drama

Like Father, Like Son

April 19, 2014
Masaharu Fukuyama in

This time last year, French director, Lorraine Lévy gave us The Other Son, a film about Jewish and Palestinian boys who had been accidentally switched at birth. It was a story that could easily have degenerated into melodrama or political proselytising but Lévy kept a tight rein on the narrative – or so it seemed … More


The Invisible Woman

April 19, 2014
Ralph Fiennes in The Invisible Woman (2013)

Charles Dickens (1812-70) was not only a literary giant, he was a celebrity whose every move was chronicled in the press. As a practising Christian and tenchant social critic Dickens had a reputation to uphold, but his temperament and energy lured him away from the path of convention. The Victorians were no more flawed than … More


Noah

April 5, 2014
Russell Crowe in 'Noah' (2014)

In Chapter 6 of Genesis, God gives Noah very specific instructions about how to build an ark. It clocks in at a length of 300 cubits, a breadth of 50 cubits, and a height of 30 cubits. 300 cubits is roughly 138 metres in today’s measurements. By comparison the Titanic measured 269 metres from end … More


Romeo and Juliet

April 5, 2014
Douglas Booth in 'Romeo and Juliet' (2013)

When an actor’s star is rising there is no point in pausing to ask whether they are actually right for a role. Douglas Booth may have been a bit too pretty and soft to play Noah’s son, Shem, but one could say the same about his portrayal of Romeo in Carlo Carlei’s new version of … More


Nymphomaniac Volumes I & II

March 29, 2014
Charlotte Gainsbourg in 'Nymphomaniac Volumes I & II' (2013)

At a running time of four hours, Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac Volumes I & II, is one of the longest films to get a theatrical release in Australia this year. Is it one film or two? Perhaps there are actually three. The director’s cut which premiered in Berlin totals five and half hours, although only … More


Wadjda

March 22, 2014
Waad Mohammed in 'Wadjda' (2012)

Every week another movie promises to take us on a fantastic journey to a mysterious land. In this respect, Wadjda is more successful than all the big budget 3D epics churned out by the Hollywood studios. The mysterious land is Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and the journey proceeds along that slippery path from childhood to adulthood, … More


Half of a Yellow Sun

March 22, 2014
Chiwetel Ejiofor in 'Half of a Yellow Sun' (2013)

Unlike Saudi Arabia, where there is virtually no film industry, Nigeria is second only to India as a cinematic powerhouse. ‘Nollywood’ routinely produces more than a thousand movies a year but I’ve never seen a single example at an Australian venue. This is one of the reasons why Half of a Yellow Sun, an Anglo-Nigerian … More


The Monuments Men

March 15, 2014
Matt Damon & George Clooney in 'The Monuments Men' (2014)

When you see German soldiers with flame throwers destroying works of art in one of the most striking scenes from The Monuments Men, remember that it never actually happened. The Raphael picture we see going up in flames is still listed as “missing” today, not officially torched. One might think the Nazis were bad enough … More


Hannah Arendt

March 15, 2014
Barbara Sukowa stars as the eponymous German writer and philosopher in 'Hannah Arendt'.

The jollities and distortions of The Monuments Men would not have impressed Hannah Arendt, the German-Jewish intellectual who wrote an impressively forensic account of the trial of Adolf Eichmann, whom some describe as the architect of the Final Solution. Neither would they go down well with Margarethe von Trotta, who has made a long line … More


Tracks

March 8, 2014
Mia Wasikowska in 'Tracks', 2013

In April 1977 the 26 year-old Robyn Davidson set out with a dog and four camels to walk 2,700 kilometres from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean. Tracks, her memoir of the journey, was published in 1980 and became a world-wide best-seller. The film rights for the book were first sold in the early 1980s … More