Tag Archives: Four Stars

Film Review: Stanley Tucci’s Final Portrait (USA, 2017) is filled with effortless charm

We meet Alberto Giacometti (Geoffrey Rush) in a state of supreme boredom – another day, another exhibition. With his hair sticking up, and a cigarette hanging eternally from his lips, he looks like a crumpled echidna whose snout is on fire, but who cares. It’s James Lord (Armie Hammer) who bothers to bring us this tale. By the end, Giacometti has made a mockery of both James’ narration and enthusiasm; first by telling the art writer that it will take him one afternoon to paint his portrait, and then by taking over two weeks to not quite do so.... Continue Reading

Film Review: IT (USA, 2017) is exactly as scary and as fun as you hoped it would be

In the early part of a person’s life, there is always that one scary story, whether it takes the form of a book, a campfire tale or a film, that will inherently scar a person for life when experienced. In my case (and that of many others), that story is Stephen King‘s IT. Continue reading Film Review: IT (USA, 2017) is exactly as scary and as fun as you hoped it would be

Film Review: God’s Own Country (UK, 2017) is a moody and haunting emotional journey

As easy as it is to liken God’s Own Country to the similarly themed Brokeback Mountain, doing so is only ultimately stripping Francis Lee‘s film of its own identity.  A moody and haunting emotional journey for its protagonists, God’s Own Country is a slow burning, though rewarding drama propelled by a duo of strong performances from relative unknowns Josh O’Connor and Alec Secareanu as farmhands who unexpectedly ignite a passion within each other.... Continue Reading

Melbourne International Film Festival Review: The Killing of a Sacred Deer (USA/UK, 2017) is the product of skilful filmmaking

It’s not often that an art-house thriller comes together so perfectly to create an unsettling horror capable of antagonising your thoughts even after you’ve walked out the cinema doors. But that is exactly what The Killing of a Sacred Deer does, the fifth feature film of Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos. As a darkly comic rendition of an ancient Greek tragedy, the myth of Iphigenia, Lanthimos creates this body of work with a sinister flair that explores the role of accountability and vengeance in our modern world.... Continue Reading

Film Review: American Made (USA, 2017) is a sharply paced outing that proves a welcome return to form for Tom Cruise

Simultaneously stepping away from the action brands they’re both primarily recognised for, there’s a sense of material re-engagement for director Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Edge of Tomorrow) and star Tom Cruise with American Made.  Telling a story that’s less reliant on aesthetic spectacle and star power, Gary Spinelli’s account of pilot-turned-drug smuggler Barry Seal’s recruitment by the CIA in the 1980’s is one of those tales so unbelievable it could only be true.... Continue Reading

Melbourne International Film Festival Review: Namatjira Project (Australia, 2017) continues the story of Australia’s most prolific Aboriginal artist

Albert Namatjira remains one of Australia’s most revered artists. At the time of his death, his collection exceeded two thousand individual paintings, a perceptive catalogue of the landscapes that form the barren heart of Australia’s central regions. Yet his significance far extends his body of work. ... 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

TV Review: Amazon’s Comrade Detective is a tough-sell of a show that manages to overcome its bizarre concept

In the 1980’s, Romanians would gather in record numbers in front of their TV sets to watch Comrade Detective.  Fronted by Florin Piersic, Jr as hard-nosed police detective Gregor Anghel, the series promised to be an action-heavy event that would both entertain its citizens whilst promoting communist ideals.  Sadly, after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the show faded into obscurity, only to be recently uncovered by Channing Tatum (of all people) who has so graciously restored the series with all the digital remastering it deserves.... Continue Reading