drama

Alliance Française French Film Festival 2018

February 23, 2018
Screen Shot 2018-02-22 at 1.05.09 pm

Every year at the opening of the Alliance Française French Film Festival we gasp with excitement at the news that this is the biggest festival of French films in the world, outside of France. Unless we think of Cannes as a “French Film Festival” this probably means it’s the biggest in the world. Australia’s love … More


Lady Bird

February 16, 2018
Glamorous costumes on display in Greta Gerwig's 'Lady Bird'

It’s long been apparent that Woody Allen’s best films are those in which he doesn’t make an appearance. One day we may be applying the same standard to Greta Gerwig. Her ‘goofy girl’ routine still had its charm in Frances Ha (2012) but by the time of Mistress America, only three years later, it was … More


Happy End

February 10, 2018
A friendly family get-together in Michael Haneke's 'Happy End'

When Michael Haneke calls a film Happy End, one anticipates a thoroughly miserable experience for everyone concerned. Forewarned is forearmed. If you go into this movie expecting a withering indictment of the cold-hearted French bourgeoisie you might even squeeze out a snicker or two at the sheer awfulness of the dramatis personae. It’s to be … More


I, Tonya

February 2, 2018
Skating to oblivion, Margot Robbie in 'I,Tonya'

Tonya Harding, my star Well this world is a cold one But it takes one to know one And God only knows what you are Sufjan Stevens claims to have spent 25 years trying to write a song about Tonya Harding. In the ballad that finally appeared late last year he still can’t seem to … More


Sweet Country

January 25, 2018
Rough justice in 'Sweet Country'

Sweet Country is Warwick Thornton’s contribution to the Australia Day debate. It’s an issue that returns every year with growing force as left-wing moralism locks horns with the forces of right-wing populism. The polarisation is particularly disturbing in light of a recent survey that revealed 56% of the population couldn’t care less whether Australia Day … More


The Shape of Water

January 20, 2018
Elisa meets the creature of her dreams in 'The Shape of Water'

With the passing of time it’s possible to look back on any period with nostalgia. Stephan Elliott proves the point in Swinging Safari, a time capsule of the 1970s that’s advertised as a comedy, but may be the greatest Australian horror film since Wake in Fright. It’s more common for moviemakers to feel nostalgia for … More


The Post

January 12, 2018
Who will win the staring contest.. Meryl Street and Tom Hanks face off in 'The Post'

Steven Spielberg is to the cinema as Volvo is to the world of automobiles. Everyone recognises that a Volvo is an excellent, well-made car. It’s safe, reliable, high quality… but it will never get your pulse racing. With Spielberg we can be confident that each new feature will be a quality product. He’s too experienced, … More


All the Money in the World

January 5, 2018
No-one does a media feeding frenzy like the Italians.. 'All the Money n the World'

Everything has a price. That’s the philosophy of life put forward by J.Paul Getty – not simply the richest man in the world in 1973, but allegedly the richest man that had ever lived. Getty applied the same principle when he sought to beat down the ransom demands of the gangsters who had kidnapped his … More


Downsizing & Call Me By Your Name

December 30, 2017
Floral tribute.. Downsizing

Last week saw a drought of reviewable films but Boxing Day always brings the deluge. The two most attractive, for me at least, are Alexander Payne’s Downsizing, and Call Me By Your Name by talented Italian director, Luca Guadagnino. The former might be called a comedy of ideas, the second is an unconventional, deeply intimate … More


The Florida Project

December 15, 2017
Living the high life in Orlando

Jean Baudrillard – not long ago the most fashionable French philosopher in the English-speaking world – once suggested that the purpose of Disneyland was to make Americans believe the rest of the United States was not Disneyland. He phrased it a little differently, but the gist of his argument was that life in America had … More