Awards Season, Opinion / 13.01.2020

Another madcap Oscar season rolls along. After the absolute chaos of last year, things have been a little more subdued this year. In saying that, the race for Best Picture is still without a solid frontrunner, Best Director is entirely up in the air, and most of the categories are without five true locks for nominations. A few things remain uncertain. A film like Little Women could see six or seven nominations or it could receive as little as two or three. Something like The Two Popes could be...

Awards Season, Opinion / 05.01.2020

The drunk uncle of awards season is back for another year. But with nomination voting for the Academy Awards closing just two days after the Golden Globes, the ceremony could hold more power than ever before, especially for those Academy members waiting until the last minute to cast their ballots. We awards season pundits say this every year, but predicting what the HFPA will do is basically throwing darts at a dartboard. And it's anyone's guess what the results will ultimately mean for the Academy Awards. They led the...

Awards Season, Opinion, Reviews / 03.01.2020

Oh, what a year in cinema we had. While the world continued to burn (quite literally in Australia), we film buffs seeking escapism were blessed with a terrific plethora of movies to make us laugh, make us cry, make us wince in terror, make us cheer with delight, and, most importantly, make us feel. From spectacular blockbusters to independent wonders and everything else in between, it's been a magnificent 12 months of movie watching. But it hasn't been all smooth sailing. From Scorsese "criticising" Marvel films as not being...

Awards Season, Reviews / 19.12.2019

"Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should." The wise Dr. Ian Malcolm of Jurassic Park once posed the brief but perceptive summation that just because something can be done doesn't mean it should be done. It seems the perfect quote to relate to the disastrous CGI mess that is the big-screen adaptation of mega-successful stage musical Cats, the fourth-longest-running show in Broadway history. Just because one can superimpose a human's face onto a cat's body...

Awards Season, Reviews / 19.12.2019

If the last twenty years and five films have taught us anything about Star Wars fans, it's one blindingly obvious fact; you cannot please them all. Serve up too many elements of the films that came before and you're derided for lazily recycling the past. Stray too far away from the tried and true formula and you're vilified for destroying the franchise. There really is no way to win everyone over, particularly with how sacred many rightly hold the original trilogy. In 2015, co-writer/director J.J Abrams was criticised by...

Awards Season, Reviews / 16.12.2019

Let's be honest. Fox News is probably the worst thing to ever happen to broadcast television. While it's always strayed far from its laughable "Fair and balanced" slogan, in the last three years, it's become little more than a farcical propaganda machine for the orange clown in the White House. It's a miracle the "news" network is even still standing, given the sexual harassment scandal it somehow withstood back in 2016. It's that very saga which provides the juicy fodder for director Jay Roach's bombastic and occasionally compelling Bombshell; a...

Awards Season, Reviews / 11.12.2019

You're likely assuming we did not need another film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's seminal classic Little Women. Many consider Gillian Armstrong's 1994 film to be the definitive screen version of the novel, ruling out the necessity for any further remakes. Enter actress-turned-filmmaker Greta Gerwig, whose unbridled love for Alcott's work is the driving force behind one of the year's most beautiful films and a worthy challenger to the high bar set by Armstrong. A faithful adaptation given new life by a daring storytelling technique and an impeccable ensemble cast,...

Awards Season, Reviews / 10.12.2019

After dozens upon dozens of war films since the dawn of cinema, it seems directors now need to consistently find a new contrivance to land any impact in this genre. Working within a storytelling technique few filmmakers have dared to touch, co-writer/director Sam Mendes offers his war drama 1917 in one seemingly continuous take. It's a gimmick, to be sure, but it's one crafted in such meticulous and flawless fashion, creating one of the technically finest war epics there has ever been. An ambitiously daunting task on a scale...

Awards Season, Reviews / 08.12.2019

You're likely assuming you need to be fairly religious to find any pleasure in a film entitled The Two Popes. Of course, those who trundle off to church every Sunday will likely connect with this film on an entirely different level. However, speaking as someone who hasn't paid any attention to religion since mandatory scripture lessons at the age of seven, it's rather unfathomable that I found such tremendous joy within this surprisingly humorous and giddily enjoyable little gem. With one of the year's finest screenplays and starring two...

Awards Season, Reviews / 25.11.2019

Think back to a time before Disney's 2013 box office colossus Frozen became so insanely overexposed and we all started to become entirely sick of it. With a neverending flow of merchandise, "Let It Go" relentlessly playing everywhere you turned, a big-budget Broadway musical adaptation, and that misguided 21-minute-long "short" film that played before Pixar's Coco, it's no wonder Frozen-mania drove everyone a little nuts. With the all-consuming chaos that followed the film, it's easy to forget how sublime Frozen truly was. With a Broadway-style structure which harkened back to the Disney...