Film Reviews

1020<>40  50  

A Thousand Times Goodnight

December 6, 2014

When a film begins as powerfully as A Thousand Times Goodnight, the danger is that everything that follows will be anti-climactic. The problem for Norwegian director, Erik Poppe, is to balance the movie’s brief action sequences against long periods of domestic drama in which Rebecca, a leading war photographer, weighs up conflicting commitments to work … More


Human Capital

December 6, 2014

Although the Berlusconi era may have rendered Italy an economic ruin and a political laughing stock, it has given rise to an exceptional cinematic legacy. Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty (2013) was a masterful portrait of decadence and excess, set against the eternal elegance of Rome. Paolo Virzi’s Human Capital unfolds in the wealthy regions … More


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

November 29, 2014

Although it rocketed to the top of the box office in its first week, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, is a holding operation in this popular Hollywood franchise. As the title suggests, this is only the first part of a grand finale. It has been described as “half a film”, and that’s largely true. … More


Nightcrawler

November 29, 2014

Lou Bloom is a true believer in the American Dream – self-motivated, ambitious, unfailingly polite and well-spoken. By his own assessment Lou is a fast learner, a self-improver, a small businessman prepared to take risks to achieve his long-term goals. “Good things come to those who work their asses off,” he chirps. He is also … More


Winter Sleep

November 22, 2014

For a film that goes for 3 hours and 16 minutes, Winter Sleep was a surprisingly popular winner of the Palme D’Or at Cannes this year. Although the story gets anchored in intense conversations that may run for 15-20 minutes, it has a undeniable touch of greatness. After watching his previous effort, Once Upon a … More


Interstellar

November 22, 2014

After the intense, inward-looking focus of a film such as Winter Sleep, it’s almost disconcerting to turn to Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, a genre-scrambling science fiction blockbuster that poses the usual big questions about the future of our planet and the species. It is also an old-fashioned Hollywood drama about a hero torn between the love … More


Finding Vivian Maier

November 15, 2014

Previously unknown until a few years ago, street photographer, Vivian Maier (1926-2009), is almost in danger of over-exposure. Having never exhibited a picture during her lifetime, over the past few years Maier has been the subject of non-stop shows in many parts of the world. Last month her work was shown for the first time … More


My Old Lady

November 15, 2014

Some films betray their stage origins too easily, some employ an all-star cast to paper over the cracks in a script or a story. My Old Lady might be found guilty on both counts. As the directorial debut of well-known playwright and occasional screenwriter, Israel Horovitz, it suggests the transition from theatre to cinema can … More


Two Days, One Night

November 8, 2014

Two Days, One Night by Belgian filmmakers, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardennes took out the major prize at this year’s Sydney Film Festival. It’s an indication of the socially conscious tastes of the jury that they should have preferred this slab of uncompromising realism to the unique experiment of Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, or the irresistible charm … More


The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet

November 8, 2014

Jean-Pierre Jeunet belongs to the other extreme of Francophone cinema to the Dardennes. His films are modern fairy tales with characters that are impossibly charming or grotesque. One of his favourite actors, Dominique Pinon, who has a small role in The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet, manages to be both charming and grotesque. Jeunet’s films … More


1020<>40  50