January highlights at Cornerhouse

The New Year brings with it a packed programme of art, film and events at Cornerhouse – we’ve selected some of the highlights you can look forward to this month here.

As awards season approaches, there’s a host of fantastic new releases for you to enjoy in January. We’re particularly excited about The Artist, which has garnered a huge amount of positive buzz from critics and audiences alike. It’s the silent, black and white tale of Hollywood actor George Valentin, played by Cannes award winner Jean Dujardin. George is desperate to keep his career afloat during the introduction of talking pictures, while another bright young thing going by the name of Peppy Miller (the luminous Bérénice Bejo) ascends into the limelight. The film also features star turns from John Goodman and James Cromwell, not to mention Uggie the dog – who should seriously be a candidate for best supporting actor at this year’s Oscars. This heartstring-tugging homage to the golden years of Hollywood, is showing from Fri 6 January.

Who expected the director of Mamma Mia! to follow up with The Iron Lady? Populist entertainment it may seek to be, but that won’t stop the controversy swirling around this intense dramatisation of Thatcher’s rise to power, which also opens on Fri 6 January. Meryl Streep delivers a powerhouse performance as Thatcher, and the film also features a superb supporting cast of talented British actors, including Jim Broadbent as Denis Thatcher and Richard E. Grant as Michael Heseltine.  See it on opening weekend, and gauge for yourself how well the real Iron Lady comes out of it.

If you didn’t manage to catch Shame at our special preview in December make sure you don’t miss it when it returns from Fri 13 January. Steve McQueen’s compelling second feature features a powerful performance from Michael Fassbender as an executive struggling with sex addiction. The film provides a courageous and probing investigation of the extremes of human behaviour, highlighting the stark immediacy of one man’s world and drawing us into that world without judgement or easy explanations.

Ralph Fienne’s directorial debut Coriolanus, showing from Fri 20 January is a fine achievement. Transferring Shakespeare’s tragedy of bloody war and politics to a contemporary Balkan-type state, Fienne’s interpretation has real clarity and power and a superb cast including Brian Cox, Gerard Butler, James Nesbitt, Jessica Chastain and Vanessa Redgrave.

For a complete change of pace, why not follow this up on Friday 27 January with Alexander Payne’s The Descendants? It’s a bittersweet journey for Matt King (George Clooney) an indifferent husband and father of two girls, who is forced to re-examine his past and embrace his future when his wife suffers a boating accident off of Waikiki. The Oscar-winning Sideways showed Payne is a master of the human comedy, of the funny, moving and messy details that define a fallible life and
  The Descendants  reinforces this impression, in style.

As usual, this month we’ve also got some great classic films showing as part of our Matinee Classic strand. First up is wonderful French drama Les Enfants du paradis and this is followed by The Shining  later in the month – a rare opportunity to watch Kubrick’s horror classic on the big screen.  You can see the full list of Matinee Classics through to March here if you want to book ahead.

We’re looking forward to welcoming female entrepreneur Julie Meyer for a Keynote on Tue 17 January. Meyer is founder of Ariadne Capital, a highly successful investment and advisory firm for entrepreneurs in technology and new media – but you might be more familiar with her as one of the dragons on the BBC Dragons’ Den online! If you’re a budding entrepreneur or woman working in the business world make sure you come along to hear her speak.

In our galleries we’re busy putting the finishing touches to our upcoming exhibition Lost is Found. This group show of work from nine artists based in the North of England, was developed and curated by the Creative Stars, 19 talented young people from Greater Manchester. Featuring works from Emily Speed, Jon Barraclough and Lucy Ridges among others, the exhibition finds beauty in the discarded and new stories in fleeting identities and childhood memories. Join us for the preview on Saturday 14 January to get a first look at the exhibition. In her solo show Contour States, Samantha Donnelly uses a pick’n mix of beauty products, ephemera and sculptural forms to create a subversive riposte to the portrayal of women in the media. Make a date in your diary for the preview on Fri 27 January.

Finally, if you fancy learning something new this month there are still a few places left on our course Introduction to Contemporary Art: Beyond the Counterculture which starts on Mon 16 January.