Best of: Stephen Frears

Over the course of a 50-year career, Stephen Frears has proven himself one of this country’s most versatile directors, moving with ease between television and cinema, and taking on any genre, as comfortable handling the tension of a taut thriller as he is the jinks of a knockabout comedy. But his work has also shone a light on injustice, at both a state and personal level. After graduating from Cambridge University, Frears was an assistant director on the controversial ‘If….’ (1968) Before embarking on his own career in television, directing acclaimed dramas throughout the 1970s. He also made his feature debut ‘Gumshoe’ (1971) during this period, followed by the crime drama ‘The Hit’ (1984). But it was his first collaboration with playwright Hanif Kureishi on ‘My Beautiful Laundrette’ (1985) that his film career really took off. Starting with that acclaimed film, this collection focuses on Frears’ feature career over the course of the last four decades. Later films highlight Frears’ collaborations with some of our finest screen actresses, including Meryl Streep, Judi Dench, Helen Mirren and Michelle Pfeifer.

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