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Film Reviews

Film Reviews

Mr. Turner

Monday, January 12th, 2015 Film Reviews,

“Turner’s thoughts were much deeper than ordinary men can penetrate,” said his friend, George Jones, “and much deeper than he could at any time describe.” He might have been reviewing Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, which captures all the quirks and contradictions of Britain’s greatest artist. Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851), was a giant among landscape […]

Film Reviews

The Water Diviner

Saturday, January 10th, 2015 Film Reviews,

In the 1960s Anzac Day was routinely criticised as a celebration of war and a debased, drunken spectacle. Nowadays, in a country of far greater ethnic diversity, April 25 is treated with reverence. Indeed, to voice those criticisms that were commonplace in the 60s would be to risk being branded with the ultimate insult: “un-Australian”. […]

Film Reviews

St. Vincent

Saturday, January 10th, 2015 Film Reviews,

Sentimentality looms dangerously over Theodore Melfi’s comedy-drama, St. Vincent, which tells the tale of an aging misanthrope who becomes baby-sitter for a precocious little boy. I can hear the alarm bells ringing already. “It’s not that snotty little creep from Love Actually, is it?” Fortunately, no. The boy, Oliver, is played by 11-year-old Jaeden Lieberher, […]

Film Reviews

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Saturday, January 10th, 2015 Film Reviews,

If Mr. Turner finds a director at the top of his game, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is the work of a mad scientist defeated by a monstrous machine of his own devising. This third and final installment of the Hobbit trilogy, following on from the hugely popular Lord of the Rings […]

Film Reviews

Annie

Saturday, December 20th, 2014 Film Reviews,

This time of year the main choices for a critic are between movies for children and movies for childish adults. I’ve yet to see the film about Paddington Bear the Asylum Seeker but I’d recommend going soon before Scott Morrison slaps a ban on it. That leaves Annie – a film of wasted opportunities. The […]

Film Reviews

Exodus: Gods and Kings

Saturday, December 20th, 2014 Film Reviews,

Exodus: Gods and Kings was always going to be a spectacle on a grand scale but the challenge for director, Ridley Scott, was how to deal with the larger-than-life characters of Moses, the Pharaoh Ramses, and err.. God. He has made some bold choices, not the least being the casting of 11-year-old Isaac Andrews as […]

Film Reviews

The Green Prince

Saturday, December 13th, 2014 Film Reviews,

Nadav Schirman’s feature-length documentary, The Green Prince, has the makings of a great espionage thriller. It’s impossible not to think of those films made from John Le Carré’s novels, but in this instance it is reality that resembles fiction. For ten years Mossab Hassan Yousef was the prize recruit for the Israeli secret intelligence agency, […]

Film Reviews

Folies Bergère

Saturday, December 13th, 2014 Film Reviews,

Isabelle Huppert has the rare ability to conjure up a character while remaining almost completely impassive. Some actors undergo an expressive transformation from one role to the next, but Huppert’s style is that of a minimalist. The straight face gives an impression of hidden depths, and this may be why – although far from conventionally […]

Film Reviews

A Thousand Times Goodnight

Saturday, December 6th, 2014 Film Reviews,

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 […]

Film Reviews

Human Capital

Saturday, December 6th, 2014 Film Reviews,

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 […]