drama

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Ladies in Black

September 20, 2018

“Rarely, rarely, comest thou, Spirit of Delight!” lamented Shelley. He wasn’t referring to the Australian film industry but his words could hardly be more apposite. The number of local films I’ve watched in recent years that inspired even the faintest twinge of delight might be counted on the fingers of one hand. Finally, the drought … More


Lavazza Italian Film Festival 2018

September 14, 2018

In 2014 Paolo Sorrentino won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for The Great Beauty, a movie that updated Fellini’s La Dolce Vita for the age of Silvio Berlusconi. The headliner at this year’s Lavazza Italian Film Festival is Sorrentino’s Loro, a bio pic of the former Italian Prime Minister, that paints a … More


You Were Never Really Here

September 7, 2018

Last time we saw Joaquin Phoenix he was playing Jesus Christ in Garth Davis’s lacklustre Mary Magdalene. In Woody Allen’s Irrational Man of 2015, he was a verbose professor of philosophy that Emma Stone found unaccountably attractive. Finally, Phoenix has been given his ideal role – as Joe, a hired killer, in Lynne Ramsay’s You … More


The Insult

August 31, 2018

Mention the Middle East and most people think of the intractable conflict between the Israelis and their Arab neighbours, but the region is riddled with lingering enmities that never make international headlines. Beirut, once the most glamorous and cosmopolitan of cities, was the epicentre of a brutal civil war from 1975-1990 which began with battles … More


BlacKKKlansman

August 17, 2018

“There are certain values we feel to be absolute,” wrote Aldous Huxley, in an essay of 1932. “Truth is one of them. We have an immediate conviction of its high, its supreme importance.” Not any more we don’t. Not in a world of alternative facts, in which inconvenient words and deeds are written off as … More


On Chesil Beach

August 10, 2018

Ian McEwan has complained about the difficulty of writing screenplays, and may have even sworn he’d never do it again. Nevertheless, here he is, adapting his own slender novel of 2007, On Chesil Beach. The book is not one of his best, being largely a sketch that revolves around a single, terrible night that changes … More


The Wife

August 2, 2018

What becomes of that comfortable old cliché: “Behind every great man there’s a great woman” in the #MeToo era? Surely it was always a euphemistic way of saying: “Behind every self-important male there’s a self-effacing female.” Nowadays to be politically correct we might have to say: “Behind every great LGBTQIA there’s a great LGBTQIA” – … More


Mary Shelley

July 5, 2018

During her lifetime Mary Shelley (1797-1851) was considered a minor player in the colourful lives of the Romantic poets, but her literary legacy has overshadowed them all. For every contemporary reader who admires the poetry of her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, or their friend, Lord Byron, there are millions who have thrilled to the story … More


Sicario: Day of the Soldado

June 29, 2018

If this were one of those reviews that run in a box at the side of the page it would read: “A relentlessly brutal and stupid film that does no-one any favours.” The chief difference between this sequel and the original Sicario of 2015, comes down to two significant absences. Canadian Director, Denis Villeneuve, has … More


Tully

May 11, 2018

Last time you saw Charlize Theron she was probably looking glamorous in tights and leather. Now, less than a year after her stunning, if slightly ridiculous, appearance as a secret agent in Atomic Blonde, she’s back! As a frumpy, depressed suburban mum. Theron has added 22 kilos in one of those body transformations that have … More


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