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7 spring film releases you don’t want to miss

Get ready to smuggle those snacks: we're cinema-bound! From Sandra Oh's creepy new horror to Anya Taylor-Joy as a Viking, here are seven unmissable releases for spring.

Master Cheng, in cinemas 11 March

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: A Chinese man shows up in a remote Finnish diner with his son, searching for a man no one’s heard of. In exchange for a room to sleep in, he offers to cook so that the busloads of Chinese tourists will bring the diner their business. As locals and tourists alike fall in love with his food, he grows closer to Sirrka, the woman running the diner.

WHY WE’RE WATCHING: This is a quietly, sumptuously uplifting film. Bolstered by beautiful music, musings on the healing power of food, and the fact that it was apparently exclusively shot at golden hour, there’s possibly no better balm for the stress in your life right now. Come for the handsome man doing shirtless Tai Chi in the woods, stay for the charming fuddy-duddy Finnish locals.

Fresh, streaming on Disney+ 18 March

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Just when she’s totally fed up with modern dating, a young woman (Daisy Edgar-Jones) falls in love with a charming new boyfriend (Sebastian Stan). Things take a dark turn when his unusual appetites are revealed.

WHY WE’RE WATCHING: It’s starring Normal People‘s Daisy Edgar-Jones and Pam and Tommy‘s Sebastian Stan, and it was acclaimed at its Sundance Film Festival premiere — that would have been enough of a hook! The bananas reveal that pulls the rug out from under you half an hour in is almost gilding the lily. Trust us, everyone’s going to be talking about this film.

The Worst Person in the World, in cinemas 25 March

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: A dark romantic comedy, this follows Julie through four years of a tangled love life, career struggles, and questioning who she is.

WHY WE’RE WATCHING: Not only did the main actress Renate Reinsve win Best Actress for it at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, NOT ONLY was it nominated for Best International Feature Film and Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars, BUT Barack Obama included it on his list of favourite movies of 2021. A slam-dunk of a recommendation. Here’s some more: this film takes concepts we’ve seen many times before (coming-of-age stories, romantic dramas) and just absolutely, simply, nails them.

Umma, in cinemas 25 March

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: When the remains of her estranged mother arrive from Korea, Amanda’s quiet farm life with her daughter is turned upside down.

WHY WE’RE WATCHING: Honestly, Sandra Oh could rattle off a rendition of On the Ning Nang Nong and we’d be dazzled, but this looks off-the-charts gripping. A white-knuckled, edge-of-your-seat horror that plays on the fear of becoming your mother, it’s cleverly timed its release to coincide with Mother’s Day — tongue-in-cheek day out with mum, anyone?

The Outfit, in cinemas 8 April

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: In 1950s Chicago, an expert tailor (Mark Rylance) whose clientele consists primarily of vicious gangsters finds himself in an increasingly dangerous situation.

WHY WE’RE WATCHING: Written by Graham Moore (who brought us The Imitation Game), this film is both sharply-dressed and sharply-plotted. It’s a proper chamber piece, remaining within the four walls of the tailor shop, and so has the delightful feel of an electric piece of theatre. The inclusion of Johnny Flynn (whose bum we remember so well from Emma) and Dylan O’Brien (taking a step out of the young worlds of Teen Wolf and The Maze Runner) are pretty pleasing on the eye, too.

The Lost City, in cinemas 15 April

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: When a homebody romance novelist (Sandra Bullock) is kidnapped by an eccentric billionaire (Daniel Radcliffe), her bumbling hunk of a cover star (Channing Tatum) sets out to rescue her, and prove he’s more than just a pretty face.

WHY WE’RE WATCHING: The floor around this film is just littered with names. Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe… oh, and Brad Pitt makes an appearance, too. It also totally smacks of one of the greatest films of all time, 1984’s Romancing the Stone, so we’re eagerly anticipating a gratuitous, fiercely fun romantic adventure.

The Northman, in cinemas 22 April

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: In tenth century Iceland, a young Viking prince embarks on a quest to avenge his father.

WHY WE’RE WATCHING: Directed by Robert Eggers, the man behind 2015’s The Witch and 2019’s The Lighthouse, it’s no leap to say this film will follow suit as a viscerally atmospheric, unsettlingly evocative watch. Combine this with the seriously stellar names attached (Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe, Ethan Hawke) and you’ve got one eerie, entirely unmissable title.

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