to do this month.
Things to do in Bristol this weekend
A multi-city, multi-genre music festival headlined by five-piece outfit The Horrors, with support in Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham from Dermot Kennedy, Pale Waves, Marika Hackman, Ady Suleiman, Mahalia, Turnover, Bad Sounds, Gus Dapperton, Peach Pit, The Regrettes and Cassia. Local bands supplement the main line-up in each location.
Films showing this weekend
Not every animation can tackle cruelty, injustice and institutionalised misogyny and still be a must-see for kids and parents alike, but the latest hand-drawn gem from Cartoon Saloon is no ordinary animation. In the spirit of Studio Ghibli, the Irish studio’s spiritual cousins, director Nora Twomey’s film is about the ways we try to cradle each other from the harsher realities of life. This is a day-to-day survival story that stirs the heart and fires the imagination. It’s set in Kabul, a dusty metropolis that falls eerily silent every evening under Taliban curfew. By day our young heroine, Parvana, is thrust out into this brutal, sexist world as her family’s breadwinner after her dad is hauled off to prison. Under the Taliban’s regime, women can’t go outside without a male chaperone, so she’s forced to disguise herself as a boy just to find food and water for her family. From here, Twomey’s social realist tale slowly unfurls into something bigger as war rumbles on the horizon. Stitched into its lining is another tale, about a brave young man battling the evil Elephant King, which Parvena tells her baby brother. Playing out in several magical realist instalments, it’s an enchanting escape for us too. This, Twomey’s film suggests, is the power of stories: to take you to places where no one can touch you. ‘The Breadwinner’ is one such story.
For all their global dominance, everybody wants these superhero movies to be better: funnier, smarter, more inclusive, more super. A huge step in the right direction, ‘Black Panther’ is that dream come true. Proudly African – even if its Africa comes in the form of the fictional country of Wakanda, a powerhouse of secret technologies – Marvel’s latest is, from top to bottom, a conscious reversal of racial paradigms. Handsomely mounted by ‘Creed’ director Ryan Coogler and starring an enviable slate of black actors that makes cameoing comics godhead Stan Lee almost seem lost, the film is provocative and satisfying in ways that are long overdue, like its ornate, culturally dense production design and the deeper subtexts of honor, compassion and destiny. Wakanda’s young king, T’Challa (a dignified Chadwick Boseman, well-seasoned after playing onscreen versions of James Brown, Jackie Robinson and Thurgood Marshall), recognizes that the world outside his peaceful realm is a divisive place. Still, even as his own armor-clad excursions as Black Panther set up an internal tension between isolationism and responsibility (yes, this is the rare blockbuster with something on its mind), tensions within Wakanda—fomented by exile-turned-rebel Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan, on fire)—threaten to bring him down. In their script, Coogler and Joe Robert Cole take inspiration from the Black Panther’s 50-year history on the page, including a dazzling current run by author Ta-Nehisi Coates, an
‘A Quiet Place’ is like ‘Aliens’ retooled as a militant librarian’s fantasy. Actor-director John Krasinski’s relentless shocker thrives on a nifty premise: in a post-apocalyptic near future, a family must survive in a world where the slightest sound brings out deadly monsters. With minimal dialogue – characters communicate by (subtitled) sign language, eye contact and whispers – ‘A Quiet Place’ is pure, bold cinema, its images and creepy sounds working together to scare the bejesus out of you. Save for some late-in-the-day news headlines, Krasinski admirably gives us little backstory for the monsters. Instead, mum (Emily Blunt), dad (Krasinski), son (Noah Jupe) and daughter (Millicent Simmonds), whose deafness means she can’t hear the beasties coming, are just shoved through the mill. Nerve-shredding set pieces revolve around a nail sticking out of a stair, a flooding basement and a ‘Jurassic Park’-like run through a field. All done with ruthless brio. The rules of this world are fast and loose, so the monsters can’t hear over waterfalls but can listen through walls. It’s a neat allegory for the challenges of parenting in a crazy world. The family dynamics lack nuance, but real-life husband and wife Krasinski and Blunt bring poignancy, the CG beasties are striking and the film pulses with ideas. It all adds up to a monster movie to shout about. Or maybe not.
A fey young woman drifts around Paris, fluffy white cat in tow, searching for love and purpose. French director Léonor Serraille’s debut film could easily have been unbearably twee. The fact that it isn’t, at all, is a tribute both to her unsentimental storytelling, and to the prickly strength of Laetitia Dosch’s central performance.Made by an all-female team, ‘Jeune Femme’ centres on a fiercely original kind of heroine, who cracks jokes and tricks her way into strangers’ lives as she struggles her way through an unforgiving city. Paula is left homeless, friendless and jobless after the ten-year relationship her life revolves around collapses into a black hole. In the film’s only ‘Breakfast at Tiffanys’-esque moment, she abandons her cat, the sole remnant of her old life, in a graveyard, only to be overcome with guilt later. Otherwise, her life of newfound singledom involves the unromantic business of selling off her jewellery, lying her way into part-time work in a knicker boutique, and becoming a live-in nanny to a sulky pre-teen girl.What makes ‘Jeune Femme’ so satisfying is its restless energy and attention to visual detail. Dosch is a strong physical comedian, capturing Paula’s mercurial energy, whether she’s smashing her head against her ex’s door in heartbreak, or smearing Nutella on her face to entertain a child. Instead of lingering lovingly on Dosch’s face, body, or the city she lives in, the film’s shots follows her gaze: to the people she watches in the street, to
French filmmaker Coralie Fargeat makes a spectacularly violent debut with her feminist spin on the rape-revenge thriller. If you usually find the genre icky and exploitative, try this – but only if you’ve got the stomach for an abattoir’s worth of blood in one movie. It really is gruesome; paramedics had to be called to treat a member of the audience who couldn’t take it at the Toronto International Film Festival last year. Matilda Lutz is Jen, the trophy girlfriend of Richard (Kevin Janssens), a smarmy millionaire CEO with the jawline of Barbie’s Ken. The two are staying at a luxury lodge in the middle of the desert before his annual boys’ hunting trip. Jen is supposed to be leaving before his two buddies arrive, but when they show up a night early she’s raped and left to die. Instead, like a cross between Uma Thurman in ‘Kill Bill’ and Lara Croft, she rises to wreak vengeance. What’s interesting about ‘Revenge’ is that it’s told from a female perspective – and by a female filmmaker. Fargeat doesn’t linger on the rape. She’s more interested in what caused it: the rapist’s sense of entitlement; his buddy’s ‘well, she asked for it’ shrug afterwards. But, boy, does she go to town on the violence. I didn’t need an ambulance, but then I was watching my hands rather than the movie during the goriest bits.
When you put Jason Reitman, Diablo Cody and Charlize Theron together, something magical happens. It did with the Cody-penned, Reitman-directed ‘Young Adult’, a biting comedy starring Theron as a vicious-but-unsuccessful writer. And it’s happened again with ‘Tully’, a major movie about motherhood, in which Cody’s signature sarcasm has deepened into anxiety, exhaustion and wisdom. Marlo (Theron at her rawest and funniest) is a heavily pregnant suburbanite who seems near-broken by her two children. She’s fallen into the kind of bone-deep resignation that, in a killer bit of physical humour, has her soaked by an exploded bottle of fizzy drink and then take her shirt off at the dinner table rather than clean it up. The baby’s arrival doesn’t help, but then her wealthy brother gifts her the services of a ‘night nanny’ who shows up in the sparkling form of 26-year-old Tully (Mackenzie Davis, who should be a huge star), who’s eerily intuitive to Marlo’s needs. ‘You’re the baby,’ Tully tells her, ushering her off to her first night’s sleep in weeks. Leaning into the performances, Reitman develops their relationship beyond employer and heaven-sent angel into a fascinating Gen X/millennial friendship that draws out their similarities and differences. By doing so, ‘Tully’ floats the provocative notion that an implicit death comes with every birth: that of a woman’s younger, free-spirited self. While Cody has a twist up her sleeve that isn’t quite necessary, the alchemic trio have forge
Argentina’s Lucrecia Martel hasn’t released a feature in 10 years: 2008’s unnerving The Headless Woman, about a cell-phone user who hits something with her car—an animal?—and goes crazy thinking about it. But if Martel needs that kind of time to pack so much psychology into such elegant, arrestingly strange packages, we’ll give it to her. Her latest drama dives into churning internal fury: On the surface, it’s an 18th-century period piece about an insulted Spanish colonial officer (Daniel Giménez Cacho, wonderfully fragile) who seethes at every snub, perceived or imaginary. But Zama deepens into a comeuppance story, as our antihero goes from taking out his petty embarrassments on the powerless to becoming a demoted desperado, riled by children and superiors alike. The material comes from a celebrated 1956 novel of the same name by Antonio di Benedetto, but Martel’s close-ups of her red-faced leading man—scored to a plummeting synth straight out of Scarface—edge the film into comic territory. And we haven’t even mentioned the llama yet. The film’s languorous, tangential flow isn’t for everyone, but you’ll be surprised by how easily you can roll with it, especially if you tune into Zama’s cringe-funny frequency. There are other movies about men heading desperately up river toward some kind of psychological showdown, maybe of their own making: Apocalypse Now and Werner Herzog’s epic Aguirre, the Wrath of God come to mind. But when Martel does that, pushing her guy into hypnoti
As irresistible as the fresh carrots that grow in Mr. McGregor’s garden, Peter Rabbitgives Beatrix Potter’s classic a modern makeover, complete with intricate animation, cute quips for older audiences and a sweet-natured journey that has you rooting for a happy ending for all involved. Vying for gorgeous grounds and his human next-door neighbor (Rose Byrne), the audacious Peter Rabbit (confidently voiced by James Corden) goes head-to-head with sour Thomas McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson), who unexpectedly inherits the beautiful property of his estranged late uncle. The only thing the finicky Londoner detests more than the English countryside is the “vermin” inhabiting the land, so naturally we’re braced for a duel. Peter’s shenanigans, though certainly adorable, could have been curtailed for the sake of pacing: One electrocuting gag is plenty. But the lovable supporting crew—Flopsy (Margot Robbie), Mopsy (Elizabeth Debicki), Cotton-Tail (Daisy Ridley) and Benjamin (Colin Moody)—makes up for any overdone mischief. Some may cringe at director-cowriter Will Gluck’s modifications (a bunny that twerks, music from the likes of Vampire Weekend and the ubiquitous Rachel Platten), and the heart-wrenching backstory of Peter’s parents might not be appropriate for the smallest of bunnies. (Save this one for young rabbits who can handle more mature content.) It’s certainly a new spin, but those who make the leap will do so vigorously.
By the halfway point in this slice of cinematic comfort food you’ll be finding it hard to believe that it was directed by the man who made ‘Donnie Brasco’. And on a CV that boasts two Hugh Grant films, Mike Newell’s adaptation of a bestseller set in German-held Guernsey is his gentlest work to date. If you’re looking for the visceral churn of, say, Tom Courtenay stoving in Nazi heads with a hammer, ‘Brasco’-style, you’ll be disappointed. That unwieldy title refers to a book group hastily invented by friends (including Courtenay and Jessica Brown Findlay) who have been caught after curfew by Nazi soldiers. Soon this fictitious society is meeting for real – and burying secrets in its midst. Five years on, Lily James’s novelist gets a letter from one of the group, who’s found her name inscribed in one of their books. Heading to the island, she discovers that her penpal is a dashing farmer (Michiel Huisman) and that the group is hiding some painful wartime memories. If what follows is more Mills & Boon than sturm und drang, the film’s easy charm and James’s likeable turn make amends for the glossing over of some chewy themes. The darker side of the occupation and the legacy of collaboration will wait for another film. This one is an altogether less challenging watch.
After bringing us a cheerily egg-headed Charles Darwin in ‘The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists’, Aardman heads to the other end of the evolutionary scale for a caveman-imation with a football subplot. Like ‘Escape to Victory’ with mammoths, the result is a sometimes jarring collision of underdog sports movie and prehistoric adventure, but one that still offers all of Aardman’s usual charm, daft jokes and glorious craft. In the spirit of its central sport, it’s very much an animation of two halves. The first opens with the extinction of the dinosaurs and subsequent invention of football by prehistoric man (don’t ask), before skipping forward a few millennia to introduce its loveable band of dimbulb cavemen. Its heroes are Dug (voiced by Eddie Redmayne), a doggedly optimistic teenager, and his puppyish pig sidekick Hognob (grunted by Nick Park), but time is taken to give shape to the rest of the band too. Timothy Spall, in particular, has a ball as jaded village elder Bognar. ‘I’m old,’ he sighs. ‘I’m nearly 30.’ Other joys include a sight gag involving a huge prehistoric duck, a hint that director Nick Park might have also added Gary Larson to his rich and offbeat pool of inspirations. The handmade backdrops, meanwhile, are astonishingly realised. When a sudden attack on the cavemen’s valley shifts the action to the city of their Bronze Age conquerors (led by Tom Hiddleston’s avaricious overlord, Lord Nooth), Dug and Hognob find a Tolkienesque metropolis replete wit