It has now been 35 years since Chariots of Fire screenwriter Colin Welland told the audience at the Oscars that "the British are coming". Movies on this side of the Atlantic have had various ups and downs since then, but 2017 has been an undoubtedly strong year for British movies, both from established filmmakers and brand new talents emerging on the scene.
The current mood in the United Kingdom is not one of jubilation and pride, but one of turmoil given the ongoing Brexit process and economic difficulties. However, the country's movies have proven to be a consistent force for good, whether spotlighting the heroism of the past in gripping fashion or providing a more optimistic vision of the present day.
Elsewhere, British movies have found the room to spotlight groups under-represented on the big screen in starring roles, from the pregnant lead of Alice Lowe's Prevenge to the same-sex romance at the centre of God's Own Country.
British film this year has been enough to make anyone proud of the country and has shown that the UK can give the best of America a run for its money.
Julian Barratt has been rather quiet since The Mighty Boosh came to an end. While Noel Fielding has become a bizarre TV personality and is now brandishing a wooden spoon as one of the hosts of The Great British Bake Off, Barratt has taken on small parts in a series of independent movies. This year, he returned to a starring role in Mindhorn, which he also co-wrote with fellow Boosh alumnus Simon Farnaby.
The film is a bizarre tale, focusing on Barratt as washed-up actor Richard Thorncroft. He obtained fame back in the 1980s as the star of the eponymous campy crime series, in which Detective Mindhorn had a cybernetic eye that allowed him to "literally see truth". Thorncroft is invited back to the Isle of Man, where the show was filmed, to interrogate a murder suspect who will only speak to the "real" Mindhorn. Smelling publicity, Thorncroft makes the journey.
Mindhorn is a film that takes great pleasure in its nods to the weird, shonky crime shows of the past, with the title character a fusion of Bergerac and The Six Million Dollar Man. It's a rare film that uses the Isle of Man as its setting, rather than a mere filming location, and a real showcase for Barratt's absurd comic talents. His appearance becomes stranger throughout the film and, by the end, he looks so odd even the Crack Fox would probably turn away.
It's not a perfect movie, but there are more than enough laughs to carry it through.