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March Film Reviews

Looking for a reason to escape this never-ending summer heat? Lezly Herbert has got you covered with her reviews of the latest flicks at the cinema.


 

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Spear (M)
Directed by Stephen Page

spear

Since 1991, Stephen Page, who also co-wrote the film, has been artistic director of the leading indigenous dance group – Sydney-based Bangarra Dance Theatre. The choreographer uses dance to tell a very personal story of a young aboriginal man ‘with a foot in each world and a heart in none’. Stephen is now comfortable in the bush as well as at the Opera House, but this hasn’t always been the case. The director’s son, Djali (22 year-old Hunter Page-Lochard) moves through the landscape of his ancestors as well as the urban landscape full of racism, alcoholism and violence. Shot over three weeks on a budget of about $1 million, there’s the occasional touch of humour and an overwhelming positive message in this powerful cinematic experience. On 11 and 12 March, there will be a Q&A with producer John Harvey at Luna Outdoor, Leederville at the 8pm screening.


 

Trumbo (M)
Directed by Jay Roach

Trumbo

Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) was a highly successful screenwriter in Hollywood when American fears of communist subversion resulted in the major motion picture studios blacklisting screenwriters with past communist affiliations. Trumbo was one of the Hollywood Ten who was banned from writing because of his beliefs, imprisoned and labelled by powerful conservatives such as John Wayne and gossip columnist Hedda Hopper (Helen Mirren) as being ‘un-American’. Needing money for his family when he was released from prison, Trumbo realised that he could still write screenplays using pseudonyms. After these fictitious writers won two Academy Awards (for Roman Holiday and The Brave One), some of the big names in Hollywood finally saw the injustice and started to ignore the blacklist. This historical moment of political hypocrisy is beautifully recreated and wonderfully acted.


 

The Daughter (M)
Directed by Simon Stone

The Daughter

Set in a dying timber town in New South Wales, the film opens with a shot ringing out in a mist-covered valley. Christian (Paul Schneider) has returned home from America after a long absence for his father Henry’s (Geoffrey Rush) wedding to a much younger woman. One of the first people he meets is his childhood friend Oliver (Ewen Leslie) who has just lost his job at the timber mill owned by Henry. Christian gets to know Oliver’s wife Charlotte (Miranda Otto), daughter Hedvig (Odessa Young) and father Walter (Sam Neil) who keeps a menagerie of rescued animals including a duck that Henry has shot. Based on Henrik Ibsen’s play the Wild Duck, Simon Stone’s debut film is intense and impressive. Australia’s best actors deliver snappy dialogue, tension slowly builds to a haunting soundtrack and lyrical cinematography while unsettling ripples of a dark secret test family bonds and friendships.


 

All About Them (MA)
Directed by Jerome Bonnell

All Abut Them

As the fireworks of Bastille Day explode over the French town of Lille, young criminal lawyer Melodie (Anias Demoustier) visits her singer girlfriend Charlotte (Sophie Verbeeck). Unfortunately Charlotte’s boyfriend, veterinary surgeon Micha (Felix Moati), has just returned home from a trip. When Melodie and Micha’s friendship becomes something more, there is only one thing to do. Most people are familiar with the term ‘ménage a trios’ and there’s probably a good reason why this sexual configuration is referred to in French. While not exclusive to the French, they are particularly good at making films about love triangles. This charmingly playful film has equal parts drama and comedy of errors and the viewer is left guessing where it will all end. All About Them is part of the 2016 French
Film Festival which screens from 16 March to 7 April at Cinema Paradiso, Luna on SX and Windsor Cinema.

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