Passing and the best films to watch this winter

Tessa Thompson leads the charge for this season’s must-see movies, with her stellar performance alongside Ruth Negga.


Winter has well and truly set in: the blankets are out, the candles are lit and the drop in temperatures means there’s little reason to go outdoors. What better way to spend your time than to feast on films, and luckily Hollywood has come good. What’s worth your screen time? We name our most anticipated releases to curl up to…


Already touted an awards smash, Passing is the story of Irene (Tessa Thompson) and Clare (Ruth Negga), two mixed race women in prohibition America who are able to ‘pass’ as white. Based on the novel of the same name by Nell Larsen, the film is directed by British director Rebecca Hall and shot beautifully in black and white. Passing covers a fascinating and politically charged part of the country’s race relations, one previously not widely told. An Oscars contender? Let us know what you think.

Out on Netflix

The Harder They Fall

Gun-slinging Westerns never really conveyed the true story of black cowboys – but, even though they seem erased from history, they did in fact exist. While The Harder They Fall is a wholly fictional film, it does point out that these people did walk, ride, fight and love – we just never saw it much on the silver screen. This is your chance to indulge in that world of saloons, Stetsons and shoot-outs. The film is beautifully shot and features a standout cast including Idris Elba and Regina King.

Available now on Netflix

Tick Tick Boom

It’s Lin-Manuel Miranda’s directorial debut – and if it’s anything like as good as his musical Hamilton, it’s going to be HUGE. It stars Andrew Garfield as Jon, an aspiring theatre composer living in New York while the Aids crisis is casting a shadow over the artistic community. Vanessa Hudgens, using all her experience from High School Musical, co-stars and is perfectly placed to bring her singing chops to her role, which was shot during the pandemic.

Out on Netflix soon

West Side Story

One of the most anticipated films, not just of this year but perhaps for many years. The classic film version of West Side Story is still much-loved, but the 2021 reboot has none other than Steven Spielberg at the helm. Postponed because of the pandemic, the film is due to be released in December and the first shots look gorgeous. Who’s starring? Known more for her YouTube channel than her acting skills comes Rachel Zegler in the lead role as Maria, while the supporting cast includes Hamilton’s original cast member Ariana DeBose. Get your dancing shoes on.

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