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The five best films of 2022 and how to see them

Iliffe Media film critic Jeremy Ransome has seen more than 30 new releases this year and has picked out his top five, including information on how you can see them over the festive period.

5- Mrs Harris Goes To Paris (PG)

Mrs Harris Goes to Paris
Mrs Harris Goes to Paris

Lesley Manville stars as Mrs Harris, a widowed cleaning lady in 1950s London, who falls madly in love with a couture Dior dress seen in a client’s bedroom, and decides that she must somehow travel to Paris to buy one of her own.

Manville is superb throughout as the tough widow with a twinkle in her eye, former Eastenders actor Ellen Thomas shines as her friend and confidant Vi, Sanditon star Rose Williams is likeable as ‘tart with a heart’ Pamela Penrose and Brazilian/Portuguese actor Alba Baptista continues her rise to fame as ‘Face of Dior’

The whole story is a delightful romp from start to finish, with some smashing Dior dresses even thrown in for fashion lovers.

  • Available now on Prime Video. See my full review here

4- The Woman King (15)

The Woman King
The Woman King

This historical drama focuses on the Agojie, an all-female warrior unit that protected the West African kingdom of Dahomey (now the Republic of Benin) from the 17th to 19th centuries.

It stars Viola Davis as General Nanisca, who trains the next generation of warriors to fight their enemies, and John Boyega as King Ghezo, who declares war on slavers from the Oyo Empire who are targeting Dahomean citizens to sell to Europe and South America.

Academy-award winning Davis puts in a stellar performance as the tough-but-haunted leader, as does Boyega. But it’s Lynch and Mbedu who make this movie. James Bond star Lynch is captivating as the strong, focused and loyal Izogie and Mbedu owns the screen as orphan warrior Nawi.

  • Available now on ROW8, Redbox, Prime Video or Vudu. See my full review here

3- The Phantom of the Open (12A)

Phantom of the Open
Phantom of the Open

This true story of the ‘world’s worst golfer’ Maurice Flitcroft is so amazing, the only wonder is how it took so long to make it to the big screen. Mark Rylance is endearingly superb as Flitcroft, a simple crane operator from Barrow, who, in 1976, takes up golf, with his aim being to compete at the British Open.

As he shoots the worst round in Open history, he invokes the wrath and snobbery of the golfing elite while becoming a folk hero (think Eddie the Eagle), with the viewer never quite sure if he is in on the joke.

But this is more than just the story of a likeable dreamer, exploring working class love and tensions among families in the Seventies, the class divide that was still so evident and the highs and lows of human nature itself.

  • Available now on Vudu, iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon Instant Video.See my full review here

2- Emily (15)


This film takes what fans already know about the most enigmatic of the Brontë sisters and the author of the classic Wuthering Heights and mixes facts with fantasy to produce a most wonderful story.

We meet Emily (Emma Mackey) on her deathbed at the family home in Howarth, west Yorkshire, in 1848, with younger sister Anne (Amelia Gething) asking how she managed to write her classic novel.

Then we’re treated to two hours of drama, turmoil and romance as her 30 years on earth are played out on the big screen in beautiful and tragic fashion, Mackey moving from sultry to sexy, from naive to naughty, seemingly at the flick of a switch.

  • Watch now on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video. See my full review here

1- The Duke (12)

The Duke
The Duke

The case for actors getting better with age has never been stronger after the performances of Jim Broadbent, 72, and Helen Mirren, 76, in this real-life crime caper comedy drama.

The film sees the self-educated working class Kempton Bunton (Broadbent) appear at the Old Bailey, denying stealing an expensive portrait of the Duke of Wellington. Six months earlier, in Spring 1961, Socialist Bunton had been jailed for watching TV without a licence as he campaigned to gain free licences for pensioners.

Broadbent plays Kempton with warmth and humour, backed up superbly by Mirren as his long suffering but loyal and loving wife Dorothy. Even their Geordie accents are spot on throughout.

  • Watch now on Prime Video, ROW8, Vudu, Apple TV or Redbox. See my full review here

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