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#OnTheBigScreen: Dumbo, Us and Hotel Mumbai

Films joining the South African box office this week include Hotel Mumbai, Dumbo, Us, The Front Runner, Captive State and the Metropolitan Opera's screening of Donizetti's La Fille Du Regiment.

Hotel Mumbai

A gripping true story of humanity and heroism, this not-to-be-missed dramatic thriller vividly recounts the 2008 siege of the famed Taj Hotel by a group of terrorists in Mumbai, India. Among the dedicated hotel staff is the renowned chef Hemant Oberoi (Anupam Kher) and a waiter (Academy Award-nominee Dev Patel) who choose to risk their lives to protect their guests.

As the world watches on, a desperate couple (Armie Hammer and Nazanin Boniadi) is forced to make unthinkable sacrifices to protect their newborn child.

Greek-Australian filmmaker Anthony Maras and his co-screenwriter John Collee spent a year intensely researching the Mumbai attacks before crafting the story his intensely masterful film Hotel Mumbai

Read more here


An all-new grand live-action adventure from Disney and visionary director Tim Burton expands on the beloved classic story where differences are celebrated, family is cherished and dreams take flight.

Circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) enlists former star Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) and his children Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins) to care for a new-born elephant whose oversized ears make him a laughingstock in an already struggling circus.

But when they discover that Dumbo can fly, the circus makes an incredible comeback, attracting persuasive entrepreneur VA Vandevere (Michael Keaton) who recruits the peculiar pachyderm for his newest, larger-than-life entertainment venture, Dreamland. Dumbo soars to new heights alongside a charming and spectacular aerial artist Colette Marchant (Eva Green), until Holt learns that beneath its shiny veneer, Dreamland is full of dark secrets. 

Read more here. Stand the chance to win a Dumbo Movie Hamper click here to enter.


After sending shockwaves across contemporary culture and setting a new standard for provocative, socially conscious horror films with his directorial debut, Get Out, Academy Award-winning visionary Jordan Peele returns with Us, another original nightmare that he has written, directed and produced.

Accompanied by her husband, son and daughter, Adelaide Wilson returns to the beachfront home where she grew up as a child. Haunted by a traumatic experience from the past, Adelaide grows increasingly concerned that something bad is going to happen to her family.

Her worst fears soon become a reality when four masked strangers descend upon the house, forcing the Wilsons into a fight for survival. When the masks come off, each stranger takes the appearance of a different family member.  

Read more here

The Front Runner

Hugh Jackman stars as the charismatic politician Gary Hart for director Jason Reitman in this new thrilling drama that follows the rise and fall of Senator Hart, who captured the imagination of young voters in America and was considered the overwhelming front runner for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination when his campaign was sidelined by the story of an extramarital relationship with Donna Rice. As tabloid journalism and political journalism merged for the first time, Senator Hart was forced to drop out of the race – events that left a profound and lasting impact on American politics and the world stage.

The film is a perfect example of the art of collaboration in filmmaking with Reitman directing from a script he co-wrote with Matt Bai, a nationally-known journalist, author and screenwriter on whose book All the Truth is Out the film is based and screenwriter Jay Carson, a former political consultant and veteran of the 2004 Dean and 2008 Clinton campaigns who had embarked on a new career as a creative consultant on House of Cards

Read more here

Captive State

Residents of a Chicago neighbourhood deal with life under extra-terrestrial rule in a Chicago neighbourhood nearly a decade after occupation by an extra-terrestrial force and explores the lives on both sides of the conflict – the collaborators and dissidents.

After 10 years of extra-terrestrial occupation, residents of Chicago must decide whether to continue to live under alien rule or support the resistance. When young Gabriel Drummond joins the insurgency, he soon finds himself under careful scrutiny from a shadowy figure who's trying to crush the rebellion and its plans for freedom.

Directed by Rupert Wyatt and co-written by Wyatt and Erica Beeney.

Read more here.

La Fille Du Regiment

Cinema Nouveau brings all opera lovers a ravishing vocal display from 30 March 2019 for selected screenings – the Metropolitan Opera’s screening of Donizetti’s La Fille Du Regiment featuring our very own South African Soprano star Pretty Yende and Javier Camerena.

This frothy comedy mixes humour with a rush of buoyant melody and notorious vocal challenges. The story concerns a young orphan girl raised by an army regiment as their mascot and begins at the moment of her first stirrings of love. Complications (and comedy) ensue when her true identity is discovered. The action is startlingly simple and unencumbered by intricate subplots, allowing the full charm of the characters and their virtuosic music to come across in an uninhibited way.

Yende continues to bloom as an artist and demonstrate why she is fulfilling her Cinderella story and, in this role, she exudes charismatic energy that is contagious to audiences and that gives her performance great warmth. 

With a cast so inspired, vocal fireworks and an expertly directed production, opera lovers are in for a treat like no other.

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About Daniel Dercksen

As a freelance film and theatre journalist for more than 30 years, published playwright and creator of the independent training initiative The Writing Studio, Daniel Dercksen has been a contributor for Lifestyle since 2012. Visit