This month popular Danish series Borgen is back with the third season. Also this month is UK TV conspiracy thriller Utopia, big budget super-hero action with Captain America : The Winter Soldier, and critically acclaimed foreign films Wadjda & The Great Beauty.
Borgen. Season three.
“Can you attain power and still be yourself? Over two years have passed and Birgitte Nyborg is no longer the Prime Minister of Denmark. Disillusioned with the way her old party is heading she decides to try to make a comeback by publicly challenging the incumbent Party Chairman. Failing narrowly in this attempt, Birgitte assesses her options and concludes that her only way back into politics is to start again and found a new political party. Forging an unlikely alliance with journalist Katrine Fønsmark, who becomes her new media adviser and spokesman, the third season of BORGEN follows the journey of Nyborg and her new party towards a taking a fresh shot at parliament and fighting her way back to power back to Borgen.” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)
The great beauty.
“For decades, journalist Jep Gambardella has charmed and seduced his way through the glittering nightlife of Rome. Since the legendary success of his only novel, he has been a permanent fixture in the citys literary and elite social circles. But on his sixty-fifth birthday, Jep unexpectedly finds himself taking stock of his life, turning his cutting wit on himself and his contemporaries, and looking past the lavish nightclubs, parties, and cafés to find Rome itself, in all its monumental glory: a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty. Featuring sensuous cinematography, a lush score, and an award-winning central performance by the great Toni Servillo (Gomorrah), this transporting experience by the brilliant Italian director Paolo Sorrentino (Il divo) is a breathtaking Fellini-esque tale of decadence and lost love.” (editorial review from Amazon.com)
“A rebellious Saudi Arabian girl hatches a plan to get her hands on the bicycle she craves in this coming-of-age story from first time director Haifaa Al-Mansour. Living within a conservative suburb of Riyadh, fun-loving eleven-year-old Wadjda (Waad Mohammed) has her heart set on a green bicycle so that she can beat the boys in their neighbourhood races. But when her mother (Reem Abdullah) forbids it, anticipating a reaction from a society that disapproves of women riding bicycles, an enterprising Wadjda decides to raise the money herself by entering a local Qur’an-reading competition that offers a cash prize.” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)
Dancing on the edge.
“Set in a time of immense change, Dancing on the Edge tells the story of a black jazz group, the Louis Lester Band, as they rise to fame, entertaining guests at exclusive high society gatherings in 1930′s London. While many recoil at the presence of black musicians in polite society, the capital’s more progressive socialites, including younger members of the Royal Family, take the band under their wing.In this explosive five-part series, Stephen Poliakoff returns to television with his most ambitious work to date. Dancing on the Edge provides a new angle on an extraordinary time in history, giving us a piercingly original vision of Britain in the 1930s; a time of glamour, hardship, vibrant new music and financial meltdown. Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Matthew Goode, Jacqueline Bisset and John Goodman.” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)
The red house.
“When Lee met Jia 20 years ago they barely understood a word of each other’s languages. Now duty calls Jia back to her distant homeland and her aged parents’ tiny apartment. We travel with the couple between the world of his island, this city of hers, and the world they have made together – their red house in the bush, crammed full of books and mementoes.” (Syndetics summary)
“The ‘black sheep’ son of a wealthy family meets a young psychiatric patient who’s been raised in isolation her entire life. He takes the naive young woman home for his brother’s wedding to convince his family that he’s finally straightened out his life. She impresses his prim and proper family with her genuine (if unstable) charm, and along the way they fall into improbable love.” (Syndetics summary)
“With an impoverished world plunged into a Cold War with a new enemy, Britain’s Ministry of Defence is on the brink of developing a game-changing weapon. Lead scientist Vincent McCarthy (Toby Stephens) provides the answer with his creation, The Machine – an android with unrivalled physical and processing skills. When a programming glitch causes an early prototype to destroy his lab, McCarthy enlists artificial intelligence expert Ava (Caity Lotz) to help him harness the full potential of a truly conscious fighting machine.” (Syndetics)
“Utopia is a cult graphic novel rumoured to have predicted the worst disasters of the late twentieth century. Dismissed as the fevered imaginings of a madman by most, and idolised by a handful, only one thing seems certain about Utopia: come into contact with it and you won’t be safe for long. When a small group of normal people (including an IT consultant, student and child) find themselves in possession of the manuscript of Utopia, they realise they are at the centre of a nightmarish conspiracy turned real. Targeted by a shadowy organisation known only as The Network, they are left with one option if they want to stay alive: they have to run, avoiding even being caught even on CCTV. The Network is everywhere: in government, in business, in charge. A secret organisation constrained neither by borders nor common morality. Nobody knows what their plan is, just that they will stop at nothing to find the original manuscript of Utopia. Utopia asks what if the conspiracy nuts are right? What if people are trying to control our lives, doctor our food, experiment upon us, kill us? Fast, terrifying, funny and brutal, it is a massive new drama/conspiracy thriller.” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)
Need for speed.
“Buckle up with Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul, BREAKING BAD) as he sets out on a mission of revenge against wealthy and arrogant Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper), who framed him for a crime he didn’t commit. Tobey pushes his limits to the max in a high-octane race across America, hitting the road with the world’s most exotic supercars — delivering real speed, real danger and real action. Adapted from the top-selling video game franchise — and complete with never-before-seen bonus features — NEED FOR SPEED is the ultimate thrill ride.” (Editorial review from amazon.com)
“Standing Up tells the story of a boy and a girl, ages 11 and 12, who are ostracized by their peer groups at summer camp. The outsiders soon find themselves victims of a vicious prank, but rather than returning to camp to face the humiliation, they decide to take off on the run together. As they slowly navigate what lies ahead, they develop a bond and help each other over- come adversity and start down the path of self-discovery.” (Editorial review from amazon.com)
Captain America : the winter soldier.
“Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson star in this action adventure sequel based on the Marvel Comics series. Set two years after ‘The Avengers’ (2012), the film follows superhero Steve Rogers aka Captain America (Evans) who is now living in Washington where he is trying to adjust to modern society. When a fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. agent is attacked he teams up with Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow (Johansson) to uncover a conspiracy and, with the help of the Falcon (Anthony Mackie), defeat a powerful enemy known as the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). The cast also includes Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Redford, Cobie Smulders, Dominic Cooper and Emily VanCamp.” (Product description from amazon.co.uk)