Creation

  • Directors: Jon Amiel
  • Producers: Jeremy Thomas
  • Writers: John Collee
  • Genres: Biography, Drama
  • Actors: Paul Bettany, Jennifer Connelly, Jeremy Northam, Toby Jones, Benedict Cumberbatch

Following the death of his eldest daughter Annie in 1851, English naturalist Charles Darwin has a crisis of faith. Having returned from his expedition in the Galapagos Islands fifteen years earlier he has yet to compile his findings from his notebooks.

Darwin has an unshakeable illness and cannot write, though his friends Joseph Dalton Hooker and Thomas Henry Huxley encourage him to finish his book, having read his 230 page synopsis. Darwin’s depression is also the cause of a rift with his wife, Emma, whose devout faith contrasts with Darwin’s own loss of faith. Darwin explains her refuge in religion as her reaction to Annie’s death.

To provide evidence for his theory Darwin breeds pigeons. Darwin is stopped when he is sent a letter by Alfred Russel Wallace in 1855, which details the same findings as Darwin in twenty pages. He sees the discovery as a good thing, as he will not have to write his book and the strife with Emma will dissipate.

He subsequently visits Malvern to “take waters” and visit the guesthouse where Annie died. Cured of his illness after addressing his grief, Darwin finishes his manuscript and hands it to Emma to read, leaving the decision to publish in her hands. She reads it and packages it to send to the publishers.

Darwin dispatches the manuscript, and it is published on 24 November, 1859.

Frost Nixon

  • Directors: Ron Howard
  • Producers: Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner
  • Writers: Peter Morgan
  • Genres: Drama, History
  • Actors: Michael Sheen, Frank Langella, Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt, Sam Rockwell, Matthew Macfadyen, Rebecca Hall, Toby Jones, Andy Milder

A series of news reports documents the role of Richard Nixon (Langella) in the bugging of members of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate complex up until news that the House of Representatives is likely to vote to impeach Nixon. The film then cuts to a behind the scenes view of Nixon making his resignation speech. Nixon is shown leaving the White House in a helicopter and flying away.

Meanwhile David Frost (Sheen) is finishing an episode of his talk show Frost Over Australia, until he comes off set to see Nixon entering the helicopter on a television. He asks a producer to ascertain the worldwide viewing figures for the event.

A few weeks later in the London Weekend Television (LWT) central office, Frost discusses with his producer and friend, John Birt (Matthew Macfadyen), the possibility of an interview. When Frost mentions Nixon as the subject, Birt doubts the likelihood that Nixon would be willing to talk to Frost. Frost then tells Birt that 400 million people watched President Nixon’s resignation on live TV.

Nixon is shown recovering from illness in La Casa Pacifica, in San Clemente, California, discussing his memoirs with literary agent Irving “Swifty” Lazar (Toby Jones), who tells the former president of a request by Frost to conduct an interview. Lazar mentions that CBS was offering $350,000 to Frost’s $500,000. In a series of cutaway interviews, Lazar explains how he managed to talk Frost up to $600,000.

Shortly before Frost returns to the UK, he and Caroline visit Nixon in his villa and Frost thanks him for the interviews. Nixon questions Frost if they really had a discussion on the phone, and asks what they discussed. Frost replies “cheeseburgers,” and bids goodbye to Nixon and leaves. The closing titles describe Frost’s future successes and Nixon’s continued controversy and absence from political activity until his death in 1994.

W

  • Directors: Oliver Stone
  • Producers: Moritz Borman, Jon Kilik, Bill Block, Oliver Stone
  • Writers: Stanley Weiser
  • Genres: Biography, Drama
  • Actors: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Banks, James Cromwell, Ellen Burstyn, Richard Dreyfuss, Toby Jones, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Scott Glenn, Bruce McGill, Jennifer Sipes, Noah Wyle, Ioan Gruffudd

George W. Bush (Josh Brolin) endures an alcohol-fueled initiation by fellow Yale students as a pledge for the fictional Delta Iota Kappa fraternity. During the hazing, Bush successfully recalls the names and nicknames of many of the fraternity members and states that his father’s political legacy is one he has no interest in. After the younger Bush is jailed for rowdiness after a baseball game, his father, Texas Congressman George H.W. Bush (James Cromwell), states that he will help his son, but only for the last time. Bush quits an oil patch job soon after and is accepted into Harvard Business School, and gets into a drunken fight with his father that night. Bush reveals his real aspirations in a father-son talk: being a baseball manager.

At a poker game Bush announces he will run for Congress in Texas. At a barbecue Bush meets Laura Welch (Elizabeth Banks), his future wife. Bush is criticized by his opponent, Democrat Kent Hance, who says that Bush is not a “real Texan” and has spent campaign contributions to throw an alcohol fueled party to underage Texas Tech University students. Bush does poorly in the debate and loses the election, but with the highest number of votes for a Republican candidate in the county’s history.

Bush has a nightmare in which his father accuses him of ruining the Bush legacy, which he claims was intended for Jeb. Later, he dreams of playing center field in a baseball game, in which he cannot find the ball.

The Mist

  • Directors: Frank Darabont
  • Producers: Frank Darabont, Martin Shafer, Liz Glotzer
  • Writers: Screenplay, Frank Darabont, Novella, Stephen King
  • Genres: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Thomas Jane, Laurie Holden, Nathan Gamble, Toby Jones, Marcia Gay Harden, Frances Sternhagen, Andre Braugher

The morning after a violent thunderstorm, commercial artist David Drayton (Thomas Jane) and his wife Stephanie (Kelly Collins Lintz) witness an unusual mist moving towards their lakeside home. More immediately concerned with cleaning up in the aftermath of the storm, David and neighbor Brent Norton (Andre Braugher), along with David’s five-year-old son Billy (Nathan Gamble), go to the local grocery store, which, like the rest of the community, was left without power. While at the store, an increasing amount of police activity in the streets draws the attention of the patrons, culminating with Dan Miller (Jeffrey DeMunn) running to the store with a bloody nose warning of something dangerous in the oncoming mist. Seeing the mist roll over the parking lot and hearing the scream of a man who ventures outside, the store patrons heed Miller’s advice and seal themselves within the store, which is soon shaken by violent tremors. With visibility reduced to near-zero outside and uncertainty surrounding the fate of the man heard screaming before, a siege mentality takes hold. Unable to convince anyone to escort her back home to her children whom she left alone, a mother of two (Melissa McBride) departs into the mist by herself.

Driving through the mist, David returns home to find his wife has fallen victim to the spider-like creatures. Heartbroken, he drives the group south, witnessing the destruction left in the wake of the mist and encountering a tentacled beast towering hundreds of feet high. Eventually, they run out of gas without finding any other survivors. While Billy is sleeping, the four adults accept their fate, deciding that there is no point in going any further. With four bullets left in the gun and five people in the car, David shoots Amanda, Dan, Irene, and his son, Billy, to spare them a more violent death by the creatures. Sobbing, he attempts to shoot himself with the now-empty gun before exiting the vehicle to let the creatures in the mist take him. He hears what sounds like a creature moving toward him, but it is soon revealed as a Howitzer self-propelled gun, followed by a large contingent of soldiers equipped with NBC suits and flamethrowers. As the mist parts, several trucks filled with survivors pass David; among them the mother whom nobody from the store would escort and her two children. Realizing that the killings were needless and that he had been driving away from help the entire time, David falls to his knees screaming while two soldiers watch him in confusion.