Marguerite (2015)

Marguerite seems like an odd choice to make the move from the Alliance Français French Film Festival to a general Australian release. Granted, it did well at the Cesars, but its pedigree is paired with a lacklustre, sluggish heap of a movie, ambling through half-assed farce and undercooked politics while finding little of merit beyond…

Ricki and the Flash (2015)

Meryl Streep adds ‘Righteous-Rock-Chick’ to her resume in this breezy dramedy by Jonathan Demme. A musical masterpiece this is not. But it does offer a meaty slice of familial tribulation as the eponymous Ricki Rendazzo (Streep) attempts to reconnect with resentful offspring following self-imposed exile. Streep, the consummate pro, is clearly having a good time…

The Homesman (2014)

Cormac McCarthy had no hand in the production of The Homesman, but his shadow stretches long over Tommy Lee Jones’ neo-Western. The spare landscape, lensed with wintery clarity by Rodrigo Pietro, embodies the harsh tone of the author’s prose while also allowing for the glimpses of poetry that pervade his writing. The setting is, of…

Chris Pine in Into the Woods (2014)

Into the Woods (2014)

Musicals and I have never really been on the same wavelength. As a child I can vividly recall watching Disney classics like Sleeping Beauty or Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and sinking in my seat when the inevitable musical numbers began. That antipathy remains, decades later. The first film I was assigned to review…

Rock the Casbah (2013)

Rock the Casbah (2013)

The funeral is a fertile ground for familial drama in the cinema. It’s easy to see why, what with the reunion of family members long separated by distance and/or estrangement born of malignant buried secrets unearthing those secrets in the heightened emotionality necessarily produced by grief and nostalgia. There are countless films in the ‘genre’…

Oscars - Gravity

The 86th Academy Awards – Predictions and Thoughts

I’m not really that interested in getting too caught up in the Oscars fol-de-rol that consumes the critical community around this time of year. I read a lot about the Academy Awards because, well, it’s people getting passionate about film! People arguing emphatically about which film is better and the industry, about who will win…