Barefoot Cinema is back for another summer, with over 35 films screening across four scenic locations at Portsea (which has just seen the conclusion of its season), Mount Martha, Elsternwick and Werribee.
While you’ll find live music, lawn games, food trucks and a fully stocked pop-bar (complete with happy hour from 6-7pm each night) at all screenings, it’s the movies that are the main draw. We’ve had a look at the line-up and selected our must-see feature picks.
The story of Elton John’s breakthrough years, Rocketman is an epic musical fantasy built around a star performance by Taron Egerton. Transforming from shy piano prodigy Reginald Dwight into international superstar Elton John, Egerton performs all the songs himself in this toe-tapping story of a small-town boy becoming one of the world’s most iconic stars.
Also check out: Dirty Dancing, the 1987 romantic drama that will have you tapping your feet in your seat.
Once Upon A Time in Hollywood
The year is 1969, the place is Hollywood, and TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) can feel his career slipping away. As he and his best buddy (and stunt double) Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) struggle to deal with a business leaving them behind, the long shadow of the Manson Family begins to stretch across their idyllic world. Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is an intriguing ensemble piece that weaves together multiple storylines to create a salute to the faded yesteryear of Hollywood.
Also check out: Ford v Ferrari a foot-to-the-floor look at the epic mid-60s battle at Le Mans between established race legends Ferrari and an upstart Ford team led by car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale).
Winner of the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture (Drama) and starring Oscar winner Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody was a hit at last year’s Barefoot Cinema. An unabashed celebration of Queen and their legendary lead singer Freddie Mercury (Malek), this traces their rise through the ’70s with a string of iconic songs, their stumbles through the ’80s, and their coming together for their triumphant Live Aid performance.
Also check out: Judy in which Renee Zellweger gives the performance of her career as Judy Garland struggling to get through a series of sold-out performances in 1968 London.
A sharp and grimly pointed take on the origin of Batman’s legendary nemesis, Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix’s version of the Clown Prince of Crime is a grim character study in the vein of Martin Scorsese. Winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and directed, produced and co-written by Oscar nominee Todd Phillips,Joker is the story of Arthur Fleck, a man battered by a cold and indifferent world until he snaps and takes everything down with him.
Also check out: Little Women, director Greta Gerwig’s charming and highly acclaimed version of the American literary classic.
Barefoot Cinema’s Surfing Nights are fundraising events for OneWave, a non-profit community organisation raising awareness around mental health. This year’s feature is directors Jeff and Michael Zimbalist’s acclaimed documentary Momentum Generation. Featuring surfing icons Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, Taylor Knox, Ross Williams, Shane Dorian and more, Momentum Generation tells the story of a ragtag community of teenage surfers and how they took their sport to unprecedented heights.
Also check out: The Australian Dream a searing documentary that takes an unflinching look at AFL legend Adam Goodes’ struggle against racism both on and off the field.
In Yesterday aspiring singer-songwriter Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) is hit by a bus at the same time as a freak cosmic glitch plunges the world into darkness. The world he wakes up in seems the same, but with one big difference: The Beatles never existed, and Jack is the only one who remembers their music. Now he’s the only one who can perform some of the biggest hits this world has never known – but is he ready for the fame that comes with it?
Also check out: La La Land, a musical celebration of love and Los Angeles starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone
Toy Story 4
The fourth instalment of Pixar’s beloved animated series brings Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) and Buzz (voiced by Tim Allen) together again, this time introducing a new craft-project-turned-toy, Forky (voiced by Tony Hale). A madcap road trip leads to the crew being reunited with some old friends (Bo Peep!) and facing many toy-specific challenges.
Also check out: Cats, featuring another star-studded (and sometimes puzzling) cast featuring everyone from Idris Elba and Ian McKellan to Taylor Swift and Rebel Wilson.
From the Academy Award-winning team of directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck who created the first Frozen comes this highly anticipated sequel. Why was (now Queen) Elsa born with magical powers? What do they have to do with the mysterious siren song calling her to the unknown lands to the north? Together with her sister Anna, and with Kristoff, Olaf and Sven by their side, they’ll set out to explore new lands and their origins – and just maybe save their kingdom on the way.
Also check out: The Princess Bride the classic adventure packed with thrills, odd-ball characters, and all the magic you could ask for from a fairy-tale.
Murder mysteries make a triumphant return to the big screen in writer-director Rian (Brick, Looper, Star Wars: The Last Jedi) Johnson’s twist-laden tribute to Agatha Christie. Knives Out. Renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is found dead the morning after his 85th birthday, and his entire family – gathered there for the celebrations – is on the suspect list. Enter freelance sleuth Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), who’s been hired by persons unknown to investigate. But with everyone in the spotlight, right down to Harlan’s kindly nurse (Ana de Armas), he’s going to have his work cut out for him.
It’s time for one last trip to Downton Abbey, as the Crawley family and the servants who work for them are reunited for a royal visit from none other than King George himself. A charming return to the glamour of the roaring ’20s, the film is a pitch-perfect farewell to one of the best-loved television series of the century.
Also check out: Muriel’s Wedding is an Australian classic; a sometimes harsh, but heart-warming tale of female friendship set against a blackly funny backdrop of ’90s suburban malaise.
See Barefoot Cinema’s full program here.
This article was produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Barefoot Cinema.