Straight from the Oscars - top film flies in to Royston for screenings this weekend

Michael Keaton in Birdman

Michael Keaton in Birdman - Credit: Archant

Well, that’s worked out very nicely for the clever programmers at Royston’s Picture Palace – the movie which took top honours at the Oscars on Sunday night is showing in town this weekend.

Birdman, which flew off with statuettes for best picture, best director and best original screenplay, will be shown on 7.30pm on Friday and Saturday.

Michael Keaton is the washed-up superhero actor at the centre of this showbiz satire, lauded by film luvvies for its ‘single-shot’ framing and pounding soundtrack.

Our hero – played by someone who was once Batman, remember – was once Birdman in a smash hit movie franchise but now he can’t get arrested.

Well, he can, because his life is falling to bits, but he could claw his way back to credibility with a highbrow theatre role if he can still hack it.

There are a host of top names going over the top as friends and enemies in this self-regarding tale of creative folk, knitted together by flashy director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.

It’s one of those films that people seem to either love or hate, but it’s certainly worth catching just so you can make your own mind up.

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Showing in the Picture Palace’s matinee slots at 3.30pm on Saturday afternoon and 5pm on Sunday is Wild, in which Reese Witherspoon sets off on a long-distance journey of self-discovery which sadly didn’t end up with something to stick in the awards cabinet.

The tale, based on a true story and written for the screen by Brit Nick Hornby, has a central character who has a lot more baggage than the sack she straps to her back before she decides to forget her problems and tramp more than 1,000 miles up the western spine of the United States. Witherspoon was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar, but lost out to Julianne Moore.

On the multiplex front, Richard Gere is among the famous names joining the crinkly cast of The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a predictable sequel to the surprise hit aimed firmly at cinemagoers of a certain age. Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy and other familiar faces are back for a second slice of the action.

Jennifer Lopez stars in The Boy Next Door, about a newly divorced woman who falls for a younger man – it doesn’t end well, and most critics have given it a resounding raspberry.

Will Smith could certainly use a hit, but whether Focus is the right vehicle remains to be seen. He’s a brilliant conman thrown off his game by a beautiful novice (Margot ‘Wold Of Wall Street’ Robbie). It’s aiming to be a comedy crime drama but the star shimmer seems to have faded for the former Fresh Prince.