IFC Midnight trailer debut: ‘A BANQUET’ dishes out family and fear this February.

A BANQUET

Directed by Ruth Paxton
Starring Sienna Guillory, Jessica Alexander, Ruby Stokes,
and Lindsay Duncan

Synopsis
Widowed mother Holly (Sienna Guillory) is radically tested when her teenage daughter Betsey (Jessica Alexander) experiences a profound enlightenment and insists that her body is no longer her own, but in service to a higher power. Bound to her newfound faith, Betsey refuses to eat but loses no weight. In an agonizing dilemma, torn between love and fear, Holly is forced to confront the boundaries of her own beliefs.


Opens in Select Theaters, on Digital Platforms
and VOD on February 18th


About the Director
Ruth Paxton is a Scottish filmmaker who graduated in 2007 with an MA in Film and TV from Screen Academy Scotland having gained her honours degree at Edinburgh College of Art. Her award-winning shorts have been exhibited and nominated in competition at numerous international events and prominent film festivals. Winner of Best Woman Director at the 12th London Short Film Festival for her film PULSE, and nominated one of Canongate Books 40 Scottish Storytellers of The Future; artists anticipated to dominate the next 40 years of creative life in Scotland. In 2019 Screen Daily featured her as one of ‘Six emerging Scotland based Directors you need to know.’ A BANQUET is Ruth’s debut feature, a psychological horror produced by Tea Shop Productions and Riverstone Pictures. The film is represented by HanWay Films, and was recently acquired by IFC Films for North America. It was selected for the Great 8 showcase at Cannes Marche presented by BFI, BBC Films and the British Council, and will have its World Premiere at Toronto International Film Festival 2021, in the Discovery section.


Directed by: Ruth Paxton
Written by: Justin Bull
Produced by: Leonora Darby, Nik Bower, James Harris, Mark Lane, Laure Vaysse
Director of Photography: David Liddell
Edited by: Matyas Fekete
Starring: Sienna Guillory, Jessica Alexander, Ruby Stokes, Kaine Zajaz, Lindsay Duncan
Runtime: 97 mins


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Review: ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’

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Exit Tim Burton and enter James Bobin (The Muppets) as Disney looks to venture back to Wonderland with a new Alice sequel based on “Through the Looking-Glass” by Lewis Carroll. All the original cast returns including Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska and Helena Bonham Carter to lead this second go around, but can this stellar cast keep this franchise afloat for another successful run down the rabbit hole?

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Alice Kingsleigh (Mia Wasikowska) has taken to the high seas as a captain of her late father’s ship. The return from Wonderland has given young Alice the thirst for adventure and she refuses to spill one drop of it. After returning from China, Alice is faced with a difficult decision which will alter the course of her life. Determined to continue her adventures, Alice finds her self at a cross roads, but a visit from Absolem leads her to a magical looking glass and a return to Wonderland once more.

Alice discovers her friend the Hatter (Johnny Depp) has been consumed by guilty and sorrow from the loss of his family which has driven him to be madder than usual. Desperate to see her friend return to normal, Alice confronts Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen) in search of the answer on how to change the past and save the Hatter’s family. Alice, realizing she must take matters into her own hands, borrows the Chronosphere, a time traveling device that takes her to through the past to find answers to help save her friend, but a familiar foe, the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) wants the Chronosphere for herself and will stop at nothing to get it.

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James Bobin’s vision for Alice Through the Looking Glass is not far off from Burton’s original in spectacle and storytelling and allows the audience to immerse itself back into the visual awe of Wonderland with ease. All the familiar characters take their places for a fun filled romp for children to OD on with little more than a tiresome story and hit or miss performances. Johnny Depp continues to rule the Disney cinematic universe as the real reason why audiences will flock back to the theaters for this unnecessary sequel, but the actor seems to enjoy still playing the character, albeit no doubt for the hefty paycheck and not the storytelling. Mia Wasikowska and Helena Bonham Carter continue their wonderful performances in this franchise as Alice and the Red Queen and each are marvelous. Sacha Baron Cohen is a wonderful addition to this film and brings a nice mixture of menace and comedy to his character Time.

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Overall, Alice Through the Looking Glass is nothing more than a visual spectacle, which means your kids will love it. A fun summer popcorn movie, but don’t expect too much.

Stars

2 1/2 out of 5

After Credit Scene?

None

Trailer