Courtesy of Pablo Larraín

The best films in the UK this November

Kristen Stewart plays Princess Diana in Spencer, plus Mothering Sunday and C’mon C’mon
November 3, 2021


All cinemas, 5th November. Having already profiled Jackie Kennedy at her time of crisis, Chilean director Pablo Larraín trains his lens on another globally famous woman who finds herself achingly alone. Kristen Stewart is a skittish, rebellious Princess Diana, poised on the brink of marital breakdown, in an intriguing film that combines elements of horror—what is the royal family, after all, if not haunted by its own history—with satire, melodrama and high camp. It’s slyly entertaining, certainly, but what’s more unexpected is the emotional depth that Stewart brings to the role.

Mothering Sunday

All cinemas, 12th November. An unseasonably warm day in March, shortly after the First World War, and a maid to an affluent family (Odessa Young) meets with her lover (Josh O’Connor) for the last time before he marries another woman. Other timelines are woven through this satisfying period picture, adapted from the novel by Graham Swift. We see fragments of the same woman, older, and in love with another man; we see her as a writer bringing her memories back to life in her latest novel. It’s a vivid character study, and a smoulderingly sexy relationship drama. 

C’mon C’mon

All cinemas, 19th November. The latest film by Mike Mills (20th Century Women, Thumbsucker) is a delicate study of familial bonds shot in black and white and featuring one of the most impressive child performances of the year. Joaquin Phoenix stars as Johnny, a radio journalist and uncle to 10-year-old Jesse (the remarkable Woody Norman). When Jesse’s mother is called by a family emergency to the west coast, Johnny takes his nephew on a road trip. It’s a wrenchingly profound little film about learning to listen.