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Film Review: To Olivia

Director:      John Hay Cast:    Hugh Bonneville, Keeley Hawes, Conleth Hill, Sam Heughan, Geoffrey Palmer, Darcey Ewart Rating:       M Running Time:       99 Australian Distributor:      Icon Films   Roald Dahl (1916-90) was a celebrated English writer known for his children’s books and short stories with a deliciously subversive twist. But his life was also fraught with sadness as we discover in this lush Hollywood-style biopic – based on Stephen Michael Shearer’s biography, Patricia Neal: An Unquiet Life.  Hugh Bonneville and Keeley Hawes starRead More

Film Review: Firestarter

Director:      Keith Thomas Cast:    Zac Efron, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Sydney Lemmon, Kurtwood Smith, John Beasley, Michael Greyeyes, Gloria Reuben, Tina Jung, Lanette Ware Rating:       MA Running Time:       94 Australian Distributor:      Universal Pictures Australia and streamed through Peacock   Firestarter is an uninspired sci-fi/thriller based on a 1980 Stephen King book (previously made into a movie in 1984). It tells the story of a young girl with pyrokinesis, i.e. the ability to use her mind to start fires. Characters are killed, and you can expectRead More

Film Review: A Chiara

Director:      Jonas Carpignano Cast:    Swamy Rotolo, Claudio Rotolo, Carmela Fumo, Grecia Rotolo Rating:       M Running Time:       121 Australian Distributor:      Palace Films   WINNER – 2021 CANNES FILM FESTIVAL – Best European Film (Directors’ Fortnight) WINNER – 2021 ZURICH FILM FESTIVAL – Best Film OFFICIAL SELECTION – 2021 NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL OFFICIAL SELECTION – 2021 KARLOVY VARY FILM FESTIVAL CENTREPIECE SELECTION – 2021 ST. ALI ITALIAN FILM FESTIVAL   Writer-director Jonas Carpignano completes his Calabrian trilogy with A Chiara, an enthralling drama about aRead More

Film Review: Operation Mincemeat

Director:      John Madden Cast:    Colin Firth, Matthew Macfadyen, Kelly Macdonald, Penelope Wilton, Johnny Flynn, Jason Isaacs, Simon Russell Beale, Paul Ritter, Mark Gatiss, Nicholas Rowe Rating:       M Running Time:       128 Australian Distributor:      Transmission Films   Operation Mincemeat tells the strange but true story of an elaborate scheme that was formulated by British Intelligence during the Second World War in a bid to fool the Nazis into believing that they were invading Greece, and not their intended target of Sicily. It starsRead More

Film Review: The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent

Director:     Tom Gormican Cast:    Nicolas Cage, Pedro Pascal, Sharon Horgan, Ike Barinholtz, Alessandra Mastronardi, Jacob Scipio, Lily Sheen, Neil Patrick Harris, Tiffany Haddish Rating:       M Running Time:       107 Australian Distributor:      Studio Canal   Nicolas Cage is an actor anyone can imitate. Nobody plays Cage better than himself though. With a distinct delivery and arsenal of bizarre faces, Cage has become the king of meme culture. Sometimes people wonder whether Cage is in on the joke. With The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,Read More

Film Review: The Lost City

Director:    Adam Nee and Aaron Nee Cast:    Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Oscar Nuñez, Patti Harrison, Bowen Yang Rating:       M Running Time:       112 Australian Distributor:      Paramount Pictures Australia After struggling through a pandemic, we desperately need a silly comedy as an antidote to provide some stress release. Brothers and directors Aaron Nee and Adam Nee timely offer us “The Lost City”  to perfectly serve that purpose. We will forgive the far-fetched plot and implausible logistics, and simply enjoy the laughter and appreciate theRead More

Film Review: The Good Boss

Director:  Fernando León de Aranoa Cast:    Javier Bardem, Manolo Solo, Almudena Amor, Óscar de la Fuente, Sonia Almarcha, Fernando Albizu, Tarik Rmili, Rafa Castejón, Celso Bugallo Rating:     M Running Time:     120 Australian Distributor:      Sharmill Films   It takes very little to understand that The Good Boss is a film full of symbolic references that openly show the sense of the narrative and of the critique of the capitalist system. A satirical comedy always poised between possible drama (but never shown as such) and irony , the one written and directed by FernandoRead More

Film Review: Nowhere Special

Director:    Uberto Pasolini Cast:    James Norton, Daniel Lamont, Eileen O’Higgins Rating:     M Running Time:     96 Australian Distributor:      Icon Films   For centuries, adoption has been a taboo subject in the UK and Ireland. It has been something patriarchal societies did to women, often against their will, when they gave birth out of wedlock. A device used by rich men to hide away their ‘little accidents’. Today, the stigma may have subsided but it hasn’t disappeared, although the choice is now (at least) usually inRead More

Film Review: Book Of Love

Director:    Analeine Cal y Mayor Cast:    Sam Claflin, Verónica Echegui, Horacio García Rojas, Fernando Becerril, Horacio Villalobos, Lucy Punch, Ruy Gaytan Rating:     M Running Time:     106 Australian Distributor:      Studio Canal   In Book of Love, Henry (Sam Claflin) is an uptight English writer whose novel is essentially a failure. However, in Mexico, the book is a hit. When invited to promote it, he quickly uncovers the truth. The Spanish translator Maria (Veronica Echegui) has rewritten what she views as dull, turning it into anRead More

Film Review: Death On The Nile

Director:    Kenneth Branagh Cast:    Kenneth Branagh, Tom Bateman, Annette Bening, Russell Brand, Ali Fazal, Dawn French, Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Rose Leslie, Emma Mackey, Sophie Okonedo, Jennifer Saunders, Letitia Wright, Susannah Fielding Rating:     M Running Time:     127 Australian Distributor:     20th Century Studios (Disney)   Few directors toggle as easily between high – and middle-brow as Kenneth Branagh. He’s directed Shakespearean adaptations, superhero films, mediocre Disney stuff, and even a misbegotten Jack Ryan reboot. Branagh has directed nineteen films since 1989, although six of them haveRead More