(Ryan Coogler, 2018, US) 134 mins
With its African slant and huge expectations heaped upon it, this was always going to be more than just another superhero movie. It handles the burden responsibly with swagger, building its mythology around a secret, technologically advanced African nation whose king is faced with an epic, action-packed power struggle. Out from Tue.
(Guillermo del Toro, 2017, US) 123 mins
Del Toro crafts a lush, literally immersive, incurably romantic fantasia, riffing on vintage monster movies, Beauty and the Beast and, possibly, Free Willy. The setting is a cold war research lab, where Sally Hawkins’s mute cleaner forges an intimate bond with a captured fish-man creature. Out from Wednesday.
(Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2017, Rus/Fra/Ger/Bel) 127 mins
Russian heavyweight Zvyagintsev gives us another state-of-the-nation parable, whose interpretations will keep you engaged long after the film. At heart, it’s a portrait of an unhappy marriage. An upwardly mobile couple are completing an acrimonious divorce. Each has a new partner, and their young son is practically an inconvenience – even more so when he goes missing. The resultant search becomes a survey of a national spiritual crisis.
(Paul Thomas Anderson, 2017, US) 130 mins
Gothic dread and haute couture mix beguilingly and give Daniel Day-Lewis another indelible character. His postwar-London dressmaker is fastidious and monstrously controlling, as his muse Vicky Krieps discovers. But she’s no compliant mannequin. Support from Lesley Manville and a Jonny Greenwood score complete the classy package.
(James Marsh, 2018, UK) 101 mins
Colin Firth gives a sympathetic portrayal of yachtsman Donald Crowhurst, whose bid to win a round-the-world race in 1968 became an exercise in financial desperation, creative cheating and existential fragility. Rachel Weisz plays his loyal wife and a scene-stealing David Thewlis is his publicist. A Brexit metaphor? It’s a sobering deconstruction of British pluck.
Nineteen-year-old Khalid had a decent 2017: his debut album American Teen sold more than a million US copies; he toured and collaborated with Lorde; while his feature on rapper Logic’s 1-800-273-8255 earned him a UK Top 10 single. Sure, he missed out on the numerous Grammys he was nominated for, but this headline UK tour should help make up for it.
Eventim Apollo, W6 Wednesday 14 & Thursday 15; touring to 18 February
Despite appearances, Anna of the North is actually the work of two people (and, sadly, no cats): Norwegian singer-songwriter Anna Lotterud and New Zealand-born producer Brady Daniell-Smith. Last year’s debut album, Lovers, was a dreampop masterpiece while Lotterud has become an unexpected muse for the likes of Tyler, the Creator and Rejjie Snow.
XOYO, EC2, Thursday 15 February
Between them, Swedish dance duo Galantis, AKA producers Christian Karlsson and Linus Eklöw, have worked on gold-plated bangers for the likes of Britney, Charli XCX and Madonna. Together, they’ve not been too shabby in the bangers stakes either, as anyone who’s heard the ludicrous Peanut Butter Jelly at ear-splitting volume can confirm. If you fancy a night of sweaty EDM for Valentine’s, this could be ideal.
Roundhouse, NW1, Wednesday 14; touring to 18 February
After dalliances with 70s MOR, jazz and blues on his last few albums, 2017’s Beast Epic saw the perma-bearded Sam Beam, AKA Iron & Wine (pictured, below), return to the folk flourishes of his earlier work. These shows all take place in mid-sized halls, hopefully with comfy chairs, warm cider and complimentary Aran knit cardigans.
Birmingham, Tuesday 13; Dublin, Wednesday 14; Manchester, Thursday 15; London, Friday 16 February
When he won 2016’s classy Dankworth prize for jazz-orchestral composition, gifted UK newcomer Matthew Read confirmed he was the kind of double-bass player who gets the big picture. But Read’s formidable small-group skills are showcased on this long tour with Scofield/Frisell-influenced guitarist Benedict Wood and subtle drummer Arthur Newell.
Maidstone, Saturday 10; Southampton, Sunday 11; Birmingham, Tuesday 13; London, Thursday 15; touring to 22 February
The Czech Philharmonic was originally scheduled to tour this month under its much admired chief conductor Jiří Bělohlávek. But Bělohlávek died last year, and his place has been taken by one of the leading Czech conductors of the younger generation, Tomáš Netopil. Music by Dvořák predominates in the programmes, and the cellist Alisa Weilerstein appears as the soloist in most of them.
Leeds Saturday 10; Bristol Sunday 11; Manchester Monday 12; Birmingham Wednesday 14; Nottingham Thursday 15; Basingstoke Friday 16; touring to 18 February
Slowly but surely, English National Opera is working its way through the Gilbert and Sullivan canon. The new production of Iolanthe follows 2015’s Pirates of Penzance in being directed by an opera newbie: this time it’s theatre director Cal McCrystal, better known for his mastery of physical comedy. Samantha Price takes the title role, with Yvonne Howard as the Queen of the Fairies and Andrew Shore as the Lord Chancellor.
London Coliseum, WC2, Tuesday 13 February to 7 April
Two years ago, the first Principal Sound weekend focused on the works of Morton Feldman. There’s more Feldman in the latest series of concerts – Three Voices and Why Patterns? – but this time the featured composer is Luigi Nono. Several of Nono’s wonderfully spare late works get rare UK performances: A Pierre, for instruments and electronics, the solo piano …Sofferte Onde Serene…, and the string quartet homage to Hölderlin, Fragmente-Stille.
St John’s Smith Square, SW1, Friday 16 to 18 February
Natural history, archaeology and collecting inspire Dion’s installations. When Tate Modern was being created, he explored Bankside’s past to create the mudlarker’s cabinet of curiosities that appears here, along with a museum of surrealism and the ghosts of extinct species. Dion is Hirst with a conscience: his bizarre displays make us see our world.
Whitechapel Gallery, E1 Wednesday 14 to 13 May
The intense landscapes of this early-20th-century German have a lurid sense of colour and a dark apocalyptic foreboding. Nolde is one of the giants of German expressionism but his life was twisted by the disasters of modern history. He both supported the Nazi party and saw his paintings mocked and banned by them.
National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, Wednesday 14 to 10 June
Woolf’s 1927 novel To the Lighthouse was inspired by a landscape near St Ives, Cornwall. Now, the pioneer of modernism is coming home in this exhibition that features artists including Gwen John, Dora Carrington (work pictured), Barbara Hepworth and Woolf’s sister Vanessa Bell. Perhaps most suggestively, the surrealist masquerading of Claude Cahun is matched with Woolf’s novel of unstable gender, Orlando.
Tate St Ives, Saturday 10 to 29 April
The collector Jim Ede created a uniquely intimate gallery of modern art where powerful abstract sculptures by Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and mythic paintings by David Jones can be seen among the sofas, bookcases and kitchen of a cosy home. Kettle’s Yard also has a strong tradition of contemporary exhibitions and – reopening with expanded display spaces and public areas – it looks set to become an even more prominent presence.
Cambridge, reopens Saturday 10 February
There are hints of the 21st-century pastorals of Peter Doig in the woodland scenes and rustic dreams of this Canadian modern painter. Milne, who was born in 1882, seems to have been influenced by Edvard Munch in his distillation of nature into expressive images. His almost Scandinavian melancholy broods on tangled roots and winter forests. The experience of the first world war freights his art with broken meaning.
Dulwich Picture Gallery, SE21, Wednesday 14 February to 7 May
Winner of best new play at the Critics’ Circle awards, and surely a shoo-in for the Oliviers in April, Jez Butterworth’s family drama, set in the farm kitchen of the Carney clan in Northern Ireland at the height of the Troubles, is rich, dense and allusive. You feel as if you know every single one of these characters as well as your own family.
Gielgud Theatre, W1 booking to 19 May
This debut play by Moonlight writer Tarell Alvin McCraney has lost none of its strange hypnotic power. It tells the story of two brothers: one solid, hard-working and dependable; the other, fresh out of jail and looking for a good time. This is starkly brilliant storytelling directed by Bijan Sheibani, exploring masculinity and blood ties.
Young Vic, SE1, to Wednesday 14 February
Chris Goode’s stage version of Derek Jarman’s classic punk-era film stars Toyah Willcox, who played Mad in the original, as Elizabeth I. It is wildly entertaining, billing itself with a knowing leer as “an iconic film most of you have never heard of, adapted by an Oxbridge twat for a dying medium, spoiled by millennials, ruined by diversity, and constantly threatening to go interactive”. Not for the faint-hearted; definitely for the big of heart.
Lyric Hammersmith, W6, Thursday 15 February to 10 March
This remarkable show by Pauline Mayers is radical in every way. It gets us up on our feet, building the action both with and around us as Mayers tells of her life, entwining the autobiographical with a history lesson about 19th-century American gynaecologist J Marion Sims, who carried out experiments on female slaves without anaesthetic. Shockingly personal, searingly brave.
West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, Tuesday 13 to 17 February
Plays are plastic: they change depending on the context. That’s the case with Andrea Dunbar’s 1980s piece, written when she was just 19, and telling of two schoolgirls’ relationship with a married man. Dunbar was that all too rare thing: a working-class female voice. Her play is beady-eyed and uncomfortably funny, particularly in the light of grooming scandals and the Harvey Weinstein revelations.
Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, Tuesday 13 to 17 February
Marking the 70th anniversary of the arrival in Britain of the SS Windrush, Sharon Watson tells the story of Caribbean immigration. Set to an eclectic soundtrack, Watson’s first narrative dance work addresses not only the racism and poverty the Windrush generation encountered, but also their successes.
West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds Sat; touring to 10 May
Christopher Wheeldon’s superbly visualised and sensitively reimagined setting of the Shakespeare play makes a welcome return to the London stage. The original cast open the run, with Edward Watson reprising his role as the tormented Leontes.
Royal Opera House, WC2, Tue to 21 Mar
The Wells’s annual dose of Spanish fire returns with an intriguing lineup, including María Pagés’s anthem to liberated women, Yo, Carmen, and a collaboration between Isabel Bayón and Israel Galván exploring the dark side of flamenco.
Sadler’s Wells, EC1, Wed to 25 Feb