Tag: review

Review: THE DEVIL ALL THE TIME, Post-war Pulp Haunts Compelling Rural Noir

Antonio Campos excels at making damaged or heinous characters front and centre, getting under the skin of a socio-psychopath (Afterschool, 2008 or Simon Killer, 2012) or delving into mental health issues and depression (Christine, 2016), Campos finds entertaining ways to...

Review: I'M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS By Charlie Kaufman

In director Spike Jonze’s Adaptation, screenwriter Charlie Kaufman is in the film as himself played by Nicolas Cage. That character puts his own spin on the book in that film when he is tasked with writing a screenplay for it....

Review: THE ARGUMENT, Trifling Theatrical Experimentation

Robert Schwartzman (Dreamland, The Unicorn), part of film family royalty (brother is Jason Schwartzman, cousin is Sofia Coppola etc.) is relatively new to Hollywood's Indies. His third feature The Argument continues the trend of approachable genre experiments inherent in his...

Melbourne 2020 Review: BLACK BEAR, a Gaslight Meta Nightmare

Black Bear could be a Hitchcock inspired-indie thriller that opens with actor--director-writer Allison (Aubrey Plaza), collecting her towel from a lake’s small dock, making her way inside a cabin where she sits, notebook and pen at the ready; a title...

Melbourne 2020 Review: SHIVA BABY, a Self-serving Schmear of Awkwardness

This acerbic feature, adapted from the short of the same name expands on the original with further complications, but the aesthetic of this chamber-piece remains equally grounded and squeamishly uncomfortable over the course of a socially excruciating afternoon. Uncomfortable in...

Melbourne 2020 Review: WET SEASON, Intricate Drama in the Monsoons

Singapore Director Anthony Chen returns after six years with his sophomore feature Wet Season. His first film Ilo Ilo (2013) is a tender masterfully shot race-class drama set during the 90s Asian recession. It follows a Malaysian native maid and...

Review: DIEGO MARADONA Doco, Director Asif Kapadia's Third Masterpiece

Asif Kapadia (Senna, Amy) strikes gold again with the near-perfect biopic of footballer Diego Maradona. The documentary director depicts what many consider ‘the hand of god’ in such a way that highlights both Maradona’s immense skills as a player, and...

L'Etrange 2019 Review: TRUE HISTORY OF THE KELLY GANG, an Entertaining Farcical Yarn

Based on the fictional Peter Carey novel of the same name, True History of the Kelly Gang is a far-flung reimagining and mythologising of the legacy of the armoured clad outlaw. Although the film is less affecting as a result...

Melbourne 2019 Review: MATTHIAS ET MAXIME, Xavier Dolan's Intimate Epic

French-Canadian wunderkind Xavier Dolan (there is no other word to describe him) has had a busy year. He has two films releasing in 2019, The Death and Life of John F. Donovan with a top-billed cast, and this far more...

Review: LUZ, A Stylish Experiment in Seduction and Possession

A demon or some kind of evil entity travels from a Chilean boarding school to a German Police station to ensnare the woman it desires to possess. The simplicity of this basic story kernel belies the stylish and convoluted manner...

Review: SWEET PAIN, Near-Silent Giallo is a Rare Find

In his first feature in more than 10 years, Gonzalo López modernizes the true and salacious story of 16th Century composer Carlo Gesualdo, whose music and life is inexorably linked to the shocking murder of his wife and her lover...

Toronto 2018 Review: LET ME FALL Is Sublimely Harrowing

Stella and Magnea, it feels stressful to just write their names after witnessing the excruciating awfulness of their lives. Let Me Fall is centred on their very intense relationship. An attraction that brings with it chaos, reminiscent of the two...

Toronto 2018 Review: THE ACCUSED Offers Compelling Character Study and Little Else

The Accused is first and foremost a character study, one surrounded by a hazy stasis of implication and culpability, a mystery on hold. The last person to see her best friend alive is also the number one suspect for her...

Toronto 2018 Review: CLIMAX Is Something Kicking In

Climax takes its time. Like previous Gaspar Noe joints, the film opens pretentiously with a startling and beautiful image and pompous title cards. Fragments of film credits appear as the dancing crew is introduced, stylishly so of course, on an...

Melbourne 2018 Review: TRANSIT Disorients and Compels as Unique Wartime Noir

Director Christian Petzold’s (Phoenix) unique adaptation of the same name brilliantly twists the time and place of World War II events. The decision to depict a War narrative in this way disorients the viewer as there is no exposition to...

Melbourne 2018 Review: GIRLS ALWAYS HAPPY, Yang Mingming's Biting Dysfunctional Family Film Debut

Girls Always Happy proves anything but in Yang Mingming’s feature film debut. She both directs and stars as Wu, the troubled daughter and one-half of the powerfully dysfunctional family dynamic that anchors the film. The other half is her mother...

Melbourne 2018 Review: PIERCING, Sharp, Sweet and To The Point

From the same deranged brilliant mind behind Japanese horror novel Audition comes Ryu Murakami's latest adaptation from page to film. The short novel Piercing has been given a smart and frantically fun screenplay by Nicolas Pesce, who has a unique take...

Melbourne 2018 Review: WRATH OF SILENCE Violently Twists and Turns an Epic Tragedy

Genre influenced festival fare from China keeps on impressing, and Wrath of Silence may be the best, and most commercially friendly of recent efforts yet. This is the kind of film that grips you, and long after seeing it, parts...

Melbourne 2018 Review: HOLIDAY Will Get Under your Skin

Holiday is an extremely unpleasant film, and yet it is stunningly bright, vibrant and set in a Riviera. This strange contradiction is also reflected in young mob moll Sascha (Victoria Carmen Sonne). Its opening stretch emphasizes the sun-soaked surroundings, but...

Review: DEADPOOL 2, Satirical Lunacy Cranked To 11

Expectations were pretty low for Deadpool 2. What could have easily been conceived as a cash-cow on Marvel's part, merely another cog in the exhaustive line-up of films that have been and are to come, is instead a self contained...