Top 5: the hottest new film releases for 2015


    As the New Year rapidly approaches, we round up the best films to look out for in 2015, in no particular order…

    Much of the latest adaptation of Far From the Madding Crowd is filmed in Dorset

    Far From the Madding Crowd

    A new adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s 1874 novel Far from the Madding Crowd will be released in the UK in May 2015. The film stars Carey Mulligan and Michael Sheen, with screen play by David Nicholls. Filmed predominantly in and around Hardy Country in Dorset; Mapperton House, Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove, Sherborne, Eype, Purse Caundle, West Bay, Beaminster and National Trust property Cogden Beach all play a part. Few authors have such strong associations with their local area as Thomas Hardy, and today you can explore two of the writer’s houses – his childhood home and Max Gate, the property Hardy designed himself and moved into with Emma after his marriage.

    The Jungle Book

    English writer Rudyard Kipling’s timeless tale, The Jungle Book, is receiving the Hollywood treatment with a new Disney adaptation, due to hit British screens in October 2015. In the director’s chair is Jon Favreau, and the film will be a blend of animation and live action. The character of Mowgli will be played by 10-year-old newcomer Neel Sethi, who will be the only actor on screen. Vocal support will be provided by Idris Elba as Bengal tiger Shere Khan; Bill Murray as sloth bear Baloo; Christopher Walken as orangutan King Louie; Scarlett Johansson as hypnotic snake Kaa; Ben Kingsley as panther Bagheera; and Lupita Nyong’o as Mowgli’s wolf mother Raksha.


    In a fresh and dynamic new take on Shakespeare’s most famous tragedy, Irish-raised actor Michael Fassbender and French actress Marion Cotillard take on two of theatre’s most challenging and complex roles in this screen adaptation for 2015. Under the direction of award-winning Australian director Justin Kurzel, and from the Academy award-winning producers of The King’s Speech, this grim and bloody production is one of 2015’s most anticipated films. According to Cotillard, it was her dream role, albeit intense and challenging, as it was the first time she’d “played a character with no light, total darkness”. The two talented leads will be joined by a stellar cast, including Sean Harris, Paddy Considine, Elizabeth Debicki, and David Thewlis.


    The latest instalment in the James Bond franchise of films looks promising indeed, starring the scene-stealing Christoph Waltz and Ralph Fiennes alongside the wonderful Daniel Craig. This adventure picks up where Skyfall left off, with M dead and Bond ready to take on his rivals once more.

    This, the 24th film in the James Bond series, is directed by English director Sam Mendes and sees Italian actress Monica Bellucci and France’s Lea Seydoux feature as the new Bond girls. This is Daniel Craig’s fourth outing as our beloved tux-wearing hero, and will be released in the UK on 23 October 2015.


    With Lily James (of Downton Abbey fame) taking the title role, this exciting new adaptation of Disney’s beloved fairytale will delight fans young and old. Cate Blanchett steps into the shoes of the cruel stepmother, while Helena Bonham Carter plays the fairy godmother and Richard Madden stars as Prince Charming – all of whom are directed by national treasure Kenneth Branagh. Disney promises that its April 2015 release will “bring to life the timeless images from the 1950 animated masterpiece as fully-realised characters in a visually dazzling spectacle for a whole new generation.” We can hardly wait: watch this space.

    PLUS: still showing in cinemas….

    The Theory of Everything

    This beautiful biopic follows the career of renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease aged just 21 and given a life expectancy of two years. This humbling story features moving performances from stars Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones and brings Hawking’s remarkable story to the public eye (at 72-years-old he has far outlived expectations); albeit with more of a focus on the marriage and love between him and his young wife Jane Wilde, than theoretical physics.

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