All posts by Natalie Salvo

Film Review: Victoria & Abdul (UK, 2017) proves that it’s lonely at the top, even with a firm friend

Dame Judi Dench has played Queen Victoria before in Mrs Brown, which showed the grieving monarch’s relationship with John Brown. In Victoria & Abdul Dench reprises her previous role and plays the Queen when the latter is a tad older and wiser. It also focuses on the monarch’s unlikely friendship with an Indian servant. The result is an uneven film in terms of tone but it’s also one that is a warm and rather feel-good story.... Continue Reading

Film Review: The Dinner (USA, 2017) is an uncomfortable debate that will stay with you after you’ve left the cinema

In We Need To Talk About Kevin writer Lionel Shriver explored the idea of a mother grappling with her son’s heinous act. In The Dinner, four parents deal with the ramifications of a shocking crime perpetuated by their boys. They have to decide how far they will go in order to protect their teenage sons. The film is a tense and dark character study, which shows that one’s moral compass is not always what it seems.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Ali’s Wedding (Australia, 2017) is a warm comedy with a big heart

It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world. The events depicted in Ali’s Wedding, the new Australian film and Muslim rom-com are based on true events. Unfortunately. This comedy is a funny and vibrant look at life in Australia for a family of Middle Eastern immigrants and like Looking For Alibrandi, The Family Law and Acropolis Now, it is another strong voice in the chorus of individuals living in multicultural Australia.... Continue Reading

Film Review: Maudie (Canada, 2016) is a colourful portrait which proves that love & talent can be found in unlikely places

If Forrest Gump where a female, Canadian folk artist you would get Maudie. This film is a biopic about the late artist, Maud Lewis who was born a “little different” and whose story is one that is likely to charm some theatregoers. This movie is ultimately a rather romanticised view of her creative and impoverished life.... Continue Reading

Melbourne International Film Festival Review: Orlando (UK, 1992) is a meandering look at gender studies in history

Blur may have sung about “girls who are boys who like boys to be girls,” but it was writer, Virginia Woolf who got there first. Her short novel, Orlando is about a young, aristocratic man who wakes up one day and discovers he’s become a woman. It was a novel that was written by Woolf for her lover, Vita Sackville-West and later adapted into a 1992 film called Orlando. It sees Tilda Swinton playing the titular character in a fine, androgynous performance but that’s really all there is to it.... Continue Reading

Film Review: The Time Of Their Lives (UK, 2017) is a pleasant road trip & light comedy about two unlikely friends

The Time Of Their Lives is a film about two unlikely friends getting a second chance at life. It’s one where you feel like if it had had its own second chance it could have been excellent, but instead will have to settle for being just good. This is ultimately a light, comedy caper and buddy story about two old biddies letting their hair down on the road.... Continue Reading

Melbourne Film Festival Review: Ask the Sexpert (USA, 2017) is a surprisingly funny, frank & fascinating discussion about sex

You may not be familiar with the name, Dr. Mahinder Watsa but to many people he could be “Dr Love.” This nonagenarian is a former gynaecologist turned sexologist and author of a daily column in the Mumbai Mirror. Ask The Sexpert is an intimate portrait of this charming, progressive and wise old man who will leave people thinking of him as the “Good doctor.”... Continue Reading

Melbourne International Film Festival Review: Something Quite Peculiar (AUS/UK, 2017) is a rich and tantalising portrait about the one and only Steve Kilbey

You get the feeling that the story of The Church has enough in it to fill up several movies. But the documentary, Something Quite Peculiar doesn’t try to be a definitive guide to the band. Instead, it lays its focus squarely on front man, Steve Kilbey and adapts his 2014 memoir of the same name. The result is a fascinating look at one of Australia’s most prolific musicians and possibly our hardest working artist.... Continue Reading

Melbourne International Film Festival Review: Unrest (USA, 2017) is an illuminating documentary about people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Unrest is a documentary that was difficult to make and a challenging one to watch. The film is the debut feature by journalist, Jennifer Brea who chronicles her life with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) or chronic fatigue syndrome. She also speaks to others that have this condition by conducting interviews from her bed via Skype. ME is a disease that has been maligned and met with scepticism by the medical establishment because no cause has been discovered. One thing that is clear from this film is that there needs to be more research into this mysterious, debilitating affliction.... Continue Reading