THE Christmas carols may be done with for another year but director Todd Haynes’ gorgeous 1950s romance of the same name is just about to begin its week-long run at the Ilkley Cinema. Carol is the story of how Manhattan department store clerk Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara), meets and falls in love with an older, married woman – the eponymous Carol (Cate Blanchett).

The two-time Academy Award Winning Cate Blanchett is on sparkling form here, her hauteur and elegance matched with just the right amount of fear and self-doubt, but Mara has the longer distance to travel, from confused girl to grown woman, and her versatility and sensitivity is a joy to behold.

Our second new release of the new year is Steven Spielberg’s Cold War thriller – Bridge of Spies. When artist Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance) is arrested on spying charges, the American government lines up James Donovan (Tom Hanks) to defend him. Later, when U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers (Austin Stowell) crash-lands in Soviet Russia, Donovan and Abel become key to his release.

From a screenplay co-written by the masterfully quirky Coen brothers, Bridge of Spies is a terrifically crafted blend of courtroom drama and espionage thriller. With a predictably assured performance from leading man, Tom Hanks, and Spielberg’s trademark ability to find optimism in the unlikeliest of places, this is also not one to miss.

Theatre lovers rejoice! The Ilkley Cinema is pleased to announce we will be screening the full Royal Opera House 2016 program, in addition to our current National Theatre: Live program. January also heralds Branagh Theatre Live’s production of The Winter’s Tale - Shakespeare?s timeless tragicomedy of obsession and redemption is reimagined in this new production co-directed by Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh, and starring the latter as Leontes, and Dame Judi Dench as Paulina.

Carol and Bridge of Spies will be showing from January 1 - 7, and The Winter’s Tale will have two special encore performances on January 6 and 7, 8pm and 2.45pm respectively.

Tickets are available now to book online or at our box office - make a trip to the Ilkley Cinema part of your new year’s resolution!

by Jack Hanson