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Saturday 2 February, 3 pm

Storm Boy (PG)

A beautiful and contemporary retelling of Colin Thiele’s classic Australian tale. ‘Storm Boy’ has grown up to be Michael Kingley, a successful retired businessman and grandfather. When Kingley starts to see images from his past that he can’t explain, he is forced to remember his long-forgotten childhood, growing up on an isolated coastline with his father. He recounts to his grand-daughter the story of how, as a boy, he rescued and raised an extraordinary orphaned pelican, Mr Percival. Their remarkable adventures and very special bond has a profound effect on all their lives. Based on the beloved book, Storm Boy is a timeless story of an unusual and unconditional friendship.


Saturday 2 February, 7.30 pm

Instant Family (PG)

When Pete (Mark Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne) decide to start a family, they stumble into the world of foster care adoption. They hope to take in one small child but when they meet three siblings, including a rebellious 15 year old girl (Isabela Moner), they find themselves speeding from zero to three kids overnight. Now, Pete and Ellie must hilariously try to learn the ropes of instant parenthood in the hopes of becoming a family. Instant Family is inspired by the real events from the life of writer/director Sean Anders and also stars Octavia Spencer, Tig Notaro and Margo Martindale


Sunday 17 February, 7 pm

The Favourite (MA15+)

Our 2018 program of Sunday night art-house films resumes this year with Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone starring in a historical biopic from Yorgos Lanthimos, Oscar-nominated director of The Lobster. Early 18th century. England is at war with the French. Nevertheless, duck racing and pineapple eating are thriving. A frail Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) occupies the throne and her close friend Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) governs the country in her stead while tending to Anne’s ill health and mercurial temper. When a new servant Abigail (Emma Stone) arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah. Sarah takes Abigail under her wing and Abigail sees a chance at a return to her aristocratic roots. As the politics of war become time consuming for Sarah, Abigail steps into the breach to fill in as the Queen’s companion. Their burgeoning friendship gives her a chance to fulfil her ambitions and she will not let woman, man, politics or rabbit stand in her way.


Saturday 23 February, 3 pm

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (PG)

From DreamWorks Animation comes the highly anticipated culmination of one of the most popular animated franchises in film history, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. What began as an unlikely friendship between an adolescent Viking and a fearsome Night Fury dragon has become an epic trilogy spanning their lives. In this next chapter, Hiccup and Toothless will finally discover their true destinies: the village chief as ruler of Berk alongside Astrid, and the dragon as leader of his own kind. As both ascend, the darkest threat they’ve yet faced-as well as the appearance of a female Night Fury-will test the bonds of their relationship like never before.

For How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, series director Dean DeBlois return alongside the all-star cast, including Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, and America Ferrera.


Saturday 23 February, 7.30 pm

Mary Queen of Scots (M)

Mary Queen of Scots explores the turbulent life of the charismatic Mary Stuart. Queen of France at 16 and widowed at 18, Mary (Saoirse Ronan) defies pressure to remarry. Instead, she returns to her native Scotland to reclaim her rightful throne. But Scotland and England fall under the rule of the compelling Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie). Each young Queen beholds her “sister” in fear and fascination. Rivals in power and in love, and female regents in a masculine world, the two must decide how to play the game of marriage versus independence. Determined to rule as much more than a figurehead, Mary asserts her claim to the English throne, threatening Elizabeth’s sovereignty. Betrayal, rebellion, and conspiracies within each court imperil both thrones – and change the course of history.


Saturday 2 March, 7.30 pm

Green Book (M)

Set in America in 1962, Green Book tells the heart-warming true story of Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen), a working-class Italian-American bouncer who takes on a job as a chauffeur for Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), a highly-educated African-American classical pianist. The mismatched pair embark on a two-month tour of concert venues in the Deep South and discover they’re on the road to a meaningful and unique friendship.


Saturday 9 March, 7.30 pm

Free Solo (M)

From award-winning documentary filmmaker E. Chai Vasarhelyi and world-renowned photographer and mountaineer Jimmy Chin, comes Free Solo a stunning, intimate and unflinching portrait of free soloist climber Alex Honnold, as he prepares to achieve his lifelong dream: climbing the face of the world’s most famous rock…the 3,200-foot El Capitan in Yosemite National Park…without a rope. Celebrated as one of the greatest athletic feats of any kind, Honnold’s climb set the ultimate standard: perfection or death. Succeeding in this challenge places his story in the annals of human achievement.

Free Solo is an edge-of-your seat thriller and an inspiring portrait of an athlete who challenges both his body and his beliefs on a quest to triumph over the impossible, revealing the personal toll of excellence. As the climber begins his training, the armour of invincibility he’s built up over decades unexpectedly breaks apart when Honnold begins to fall in love, threatening his focus and giving way to injury and setbacks. The film beautifully captures deeply human moments with Honnold as well as the death-defying climb with exquisite artistry and masterful, vertigo-inducing camerawork. The result is a triumph of the human spirit.
“A cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers” Boston Globe
“Breathtaking… Riveting… experience action and derring-do at its most high-stakes, awe-inspiring and jaw-droppingly true… a gripping emotional journey… Believe the hype” The Washington Post


Sunday 10 March, 1.30 pm

American Graffiti (1973)

The Mustang Owners Club of Australia is returning to the James in 2019, with a great street display of classic cars, and our annual motorhead movie, the coming-of-age classic American Graffiti.

Over the course of a summer evening, four teenage friends ponder their futures, navigating relationships centred around the cruising culture of their sleepy town in California’s San Joaquin valley. After a madcap series of hilarious encounters, they each make decisions that will forever change their lives.
An enduring classic since it was released in 1973, American Graffiti celebrates an America of the early 1960s, where teenagers cruise the streets in hot rods and rock and roll tops the music charts. Inspired by his youth in the valley town of Modesto, California, Graffiti was George Lucas’ second feature film, and is a masterwork of vibrant colours, exciting soundtracks, and endearing characters. A story of coming-of-age, it remains one of the most successful films in history. Directed and co-written by George Lucas, and starring Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Harrison Ford, Cindy Williams, Bo Hopkins, and Wolfman Jack.
Where were you in ’62?
Mustangs will be on display in front of the Theatre from 11am. Please come along to watch the movie and if you have a classic car, bring that along to join the cars from the Mustang Owners Club. Tickets are $15/$10 students. As this is not a regular Friends of the James film event, ten film passes cannot be used.


Sunday 17 March, 7 pm

Loro (MA 15+)

Seduction, glamour, corruption, drugs and raucous poolside parties: the life and times of scandal-plagued Silvio Berlusconi have long-demanded a screen depiction, and who better to deliver it than Paolo Sorrentino. The Academy Award-winning director of The Great Beauty and The Young Pope returns to the screen in spectacular fashion with this dazzling, topical and no-holds-barred depiction of life in Italy under the glistening eye of modern Europe’s most infamous politician.

With Loro, Sorrentino unpeels the complex personality and motivations of the billionaire former Prime Minister – played with panache by Toni Servillo – during a tumultuous period in his career, as his marriage to second wife Veronica Lario (Elena Sofia Ricci) fractures; all the while skilfully threading together stories of a wide variety of characters from different levels of society and their attempts to either ingratiate or distance themselves from him.

Boldly speculating on what may or may not have taken place behind closed doors, Loro offers a timely commentary on the excesses and follies of the power-hungry, and the conditions within our societies that allow them to flourish. Viewers sensitive to depictions of unfettered wealth and debauchery: consider yourselves forewarned. Everyone else: strap in for a wild, unforgettable ride.


And a reminder…

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  • 2 Sat 3.00 pm
    Storm Boy (PG)
  • 2 Sat 7.30 pm
    Instant Family (PG)
  • 17 Sun 7.00 pm
    The Favourite (MA15+)
  • 23 Sat 3.00 pm
    How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (PG)
  • 23 Sat 7.30 pm
    Mary Queen of Scots (MA15+)


  • 2 Sat 7.30 pm
    Green Book (M)
  • 9 Sat 7.30 pm
    Free Solo (M)
  • 10 Sun 1.30 pm
    American Graffiti (1973)
  • 17 Sun 7.00 pm
    Loro (MA 15+)
Entertaining Dungog, a history of the James Theatre, available now.