England, early 20th century. The future writer and philologist John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973) and three of his schoolmates create a strong bond between them as they share the same passion for literature and art, a true fellowship that strengthens as they grow up, but the outbreak of World War I threatens to shatter it.
Winter 1968 and showbiz legend Judy Garland arrives in Swinging London to perform a five-week sold-out run at The Talk of the Town. It is 30 years since she shot to global stardom in The Wizard of Oz, but if her voice has weakened, its dramatic intensity has only grown. As she prepares for the show, battles with management, charms musicians and reminisces with friends and adoring fans, her wit and warmth shine through. Even her dreams of love seem undimmed as she embarks on a whirlwind romance with Mickey Deans, her soon-to-be fifth husband.
In 2009, Iranian Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari was covering Iran's volatile elections for Newsweek. One of the few reporters living in the country with access to US media, he made an appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, in a taped interview with comedian Jason Jones. The interview was intended as satire, but if the Tehran authorities got the joke they didn't like it - and it would quickly came back to haunt Bahari when he was rousted from his family home and thrown into prison. Making his directorial debut, Jon Stewart tells the tale of Bahari's months-long imprisonment and interrogation in this powerful and affecting docudrama featuring a potent and performance by Gael García Bernal recounting Bahari's efforts to maintain his hope and his sanity in the face of isolation and persecution-through memories of his family, recollections of the music he loves, and thoughts of his wife and unborn child.
In 1895, Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was the most famous writer in London, and Bosie Douglas, son of the notorious Marquess of Queensberry, was his lover. Accused and convicted of gross indecency, he was imprisoned for two years and subjected to hard labor. Once free, he abandons England to live in France, where he will spend his last years, haunted by memories of the past, poverty and immense sadness.
Violette Bushell is the daughter of an English father and a French mother, living in London in the early years of World War 2. She meets a handsome young French soldier in the park and takes him back for the family Bastille day celebrations. They fall in love, marry and have a baby girl when Violette Szabo receives the dreaded telegram informing her of his death in North Africa. Shortly afterwards, Violette is approached to join the SOE (Special Operations Executive). Should she stay and look after her baby or "do her duty" ?
In the highlands of Scotland in the 1700s, Rob Roy tries to lead his small town to a better future, by borrowing money from the local nobility to buy cattle to herd to market. When the money is stolen, Rob is forced into a Robin Hood lifestyle to defend his family and honour.