The 2006 film The History Boys sees writer/ director duo Alan Bennett and Nicholas Hytner attempt to replicate the success of their 1994 hit The Madness of King George in its crossover from stage to screen. The cinematic version of the West End smash tells the story of a group of brilliant but disadvantaged boys being coached to pass the now defunct Oxbridge entrance exam, set against the backdrop of (a slightly anachronistic) Thatcher's Britain. Despite some critical hesitation over whether the boy's un-youthful dialogue could endure the glare of the 'realist' medium of film, it is generally thought to have worked. Particularly noteworthy are performances by Richard Griffiths as a Withnailish free-thinker and isolated female teacher Frances De La Tour. Saturday 16th (8.30pm) is your second chance to see it at the All Saints Centre.
Forget Billy Elliot - the much-lauded documentary Ballets Russes returns on the 17th (4pm). Weaving unseen footage, news clips and interviews with the original dancers, Ballets Russes tells the story of the legendary ballet company as it struggles for survival against the backdrop of the Russian Revolution and the First World War. If you haven't seen it by now then its time you faced An Inconvenient Truth, (Sun 17th, 6.30pm) Al Gore's hard-hitting documentary on the very real danger of climate change. Following in the footsteps of Fahrenheit 9-11 and Supersize Me, it is the latest of the Left's timely interventions into cinema. Finally, the children's offering on Saturday afternoon (16th, 2pm), Barnyard, is a cheery antidote to Animal Farm that has had the critics despairing about anatomical inaccuracies. (There are male cows with udders, apparently) As one critic put it, it’s a case of 'Orwell that ends well'. ER