Latest Posts

Top Stuff

Stuffin Good Videos

Practical Stuff

Solo Stuff

Senior Stuff

Stuff for Kids

Watch these 5 must-see British movies

British movies - image of the union jack with the words 'great british movies' across it.

The British Independent Film Awards are the hallmark of fine British Movies. Here’s my must-see British films from the Winners and Nominees

What’s the story?

I have always loved films and back in the day considered myself a bit of a movie buff.

However my busy life today means I don’t always get to watch as many films as I’d like.

(Because I’m on a mission to Change the World.)

So one advantage of the lockdowns has been the chance to revisit some old favourites.

And in particular, British movies, of the independent kind.

I have been reminded how brilliant some of these productions are.

And so I wanted to share my top 5 independent Brit flicks.

All of them have either won or been nominated for the British Independent Film Awards.

I hope you enjoy watching them as much as I have.

People should do this because…?

You should watch these films because they represent the pinnacle of British Film making (in my humble opinion).

(There are of course, many brilliant British movies, these just happen to be 5 of my favourites.)

How do you do it?

All of these films are available pretty much everywhere e.g.

Whilst they won’t all be free, they won’t cost the Earth either, and a couple of pounds or a few dollars is a small price to pay for such great entertainment.

Here are the five great British movies that I’m recommending (in no particular order):

Great British Movie #1 – Billy Elliot (15)

Billy Elliot is the tale of a young boy growing up in the harsh North of England during the miners’ strikes in the 1980s, who just wants to dance.

Against all of the odds he wins a place at the Royal School of Ballet in London, mainly thanks to his ballet teacher, Mrs Wilkinson, played by the incomparable Julie Walters.

Julie Walters and Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot) both won BAFTAs.

What makes it so good?

The screenplay is brilliantly written and the acting is superb.

The action is underpinned by a fantastic soundtrack, including songs from T-Rex and Paul Weller.

(By the way, the dancing set piece to ‘I love to Boogie’ is one of the most joyous things you will ever witness.)

There’s a great story to the film, but the sub-theme of self-expression is possibly one of the most engaging elements.

Watching Billy’s battle to be allowed to ‘be himself’ is truly moving.

In fact I defy you to watch this film without it bringing a tear to your eye!

And you probably know that Billy Elliot is now a stage musical, acclaimed the World over.

Great British Movie #2 – The Last King of Scotland (15)

Despite the name, this is indeed a British film (actually a collaboration between British and German film companies).

It takes place in Uganda and tells the (fictional story) of a young Scottish Doctor who becomes the personal physician of the President – Idi Amin.

It is one of my favourite films of all time, and features 2 of my favourite actors: James McAvoy (the Doctor) and Forest Whitaker (Idi Amin).

Forest Whitaker won multiple awards for his performance, including a Golden Globe, a BAFTA, and an Oscar.

What makes it so good?

Obviously the acting – from all of the cast, I would say without exception.

But also it’s just a brilliant story – how a young Scottish Doctor gets sucked right into the heart of Ugandan politics, and what he has to do to escape it.

It’s shocking in parts (not for the faint-hearted).

The scenery is lush and the movie is beautifully filmed.

And because it’s set in the 70s it has all the glitz and decadence of that era so it’s just lovely to look at.

Great British Movie #3 – Mrs Henderson Presents (12)

For some reason this particular British movie doesn’t seem very well known – I have no idea why!

It’s absolutely brilliant, with a stellar cast.

It is set just before and at the start of World War 2, and tells the story of a rich widow (Judi Dench) who decides to buy a theatre.

Her relationship with the theatre Manager – Mr Van Damme (Bob Hoskins) is one of the highlights of the film (although there are many).

Be warned – there is nudity! (although the film is only rated 12).

What makes it so good?

Did I mention JUDI DENCH?!

And of course Bob Hoskins.

And the amazing on-screen chemistry between these 2 lead actors.

Dame Judi’s character is just wonderfully surprising, and the entire film is beautifully written, beautifully acted, and beautifully shot.

Great British Movie #4 – The King’s Speech (12)

This Oscar-winning film is perhaps a bit better known, but I’m sure there will be some people who haven’t seen it – honestly, you really should.

It tells the tale of George VI, who took the throne when Edward VIII abdicated (so he could marry Wallis Simpson).

Unfortunately for King George – played impeccably (as always) by Colin Firth – he has a severe stammar.

Fortunately, unconventional Australian speech tutor, Lionel Logue (played by Geoffrey Rush), is on hand to help.

What makes it so good?

It’s funny.  Laugh out loud funny.

And again, the acting is impeccable – from EVERYONE.

You are absolutely rooting for King George by the end, his embarrassment over his stammer is so strong.

And Geoffrey Rush is just magnificent.

Great British Movie #5 – The Favourite (15)

A bit more recent – this film is again quite well known as it won loads of awards, including an Oscar, several BAFTAs, and a Golden Globe.

It tells the story of Queen Anne, and the battle for her favours between 2 of her ladies in waiting.

If that makes it sound a bit dry, trust me, it isn’t!

If anything, it is a little on the fruity side, so not one to watch with younger kids.

What makes it so good?

Olivia Coleman’s Oscar-winning performance is obviously a highlight of the film.

But there is also a brilliant script and great acting from the 2 supporting roles (both Hollywood royalty in their own right) – Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone.

And we must mention the soundtrack – wonderful classical music, and just really well integrated into the action of the film. 

All in all it’s an absolute feast for the eyes and ears and a perfect Sunday night movie (for adults).

Stuff you may need

  • Laptop / TV
  • Wifi
  • A film service subscription

Links to other Stuffer pages

Watch Wallace & Gromit films – they’ll make you smile

Recreate your favourite moments from Jim Carrey’s movies

Links to other pages on the web

Links to other videos on the web

Posted by...

Share this idea...

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
Share on email