Charles joined Screen International in 2015 as a London-based critic. The film editor of Heat magazine, he also writes regularly for The Guardian, Sight & Sound and the BFI’s Film Audience Network.

Charles Gant

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Top Five

  1. Brooklyn
    John Crowley

    It would be an easy mistake to dismiss director John Crowley and writer Nick Hornby’s Brooklyn as narratively slender and cosily middlebrow. The first hour is propelled by conflicts that are mild by any standard, as smalltown Wexford girl Eilis (Saoirse Ronan) relocates to the titular New York City borough, finds a room, a job, a place on an evening course and love with a handsome Italian-American plumber (Emory Cohen). In fact, Crowley’s film is a high-wire act of risk: trusting in the characters and the performances alone to pull the audience into deep emotional engagement. I was hooked — and, to be sure, charmed, delighted and smitten — long before some recognisably movie-like conflict arrives in Brooklyn’s final third.

    CONTACT HanWay Films

  2. The Revenant
    Dir Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
    CONTACT 20th Century Fox 

  3. Room
    Dir Lenny Abrahamson
    CONTACT FilmNation Entertainment

  4. Tangerine
    Dir Sean Baker
    CONTACT submarine

  5. The Diary Of A Teenage Girl
    Dir Marielle Heller
    CONTACT K5 International

Best Documentary


Dir Asif Kapadia

Banishing cameras from his interview room offers two great benefits to Asif Kapadia’s Amy: the intimacy of the testimony that emerges, and the rich diversity of the visual archive material that now becomes a necessity. The result is a celebratory film that reminds us Amy Winehouse was funny, original, complicated and talented, and not just, as is so often mentioned, tragic and troubled.

CONTACT Cornerstone Films

Best UK Film

the lobster

The Lobster
Dir Yorgos Lanthimos

Some critics at Cannes rather dismissed Lanthimos’s English-language debut as somehow less of a creative accomplishment than Dogtooth, with a second half that doesn’t match the first. The two parts are different, but equal, and the film is a beguiling treasure that has happily exceeded all expectations at the UK box office.

CONTACT Protagonist Pictures

Undiscovered Gem


Tom Browne

Premiering with rather muted impact at the 2014 BFI London Film Festival, Browne’s micro-budget directorial debut found its feet in 2015, finally reaching UK cinemas in November. The smart, subtle family drama rings achingly true as a grown-up son tries to intervene in the chaotic lives of his parents in their jumbled Lake District home.

CONTACT Starline Entertainment 