Ben Wheatley makes a Blair Witch-style film about an ancient evil lurking in the woods. Photo: Courtesy of Sundance Institute

The best films in the UK this June 2021

Anthony Hopkins's Oscar-winning performance plus Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth adventure across Cumbria
June 9, 2021

The Father, In cinemas 11th June

Anthony Hopkins claimed the Best Actor Oscar for this extraordinary performance, becoming the oldest person ever to do so. It was a deserved win—in the film, he brilliantly captures the buffeting currents of fear and anger, certainty and disorientation of a deteriorating Alzheimer’s sufferer. But what really elevates the picture is the fact that, through its elegant writing and shapeshifting production design, it doesn’t just show us dementia—it takes us into the mind of the sufferer.

In the Earth, In cinemas 18th June

While other people were baking sourdough, Ben Wheatley was making a hallucinatory folk horror that combines a viral pandemic backdrop with a Blair Witch-style ancient evil lurking in the woods. Joel Fry stars as a hapless research scientist on a two-day trek; Reece Shearsmith channels every remaining drop of League of Gentlemen oddball perversion into a gloriously wigged-out performance. The squeamish might flinch at the axe-based foot trauma; the easily confused might struggle once the mushroom trips kick in. But this is Wheatley on riotously enjoyable form.

Supernova, In cinemas 25th June

Tissues at the ready for this one. Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth play Tusker and Sam, a couple travelling by motor caravan through Cumbria on a journey to reconnect with the joyful memories of the past. And since Tusker has been diagnosed with early onset dementia, those cherished memories feel increasingly like sand, trickling away however tightly they are grasped. This gorgeous, bittersweet drama balances sparks of humour with a lush swell of enveloping sadness.