Jaw-dropping documentaries set in space, instant cult horror classics and a fantasy spin on Beatlemania are among our top cinema picks this June
Film of the month: Apollo 11
“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”—a quote so deeply embedded in the cultural canvas of the 20th century—along with the image of the rocket launch—that it’s easy to trivialise and take this monumental historical event for granted. Which is exactly why the Apollo 11 documentary is such an eye-opening foray into the events that took place during this revolutionary mission.
Through extensive and surprisingly crisp archive footage, the film takes us through those riveting eight days during which the whole world watched Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins execute one of the greatest scientific advancements of all time. The story is told here in a clear, unhurried manner, taking the time to explain the technical aspects of the mission so we never lose the thread. But it also takes pleasure in letting us in on some of the fascinating yet little-known details about the mission: the humorous exchanges between the astronauts and the Mission Control Centre, the last-minute panic about a leaky hydrogen valve, or the footage of thousands of spellbound spectators watching the launch from highways and beaches near the launch site. An inspiring testament to one of the greatest adventures of humankind.
Julianne Moore is back on great form after starring in the jarring thriller Bel Canto in this charmingly awkward, understated comedy-drama about a woman in her fifties seeking true love. From the director of the Oscar-winning A Fantastic Woman, Sebastian Lelio, it’s a captivating, self-aware and refreshingly honest take on intimacy in later age and the hurdles of being a parent of adult children.
Remember the 2006 hit The Devil Wears Prada with Meryl Streep as the boss from hell? If you enjoyed the exploration of that glossy, dog eat dog environment, and the punchy, densely packed jokes, you’ll probably like Late Night which follows a similar underdog narrative. The story is set here in the world of TV entertainment and the icy boss is played by Emma Thompson who imbues her character with humanity and nuance. The screenplay was written by Mindy Kaling of The Mindy Project fame who also stars as the bright-eyed ingenue desperate to impress Thompson’s formidable talk show host.
Director Peter Strickland serves us festishism and witchcraft with lashings of blood in his weird new comedy horror.
Our heroine is a somewhat unlikely one: a haunted red dress, that goes from owner to owner turning their lives upside down. Gloriously atmospheric, alluringly red and eerily sensual, In Fabric simply screams 1970s giallo and David Lynch. But don’t worry, it’s not just a glossy-looking skin flick. It has some feisty things to say about consumerism, human vanity, greed and ego. Ultimately, the film will do to you what the dress does to its unsuspecting victims: reveal to you your darkest, innermost cravings and desires—hopefully without the gore.
Can you imagine a world in which The Beatles never existed? For struggling musician Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) this notion became reality when he was hit by a bus during a bizarre global power outage. When he woke up, nobody knew who Paul, John, Ringo or George were, meaning all their songs were up for Jack to claim as his own… and he did just that. This whimsical premise, along with tons of great music and hilarious performances from Kate McKinnon and Ed Sheeran (who plays himself) result in an incredibly entertaining watch, even if the film runs out of steam some two thirds in. Make sure you dust off your Beatles records—you’ll need them afterwards!
Keep up with the top stories from Reader's Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter
Loading up next...