Top Five: Things to look forward to in 2014

by Fiona Hardie, Arts Editor


1. NT Live: War Horse

imageComing up fairly soon (27th February, to be precise), the National Theatre is broadcasting a live performance of multiple-award-winning play War Horse, based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo, to cinemas worldwide. Imaginative and incredibly innovative, it tells the story of a horse caught up in World War I, witnessing its horrors whilst being separated from his owner. This quality piece of live theatre, with amazingly skilled puppetry, is not to be missed.

(also broadcast 4th March at Glasgow Film Theatre)


2. Under the Skin*

imageMarch sees the release of new Scarlett Johansson film, Under the Skin, filmed partly in Glasgow and other Scottish locations. Based on the novel by Michael Faber, Johansson stars as an alien preying on unsuspecting hitchhikers, luring them into her van. Having already screened at Venice and Toronto’s Film Festivals, reception generally seems be positive so far – the trailer for the sci-fi thriller is certainly atmospheric, and Johansson’s performance is bound to be compelling.


3. The Double*

image3Richard Ayoade of The IT Crowd directs his latest film since Submarine in 2011. The Double, with its release date set for April, is an adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s novella. Starring Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), Mia Wasikowska (Stoker) and a cast of plenty of recognisable faces, it follows a shy man and the unsettling presence of his doppelganger, on the surface identical but apparently different to him in almost every way. Ayoade’s style promises a mix of both dark comedy and drama.


4. The Paying Guests


Fast-forward quite a bit to autumn this year, when fans of Fingersmith and The Night Watch (among others) will be pleased to know that Sarah Waters’ new novel The Paying Guests is due to be released. With a backdrop of 1920s London and the promise of Waters’ richly-detailed style, it’s sure to be a good one.


5. The Returned

image6As well as this, autumn will also see the return of, well, The Returned – last year’s runaway TV success – to Channel 4. The subtly supernatural French drama captivated audiences last summer with its believable characters, stunning and cinematic French Alpine scenery, and all-round general creepiness. The first series’ cliffhanger (or rather, the way the finale threw up more questions than it answered) left us ridiculously eager for more, and although I’m not expecting Series 2 to join together any more loose ends, the stylish murder-mystery-zombie-thriller should, hopefully, be just as engaging as before.


* Under the Skin and The Double will also screen at the Glasgow Film Festival later this month; visit for more information.if (document.currentScript) {