COVID-19 Update

Well, it's officially official that, despite our best efforts, and (in our humble opinion) excellent safety measures, Stage 2 (modified) is upon us, and we will be closed from Saturday, October 10 for at least 28 days. All screenings scheduled for October are cancelled.

As soon as we have news about re-opening, we will announce it via Cinem@il (subscribe via our homepage) and on our social media channels (linked above).

Keep distancing, keep wearing your masks, keep washing your hands, and stay safe, so that we can all meet at the movies soon!

Military Wives

United they sing

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As in his earlier film The Full Monty, Peter Cattaneo’s Military Wives follows a group of mismatched individuals who discover community and purpose in working together towards a daunting public performance.

The personality clashes, class conflict, tragic setbacks and triumphs against the odds strike all the familiar notes. You can second-guess exactly where this is going and yet resistance is futile. Military Wives tugs at the heartstrings with such determination and sincerity that there may not be a dry eye in the cinema.

On a military base in England, troops are setting off a mission to Afghanistan, leaving behind anxious wives and partners. The Colonel’s wife Kate (Kristin Scott Thomas) believes it is her duty to put on a brave face, boost morale and keep everyone occupied. Lisa (Sharon Horgan) has been appointed chair of the Social Committee and just wants to let the women get drunk and blow off steam. The two women clash over everything.

There is eventual agreement to start a choir. Commitment wavers, rehearsals are chaotic, talent is hard to discern but slowly, the women start to feel a sense of solidarity and achievement. Their greatest challenge is an invitation to Royal Albert Hall to perform in the annual Festival Of Remembrance.

Unashamedly sentimental, Military Wives does find moments of grit along the way. The feel-good factor is rooted in reality. A soldier dies, home truths are faced and you come to believe in the power of communal singing to help heal a broken heart. 

Heartwarming emotions are balanced by some sharply acidic comic scenes mostly based around the skirmishes between uptight, upper-crust Kate and laidback, exasperated Lisa. The slow melt of their hostility and eventual bonding is one of the highlights of a film that also boasts some great choir members, from Gaby French as the bashful singing sensation Jess to Laura Checkley as mouthy football fan Maz. The finger-snapping, toe-tapping music is the final element in this easy-to-love delight of a film.

– Allan Hunter, Screen International


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