Love & Mercy (featured image)

Love & Mercy (2015)

Whether or not you’re familiar with the life story of Brian Wilson, Beach Boys leader and troubled genius, Love & Mercy’s story will be a familiar one. How that story is told distinguishes is what the film from a raft of interchangeable musician biopics. Its potentially conventional rise-fall structure is softened by splitting the narrative…

Far from the Madding Crowd (featured image)

Far From the Madding Crowd (2015)

Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan) finds herself torn between three suitors in Thomas Vinterberg’s Far From the Madding Crowd. There’s the honest, earthy masculinity of Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), the restrained respectability of wealthy William Boldwood (Michael Sheen) and the hot-blooded lustfulness of Sergeant Francis Troy (Tom Sturridge). Vinterberg establishes Miss Everdene’s independence amidst gorgeous, pastoral…

Inside Out (featured image)

Inside Out (2015)

Inside Out is the Platonic ideal of a Pixar movie. It begins with a simple idea, as though plucked from the brilliant creativity of an infant’s imagination – What do your toys do when you’re not around? What if the world was populated by cars? – or perhaps cribbed from a ’90s television producer –…

Tangerine (featured image)

Sydney Film Festival: Tangerine (2015)

The main selling point of Sean Baker’s Tangerine, a day-in-the-life melodrama centring on a small Los Angeles neighbourhood in which a pair of trans sex workers hunt down a cheating boyfriend, is that it was entirely shot on iPhone. While it’s not the first feature to boast this claim – cursory Googling suggests that Uneasy…

We Are Still Here (featured image)

Sydney Film Festival: We Are Still Here (2015)

Modern horror is increasingly looking to the past for inspiration. There’re clever, nostalgic takes like You’re Next and It Follows. You’ve also got your remakes: the latest being the widely-derided Poltergeist. We Are Still Here shoots for the former category, but ends up missing the mark. Ted Geoghegan’s emulation of ‘70s haunted house films –…

Jurassic World (featured image)

Jurassic World (2015)

Like most prepubescent boys (and girls) in the early ‘90s, I was obsessed with Jurassic Park. I can still vividly remember the first time I saw the movie – perhaps my earliest clear memory of a movie theatre – clutching my armrests in fear as an attempt to transport velociraptors went horribly wrong. By the…