We Bought A Zoo (2011, dir. Cameron Crowe)

A widowed father buys a run-down zoo, and battles to have it open in time for the summer. Sunny-enough feelgood comedy/drama/romance with absolutely no surprises but some neat moments and an impeccable – if over-used – soundtrack.

The Greatest Showman (2017, dir. Michael Gracey)

A musical about showman PT Barnum. That rarest of things these days – an original live-action movie musical. You’ll either love it or hate it, that’s for sure. Good-looking and well made, but goes for the simple and easy trick every time. Eyes and teeth!

You’ve Got Mail (1998, dir. Nora Ephron)

An independent bookshop owner and a corporate bookstore exec fall in love pseudonymously by email. Slick update of (among others) Lubitsch’s The Shop Around The Corner, though now a 90s period piece itself in respect of its tech, its fascination with bricks-and-mortar retail, and some of its assumptions.

The Shape of Water (2017, dir. Guillermo del Toro)

A mute cleaner falls in love with a humanoid aquatic creature being held in a government research laboratory. Dazzlingly confident romantic fantasy with SF/horror touches. Amelie meets The Creature From The Black Lagoon with a bit of Little Voice. Highly recommended.

Downsizing (2017, dir. Alexander Payne)

A man is forced to re-evaluate his life after volunteering to be miniaturised. Quirky fantasy which can’t work out if it’s social satire, science fiction, or romance, but has a go at all three. Defiantly odd, though, which is no bad thing.

Imitation of Life (1959, dir. Douglas Sirk)

An actress finds stage fame against adversity, but is troubled by success. Broadway melodrama typical of its director, dealing with issues of race, gender and of class, while also working to present a star vehicle. Of its time, but fascinating, and hugely enjoyable.

Jules et Jim (1962, dir. Francois Truffaut)

Two decades (pre- and post-WWI)in the lives of two men and the woman they both love. Peerless example of the French New Wave; its impact dulled by time perhaps inevitably, but nevertheless a fascinating movie crammed with daring thematic and technical ideas.