Film Reviews

Film Reviews

Force of Nature: The Dry 2

Friday, February 9th, 2024 Film Reviews,

 “Rarely, rarely comest thou, Spirit of Delight!” wrote Shelley, in a remarkable premonition of the Australian film industry. “Wherefore hast thou left me now, Many a day and night?” Australian cinema has reached such an impasse that I go along to each new feature hoping for something worthy and tradesmanlike. Occasionally there appears a film […]

Film Reviews

May December

Saturday, February 3rd, 2024 Film Reviews,

In May December, Todd Haynes suggests there may be worse things than being a convicted sex offender. One could, for instance, be a TV actor prepping for a starring role in a movie. The film derives its inspiration from the story of American teacher, Mary Katherine Schmitz, who in 1997, at the age of 34, […]

Film Reviews

Anatomy of a Fall & The Color Purple

Friday, January 26th, 2024 Film Reviews,

 “My job is to cover the tracks, so fiction can destroy reality,” says novelist, Sandra Voyter, not directly, but in a quote attributed to her by the presenter of a TV literary program. The context is significant, because Sandra, played by German actress, Sandra Hüller, is on trial for the murder of her husband, Samuel […]

Film Reviews

The Iron Claw & Priscilla

Friday, January 19th, 2024 Film Reviews,

If ever a film proves it’s possible to make a powerful story out of anything, it’s The Iron Claw. Those who spent their childhood watching World Championship Wrestling on TV may have distant memories of large, flabby men in tights roaring threats, jumping off turnbuckles, and thumping each other in a peculiarly unconvincing manner. The […]

Film Reviews

The Boys in the Boat & The Holdovers

Friday, January 12th, 2024 Film Reviews,

In those heady days when John Wayne was dispatching hostile injuns by the dozen, no-one could have envisaged Hollywood making clean-cut white Americans into the bad guys. It would have taken a clairvoyant to predict the tide of identity politics that has swept over the United States in recent times, engendering a new generation of […]

Film Reviews

Dream Scenario & Ferrari

Sunday, January 7th, 2024 Film Reviews,

Another year, another burst of films released in time for the awards season. To cover the field expeditiously I’m going to look at two of them: Kristoffer Borgli’s engaging indie, Dream Scenario, and Michael Mann’s bio-pic, Ferrari, which – surprisingly enough – is also an independent production. Dream Scenario may have the smaller budget, but […]

Film Reviews

Films of 2024

Sunday, December 31st, 2023 Film Reviews,

It’s been a trend for years, but 2024 is shaping as a cinematic smörgasbord of Hollywood sequels and remakes. The industry seems to have grown so risk-averse it’s unwilling to take a chance on new stories and unfamiliar characters – which may be viewed as an incipient threat to creativity and talent, or a great […]

Film Reviews

Poor Things

Wednesday, December 27th, 2023 Film Reviews,

 Imagine Frankenstein remade as a Scottish sex comedy and you’ll be slightly better prepared for Poor Things. I say “slightly” because Yorgos Lanthimos and his favourite scriptwriter, Tony McNamara, have created another bizarre, indefinable production that juggles extremes of vulgarity and profundity. Pay too much attention to the foul language and bare flesh, and you […]

Film Reviews


Thursday, December 21st, 2023 Film Reviews,

Have you ever had that feeling, a few minutes into a film, that you are not its target audience? Welcome to Wonka, a movie so sugary it should carry a health warning for diabetics. Never a scene slips by without some fulsome reference to chocolate, in an endless appeal to the viewer’s “sweet tooth”. It […]

Film Reviews


Friday, December 15th, 2023 Film Reviews,

Perhaps the only way to portray someone as mercurial as Leonard Bernstein is in the Cubist manner. The American poet, Wallace Stevens, suggested there were thirteen ways of looking at a blackbird, but with Bernstein (1918-90), that barely scrapes the surface. He was conductor, composer, pianist, writer of popular musicals, educator, and celebrity. One might […]