Published in this months issue of Filmwire, we've shone the spotlight on streaming in cinemas

The last nineteen months have been a tumultuous time for the cinema industry, as streaming services looked to gobble up audiences whilst cinemas were closed. Yet as 2022 begins, we see a more positive story emerging. Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime have recognised how cinema releases can extend the cultural life of their films, whilst even the most die-hard big screen fanatic can see how streaming has helped make film far more accessible. It’s clear that cinemas and streaming services can work in tandem to the benefit of both audiences and film culture. With that in mind, and understanding that some audiences are still cautious about returning to cinemas, we thought we’d take a look at the January releases that are available online whilst simultaneously screening at numerous venues across the Midlands.

The Hand Of God
Netflix have notably started to increase the amount of films they give limited cinema releases to, which is especially pleasing in the case of The Hand Of God, as a new Paolo Sorrentino film demands a big screen viewing. This is a keenly personal work for the Italian director - a coming-of-age tale about a teenager whose life is inadvertently saved by his love of football and Diego Maradona. Already screening on Netflix, The Hand Of God is showing this month at Ludlow Assembly Rooms (10 to 13 Jan) and Birmingham’s Midlands Arts Centre (21 & 22 Jan).

The Tragedy of Macbeth
Joel Coen of Coen Brothers fame goes it alone for this truncated monochrome take on Shakespeare’s Scottish tragedy, with Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand playing the power-hungry pair murdering their way to the throne. Apple TV+ subscribers can watch it from 14 Jan, whilst those looking for cinema screenings are spoilt for choice, with showings at Leicester Phoenix (until 13 Jan), Northampton Filmhouse (7 to 13 Jan), Malvern Theatres (7 to 13 Jan), Ludlow Assembly Rooms (24 to 26 Jan) and both the Everyman in Birmingham (until 13 Jan) and Stratford-upon-Avon (until 13 Jan).

The Lost Daughter
Maggie Gyllenhaal has made a career out of appearing in both film and TV projects that challenge the status quo - think Secretary, The Deuce and The Kindergarten Teacher. Her directorial debut is no different, a dark drama starring Olivia Colman that dares to suggest some mothers don’t enjoy being a parent. The Lost Daughter is available on Netflix now, whilst cinemas screening it include the Midlands Arts Centre (8 to 12 Jan), Malvern Theatres (9 & 13 Jan), Wolverhampton’s Light House (14 to 20 Jan), Ludlow Assembly Rooms (until 11 Jan) and Nottingham’s Bonington Theatre (28 Jan to 3 Feb).

A Hero
A man fresh out of prison for not paying a debt (Amir Jadidi) decides to return a handbag full of money to its rightful owner in Asghar Farhadi’s latest knotty drama, setting off a string of events that allows the Iranian director to examine the notion of heroism and ‘goodness’. Hitting Amazon Prime on 21 Jan, Midlands cinemagoers can also enjoy this painstakingly constructed dissection of society’s morals at the Midlands Arts Centre (28 & 29 Jan) and Ludlow Assembly Rooms (31 Jan to 3 Feb).

The Colour Room
Filmed at St Philip’s Cathedral, the Black Country Living Museum and a pair of Stoke-on-Trent potteries, this biopic of ceramic artist Clarice Cliff (played by Phoebe Dynevor) is a Midlands creation through and through, further accentuated by casting Birmingham uni graduate Matthew Goode as the factory owner who first spotted Cliff’s talent. Currently available on Sky Cinema, upcoming cinema showings can be found at Kinokulture in Oswestry (7 to 9 Jan) and the Midlands Arts Centre (21 to 26 Jan).

The directorial debut from actor Fran Kranz puts four adults in a room as they broach an unthinkable topic - the fallout from a mass school shooting, one perpetrated by the child of one pair of parents (Ann Dowd and Reed Birney) that led to the death of the other parents’ child (Jason Isaacs and Martha Plimpton). No directorial flourishes here, just four incredible actors taking an audience on an emotionally devastating journey. Mass begins screening on Sky Cinema from 20 Jan, whilst big screen showings can be found at Warwick Arts Centre (21 to 27 Jan) and the Midlands Arts Centre (28 & 29 Jan).

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