The Shape of Water (out 14 February)Guillermo Del Toro’s lush, dark and very grown-up fairytale set in 1940s America spins an utterly bewitching yarn out of a fantastically weird premise (two words: fish sex). Once you can get past the fact that only one of the lovers in this story is human – and believe us, you do - you’ll be richly rewarded. A dreamy, deeply moving tale that will leave you floating.
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RSC Live: Twelfth Night (at Vue on 14 February for one night only)
If music be the food of love, play on. Considered by many to be Shakespeare’s greatest comedy, this is a hip and highbrow choice for the thinking crumpet in your life. A story of mistaken identity with classic consequences, Christopher Luscombe’s production for the Royal Shakespeare Company stars Adrian Edmondson (Bottom, The Young Ones) in the role of Malvolio and Kara Tointon (ITV’s Mr Selfridge and Sound of Music Live!) in the role of Olivia.
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Coco (out now)This bright and wonderful Disney Pixar animation will warm the coldest of February hearts. As well as being seriously lol-worthy, it’s also Pixar’s most musical film yet - songs were co-written by Robert Lopez who penned much of The Book of Mormon, Avenue Q, and Frozen. The plot is a bit like Footloose, if the small Midwestern town was swapped out for the Land of the Dead and Kevin Bacon was transformed into a spunky Mexican kid with a guitar. A colourful celebration of family and friendship – because Valentine’s isn’t just for lovers.
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Phantom Thread (out 2 February)Assuming he doesn’t pull a Jay-Z and come back next year, this is Daniel Day Lewis’ final big screen performance before retirement. It tells the story of a difficult and easily bored fashion designer in 1950s London (Lewis) who finds an unexpected muse in a headstrong waitress. Beautifully shot by Paul Thomas Anderson, the film’s dreamy quality becomes increasingly nightmarish as the love affair spirals out of control. If you wanted to impress your date, you could always talk about the gendered power dynamics at dinner afterwards. Or you could just sit back and let the glamour envelop you like a perfectly woven coat.
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