Film Reviews

Clouds of Sils Maria

May 15, 2015
Juliette Binoche in 'Clouds of Sils Maria' (2014)

Clouds of Sils Maria is not a title to attract teenage thrill-seekers on a Friday night. Those with a philosophical bent may know this was the town in the Swiss Alps where Friedrich Nietzsche went to breathe the mountain air and wrestle with his concept of the Eternal Return. Since the days of Aristophanes philosophers … More


Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter

May 2, 2015
Rinko Kikuchi in 'Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter' (2014)

To get the most out of Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter it helps to have seen Fargo – the Coen brothers’ movie of 1996, not the TV series. One of the loose ends in that film was a briefcase full of money left buried in the snow by a hapless Steve Buscemi. As the credits roll … More


The One Eyed Girl

May 2, 2015
Tilda Cobham-Hervey in 'One Eyed Girl' (2014)

It’s becoming tautologous to say “a disappointing Australian film.” While I never expect a masterpiece, it would be nice to find a local movie that manages to cover more than a narrow slice of the emotional spectrum. The usual bill of fare ranges from angst to misery and back again. A disproportionate number of new … More


Testament of Youth

April 25, 2015
Alicia Vikander in 'Testament of Youth' (2014)

Lest we forget it’s Anzac Day here’s another movie about the First World War, albeit far from the shores of Gallipoli. Testament of Youth is based on the war-time memoirs of Vera Brittain (1893-1970), first published in 1933, 15 years after the end of hostilities. Having begun the project as a novel Brittain struggled with … More


The Age of Adaline

April 25, 2015
Blake Lively in 'Age of Adaline' (2015)

Anyone who is still meditating on the fragility of life after watching Testament of Youth, may not be in the most receptive mood for The Age of Adaline. The story concerns a woman named Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively) who is permanently fixed at the age of 29 due to a freak – and utterly unconvincing … More


While We’re Young

April 18, 2015
Ben Stiller & Naomi Watts in 'While We're Young' (2014)

We all know the story of the fan that secretly hungers to supplant his or her idol. Look no further than All About Eve (1980), one of Hollywood’s finest moments. Noah Baumbach, the son of two film critics, can be relied upon to know all about this movie, and countless others. He also seems to … More


The Salt of the Earth

April 18, 2015
Sebastião Salgado in 'The Salt of the Earth' (2014)

When we’d finished watching The Salt of the Earth, my spouse said: “That film should be screened free of charge and everyone encouraged to see it.” This pretty much summed up my feelings as well, although I can’t imagine the Abbott government wanting everyone to view a film that speaks so poignantly about the poorest … More


Mommy

April 11, 2015
Antoine-Olivier Pilon in 'Mommy' (2014)

Mommy is every mother’s horror movie. The story begins with a single mum crashing her car while on the way to collect a son who is being expelled from a special needs school. He has, apparently, set fire to a kitchen and put another boy in hospital. When the son arrives on the scene, ecstatic … More


X + Y

April 11, 2015
Asa Butterfield in 'X + Y' (2014)

You’ve probably seen him in Hugo (2011), Martin Scorsese’s sole foray into the ‘young adult’ genre. Asa Butterfield is now 17, and much taller, although this doesn’t mean he has escaped the frail and sensitive roles. In Morgan Matthews’s X + Y, Butterfield plays the second disturbed child to be seen at the movies this … More


Dior and I

April 4, 2015
Raf Simons in 'Dior and I' (2014)

Fashion is usually considered a frivolous business, but at the top end it can get very dark indeed. Last year saw the release of two bio-pics of Yves Saint Laurent, in which the great designer’s mental and physical decay was charted in forensic detail. Closer to the present we have seen John Galliano go completely … More


Chiropractor in Centurion