January’s cinema releases launch with poignant drama ‘One Life’

03 Jan 2024 in New Releases

5 mins

The new year welcomes audiences of all ages back to the cinema with a rich offering of films this January. Remarkable true stories inspire slick dramas in our picks from the first half of this month's new releases, such as the experiences of a British man who rescued over 600 children, Priscilla Presley's memories of what life was really like beside the ‘King of Rock and Roll', and the hard graft of an American rowing team that overcame adversity. Modern twists on timeless tales arrive in the form of a Bible-themed comedy epic and a bold new take on a story of sisterhood in the Deep South. Finally, the importance of community is highlighted in a powerful depiction of an environmental crisis.

One Life (12A) - in cinemas 5 January

This historical drama is based on the true story of an ordinary man who sets an extraordinary example of compassion. In his old age, Nicholas ‘Nicky' Winton looks back on his life. Fifty years earlier, on the eve of the Second World War, he and a small team of volunteers worked tirelessly to evacuate as many children as possible from Czech refugee camps to the United Kingdom. But Nicky is still haunted by those lives he could not save. However, by revisiting the past, he finally comes face-to-face with the precious gift of a future that his actions brought about. A poignant story to mark International Holocaust Memorial Day (27 January), this film encourages reflections on why and how we learn about history.

Priscilla (15) - in cinemas 5 January

Thought-provoking questions about fame, relationships, and gender representation are at the heart of this biopic based on the memoir of Priscilla Presley, ex-wife of Elvis. We meet Priscilla aged 14, living on an American military base in Germany with her family. Her seemingly mundane life is changed forever when she goes to a party hosted by one of the world's most well-known musicians, Elvis Presley. The two quickly become entangled in a romance despite their significant age differences. As their relationship becomes more intense and Priscilla struggles with her individuality, the allure of celebrity and a sudden change of lifestyle, the fantasy life she envisioned with Elvis soon becomes a lot more complicated.


The Boys in the Boat (12A) - in cinemas 12 January

Sport has the power to change people's lives, and the big screen is a thrilling space to truly capture the action and emotion of it. Set in the 1930s against the backdrop of the Great Depression and the rise of Nazi Germany, this film chronicles the inspiring true story of the University of Washington's rowing team, a crew of young men from humble origins who put everything they have into their training. Their sheer sporting talent and determination enables them to take on not only the Ivy League varsity elite, but even reach the Berlin Olympics, where their patriotic quest will also draw upon personal redemption.

The Book of Clarence - in cinemas 19 January

Much like Monty Python's Life of Brian, this comedy reimagines a biblical tale through a satirical take on architypes, stereotypes, and morality. The year is 33AD, and Clarence is a petty criminal living in Jerusalem. His twin brother has become a devoted disciple to Jesus, but Clarence is sure his miracles are mere trickery. When he finds himself in urgent need to repay a debt, Clarence decides to pass himself off as a Messiah too to make some money and prove that he is not a nobody. But as he frees slaves, confronts Roman soldiers and clashes with his brother, a realisation dawns on him that will be both his downfall and his salvation.


The End We Start From (15) - in cinemas 19 January

This British-made drama is an expansive and ambitious look at how climate change could affect society on a national scale. After a sustained period of heavy rain, Britain is transformed into an almost post-apocalyptic wasteland when extreme flooding reaches the cities. A new mother is caught up in the chaos, escaping London with her husband and her newborn to stay with her in-laws on higher ground. However, a series of tragic events leaves her fending for herself amidst huge social and environment upheaval, relying on the kindness of others and her own sense of self-preservation and motherly instincts, to travel across the country in the hope she can reunite her family.

The Color Purple - in cinemas 26 January

This joyful musical adaptation of a beloved classic includes powerful messages about finding confidence, solidarity, and beauty in a harsh world. Life is tough for Celie, growing up in the American Deep South of the 1900s. Having lost her mum, the children she gives birth to while still a girl herself are taken away by her dad. She is married off to a stranger, ‘Mister', who mistreats her and banishes her sister Nettie. But as the years go by, Celie learns to draw inspiration from other women, such as her head-strong daughter-in-law Sofia and Mister's sultry mistress Shug, who give her the courage to hold her head high as a strong woman with self-worth. The film offers engaging points of comparison with the 1985 version (available to stream on Into Film+) as well as being very accessible to new and younger audiences, with stunning cinematography and choreography.

This Article is part of: New Releases

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