I know that everyone felt that January took 563 days to end, but I for one, am not complaining. With the risk of sounding pretentious; I think we should all take a leaf out of my book. My book of course, speaks only to things with the lens of film, TV and all things entertainment. But it was the first month of the year, and speaking of entertainment, January worked overtime. We had top tier cinema releases and every award ceremony under the sun to keep us cinephiles going.
And now, we’re in February. The month of love. Well, one thing’s for sure, you’re going to love these film recommendations. So get your calendars out, take notes and be sure to patronise our beloved film industry by getting yourself down to your local cinema.
2nd February– American Fiction
Kicking off the month, we have ‘American Fiction.’ A directorial debut for Cord Jefferson and a satirical look at the world of Black storytelling and African American writing. The film is nominated for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Lead Actor (Jeffrey Wright) and Best Supporting Actor (Sterling K. Brown) at the Oscars, and features a predominantly Black all-star cast that includes Tracee Ellis-Ross, Issa Rae and Keith David. Critics raved about it following its limited US theatrical release late last year, and with it being an Academy Award frontrunner, it’s definitely not one to miss.
9th February– Iron Claw
A24 films are gaining momentum. They have a newly established reputation for the production and distribution of hard-hitting films that confront tough subjects, all whilst maintaining stunning visuals, and ‘Iron Claw’ comfortably fits into that category of film. It follows the life of professional wrestler Kevin Von Erich and the Von Erich family, and is a biographical sports drama film that brings out the performance of a lifetime from Zac Efron, alongside Jeremy Allen White and Harris Dickinson.
14th February– Bob Marley: One Love
Featuring Londoner Kingsley Ben-Adir as the lead, “Bob Marley: One Love” follows the life and legacy of the Jamaican superstar, starting from the very beginning, all the way to his untimely death in 1981. Filmed on location in Jamaica, it covers the adversity that Bob Marley faced and overcame, to become the world’s most recognisable reggae musician. Produced by son Ziggy Marley, and wife Rita Marley (played in the film by Lashana Lynch), it has been described as an inspirational, heartwarming and thoughtful take.
23rd February– Wicked Little Letters
Based on a real-life stranger-than-fiction story, early reviews have hailed this film as the “British comedy of the year”. Starring British stalwart Olivia Coleman and Irish actress Jessie Buckley (collaborating again after 2021’s Oscar-nominated ‘The Lost Daughter’), the film is a black comedy that looks at what happens when scandal rocks a small English seaside town in the 1920s.
International feature: Zone of Interest
My international pick for February is the critically acclaimed ‘Zone of Interest,’ which had 3 nominations at the Golden Globes, nine nominations at the BAFTAs, and will be up for five nominations at the Academy Awards. Another A24 project, and directed by English screenwriter and director Jonathan Glazer, the film stars Christian Friedel and Sandra Huller as a German couple looking to build their dream life – in a new home next to an Auschwitz concentration camp. It is released in the UK on 2nd February.
That’s all from me this month – February has geared up to give us satire, biopics, historical drama, laughs and more, meaning there’s something for everyone this month. Show patronage to your local and get yourself down to the cinema – it sounds like it will be worth it.