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Six British icons to watch on the big screen this winter

The best-loved British actors, political figures, artists and...bears coming to Vue.

By Chris Edwards.

This winter sees two stalwarts of British culture return to the big screen: Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express and Paddington, the marmalade-eating bear. Funnily enough, the former is set outside of the UK and the latter comes from a tree house in Peru...but both films are steeped in British heritage and boast a wealth of the nation's finest acting talent nonetheless.

And there are plenty of other beloved Brits to marvel at over the coming months. Here are our favourites:

Paddington Bear

The incredibly polite bear, naturally voiced by Ben Whishaw (Spectre), returns for what Empire, Time Out, the Mirror and tons of others are calling a five star film. Paddington 2 packs an impressive line-up of national treasures such as Hugh Grant and Julie Walters – but leave it to the small bear in a duffel coat to make you feel outrageously patriotic.

Get Paddington 2 tickets and times.

Which leads us nicely to...

Imelda Staunton

Voicing Paddington's wise aunt Lucy, Imelda Staunton also stars in Follies, the National Theatre’s new blockbuster musical that’s received almost too many brilliant reviews. Also known for her role as Delores Umbridge in Harry Potter, the actress comes out singing and dancing in Stephen Sondheim's "stupendous" stage spectacle. She's an extremely talented bear.

Get NT Live: Follies tickets, showing at Vue 16 November.

The combined force of Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, Daisy Ridley, Derek Jacobi and Olivia Colman

Agatha Christie is the nation's most celebrated crime novelist, so it only makes sense that Kenneth Branagh's big screen adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express should include some of the best acting talent the country has to offer. Even if the majority of them aren't playing British characters…

Get Murder on the Orient Express tickets and times. 

David Hockney

David Hockney

The colourful Paddington 2 may prepare your palette for even more big screen artistry, which is well and truly provided by David Hockney, the man widely considered to be Britain's greatest living painter. Exhibition on Screen: David Hockney at the Royal Academy of Arts features stunning close ups of his hugely popular paintings as well as intimate interviews with the man himself – delightful and insightful.

Get EOS: David Hockney at the Royal Academy of Arts tickets, at Vue 21 November.

Charles Dickens

Dan Stevens (Beauty and the Beast) plays another legendary British author, Charles Dickens, in The Man Who Invented Christmas. The festive biopic focuses on the magical journey that led to the creation of A Christmas Carol, a story that would redefine the holiday and forever provide grumpy people with the nickname 'Scrooge'.

The Man Who Invented Christmas is at Vue 1 December.

Winston Churchill

Covering Gary Oldman in Churchill prosthetics alone practically demands an Oscar, but it's the actor's "tremendous" performance as one of the nation's most iconic political leaders that’s earning him awards buzz. Darkest Hour offers a dramatic, political perspective on the events depicted in Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk.

Darkest Hour is at Vue 29 December.