Awards Season, Reviews / 24.09.2020

Ever since 2003's Lost in Translation, many of us have been patiently waiting for writer/director Sofia Coppola and universal treasure Bill Murray to once again collaborate. Sure, we had the absurd festive delight that was their 2015 Netflix special, A Very Murray Christmas, but the long wait for Coppola and Murray to join forces on a feature film project is finally at an end. As a filmmaker, Coppola sets the bar so high that something as light and casual as On the Rocks may prove somewhat of a...

Reviews / 22.09.2020

Not even a pandemic could stop this year's Queer Screen Film Fest, which has re-branded itself as an "online-plus" film festival to match the evolved film experience of 2020. Available on more screens than ever, the 8th Queer Screen Film Fest will be online and on-demand and can be accessed from anywhere in Australia. Featuring 29 Australian premieres, the full program comprises over 40 feature films, documentaries and shorts – 90 percent of which can be accessed by LGBTIQ+ communities and allies around the country for 11 days from...

Reviews / 20.09.2020

In 2019, Sam Mendes' war epic 1917 received lashings of well-deserved praise for the bold choice to stage the entire film as one seemingly continuous take. But Mendes utilised the classic "one-shot gimmick" by virtue of Lee Smith's flawless editing that ingeniously cloaked the moments in which the camera cut. This year, we're served a genuine one-shot wonder where everything we see is happening in real-time. No cuts. No clever edits. No retakes. Just one gut-wrenching unbroken story presented exactly as it occurs. A simple story told in a...

Reviews / 16.09.2020

When you think of female revenge cinema, several iconic performances instantly come to mind; Uma Thurman's blood-soaked rampage of vengeance in Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2, Sissy Spacek's brutal slaughter of an entire high school of bullies in Carrie, Ellen Page as a teenage pedophile hunter in Hard Candy, and, of course, Noomi Rapace as the computer-hacker-turned-vigilante Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. In Yuval Adler's conventional psychological thriller The Secrets We Keep, Rapace returns to a similar narrative centred on one woman's quest for...

Reviews / 15.09.2020

While your brain still recovers from the exhausting and unsolvable puzzle of Tenet, Netflix steps up to the plate to deliver a chaotic, complicated Southern Gothic horror noir with so many intertwining story threads, you might initially need a corkboard and some string to understand how it all weaves together. Thankfully, unlike Christopher Nolan's nonsensical failure, The Devil All the Time becomes clearer as it travels through a grim narrative dripping with blood and shrouded by a sense of unrelenting dread right from its opening scene. With a bleak...

Featured, Reviews / 13.09.2020

Look out, Margot Robbie. A fresh Australian female actor is making a serious play to be the latest it-girl stealing attention in Hollywood. And, for once, she's not a blonde. Nor is she white. Breaking all kinds of outdated perceptions of what constitutes the leading lady of a romantic comedy, The Broken Hearts Gallery announces the arrival of a new star in the form of the ridiculously talented Geraldine Viswanathan. While the film itself may feel conventional and plays to all the rom-com tropes we're familiar with, writer/director Natalie...

Reviews / 10.09.2020

Unless you find yourself in a certain target demographic, you're possibly blissfully unaware of the 2019 teen soap opera romance flick that was Away. Based on Anna Todd's popular 2014 young-adult novel that was inspired by One Direction heartthrob Harry Styles, the film was a moderate commercial success, grossing $70 million on a budget of just $14 million. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, the hastily-organised sequel After We Collided clearly isn't meant for you. And it's unlikely it's inherently meant for me either. That being...

Awards Season, Reviews / 08.09.2020

Where does one even begin when describing a new film from someone like writer/director Charlie Kaufman? With his penchant for pushing the boundaries of storytelling and a strikingly unique style that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality, Kaufman is a divisive auteur whose screenplays consistently defy the logic and traditions of cinema. Opinions of his work are always sharply divided, and his latest offering is sure to see a similar reaction. Over a decade after his last live-action directorial effort, Kaufman returns with a film that's likely to...

Featured, Reviews / 06.09.2020

If you're still recovering from the terrible trio of Disney live-action remakes we were served in 2019, the idea of another cherished animated classic being lazily rehashed in 2020 is likely the last thing you're yearning for in the middle of a global pandemic. After the soulless shot-for-shot remakes The Lion King and Aladdin and the ambitious misfire that was Dumbo, something decently competent like Mulan ultimately looks like a masterpiece by fortunate virtue of comparison to a string of disappointments. After seeing its March big screen debut scuttled...

Reviews / 04.09.2020

When Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture back in 2013, it should have signalled the end of films centred on slave narratives, or, at the very least, a change in direction for future projects. What McQueen delivered can never be matched. If there are still stories to be told of the pre-abolition era, they should be something we've never seen before. It's what made Jordan Peele's Get Out so refreshingly remarkable. It cleverly used slavery as the basis for a modern narrative that still tapped...