comedy

Anomalisa

February 4, 2016
Charlie Kaufman's Stop Motion 'Anomalisa' (2015)

It gets progressively harder to argue with Ecclesiastes 1:9: “there is no new thing under the sun”, but Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson have shaken my faith, with Anomalisa. It is the story of a dour, middle-aged Englishman named Michael Stone who has lived in the United States for many years without losing his accent. … More


Looking for Grace

January 28, 2016
Odessa Young in 'Looking for Grace' (2015)

Looking for Grace is yet another Australian feature that makes a virtue out of vagueness. A small, quirky film, it unfolds like a detective story that never builds up dramatic momentum. The script is permeated with deadpan comedy that echoes the disjointed, inarticulate way so many Australians interact, but there are no great insights to … More


The Hateful Eight

January 22, 2016
Samuel L. Jackson in 'The Hateful Eight' (2015)

Each new film by Quentin Tarantino generates a storm of anticipation. We know what to expect, but initially The Hateful Eight took me by surprise. It is a long movie, divided into chapters, with an old-fashioned intermission. Instead of the usual gore fest the first half is all dialogue and scene-setting. If this appeals more … More


The Bélier Family

January 6, 2016
Louane Emera in 'The Bélier Family' (2015)

For a people convinced of their intellectual superiority over the rest of the planet, the French have an incurable fondness for low-brow comedy and feel-good stories. Perhaps they’re just like us, after all. This year’s box office smash in France was La Famille Bélier, a comedy, like The Intouchables (2011) that finds humour and inspiration … More


Joy

January 4, 2016
Jennifer Lawrence in 'Joy' (2015)

David O. Russell is one of the few active Hollywood directors that thinks in terms of stories, scripts and actors rather than big budgets and special effects. Paolo Sorrentino is the most talented director to emerge from Italy over the past two decades. Both men have new movies released this week, movies that are flawed … More


Now Add Honey

November 12, 2015
Robbie Magasiva (Sebastian) and writer Robyn Butler (Caroline) in 'Now Add Honey' (2015)

It’s been a slow week for new releases, and for one reason or another I haven’t been able to catch He Named Me Malala, the only serious candidate as a second review. The other movie released this week, Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups, is being shown at such a small number of cinemas that Roadshow … More


Man Up

November 6, 2015
Simon Pegg & Lake Bell in 'Man Up' (2015)

Ben Palmer is another director who has spent much of his career in television, but Man Up has more verve than most romantic comedies. There are moments when this movie becomes genuinely funny and anarchic, but the claims of the genre keep reasserting themselves, allowing the return of the godawful sentimentality that makes such films … More


Mistress America

October 29, 2015
Greta Gerwig in 'Mistress America' (2015)

When one character says her campus has just got a frozen yoghurt machine, and the other replies: “I watched my mother die”, you realise you’re watching a film in which everyone talks at cross-purposes. And talks, and talks. Mistress America continues Noah Baumbach’s gradual metamorphosis into Woody Allen. This includes a high degree of productivity, … More


The Lobster

October 23, 2015
Colin Farrell in 'The Lobster' (2015)

Yorgos Lanthimos could never be accused of a lack of originality. All over the world, one imagines viewers wandering out of The Lobster, asking: “So what was that about?” If I say it’s an allegory, that will do little to ease the confusion. Think of the late, deadpan surrealist comedies of Luis Bunuel and you’ll … More


unINDIAN

October 16, 2015
Brett Lee in 'UNindian' (2015)

If there were an Academy Award for product placement, Anupam Sharma’s unINDIAN would be this year’s hot favourite. This self-confessed “frothy” flick is not going to win any awards for acting, directing or scriptwriting, but when it comes to acknowledging sponsors it is in a class of its own. unINDIAN is an attempt to make … More


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