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, Featured, Reviews / 13.11.2019

After taking a "divisive" plunge into the Star Wars universe, writer/director Rian Johnson returns to what he does best; richly engaging original cinema, loaded with a whole swag of killer twists to knock you off your feet. With Johnson's own fresh take on the well-worn whodunnit murder mystery genre, the deliciously enjoyable Knives Out is one of the most outrageously entertaining experiences you will have in a cinema this year. With a phenomenal ensemble cast, a pointedly sharp screenplay, and an ingeniously twisty narrative, Knives Out is just good old-fashioned solid...

Awards Season, Reviews / 11.11.2019

Standing as one of the year's more misleading titles, Ford v Ferrari is far from the film you may be expecting. Sure, the inherent plot is the true-life battle of America's mighty Ford Motor Co. versus the Italian goliath of sportscar racing. But at the very heart of this film is an endearing and wildly entertaining tale of the two men behind the machines, played with terrific gusto by two of the best in the game. With plenty of technical motor racing jargon and several exhilarating race sequences, there's...

Awards Season, Reviews / 03.11.2019

Since that fateful September day in 2001, American cinema has offered numerous tales from the months and years following the events of 9/11. Just last year, Adam McKay delivered a divisive portrait of the mastermind of the post-9/11 war effort in Vice. With a narrative flirting on humanising someone many consider a war criminal, it left some with a sour taste in their mouths. How refreshing to have something like The Report come along at just the right time to provide the perfect sobering antidote. A slow-moving yet utterly...

Awards Season, Reviews / 04.10.2019

In all honesty, the sales pitch for The Aeronauts doesn't sound all that particularly enticing. Witness the daring 19th-century adventure of a mismatched British scientist and pilot, as they head off in a hot-air balloon to learn about weather prediction and break the world record for flight altitude. Sounds enthralling, right? But hold your horses. This impeccably crafted and surprisingly thrilling little gem is ultimately one of the year's biggest surprise packages. The reteaming of The Theory of Everything duo Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones proves the first time...

Awards Season, Reviews / 29.09.2019

It's fairly shameful it's taken us this long for a biopic on a historical figure as important as Harriet Tubman. Practically every other key figure in the Civil War has been covered by cinema, yet not the abolitionist who still inspires people to this day. In fact, the only cinematic appearance of Tubman has been a blink-and-you'll-miss-her role in 2012's Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Yep. That's her current cinematic legacy. The time has finally arrived for Tubman to have her moment on the big screen. Brought to life by...

Awards Season, Reviews / 28.09.2019

Full disclosure - until last year, I had never heard of Fred Rogers. As someone living in the bubble that is Australia, the unassuming brilliance of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood had somehow never reached our shores. It took Morgan Neville's gorgeous and inspiring 2018 documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor? to introduce the magic of Mister Rogers to those of us previously uninitiated. After the documentary provided an intimate insight into both the public and private lives of Rogers, there seemed no need for a full-scale biopic. Thankfully, that's entirely...

Awards Season, Reviews / 18.09.2019

Cinema has been showing us the ugly side of divorce for decades now. Whether it's brutally on display in something like Kramer vs. Kramer or deceptively hidden in a film like Mrs. Doubtfire, the collapse of a marriage is only further complicated when children are involved. Saturated with intimate pain no doubt elicited from his own divorce, writer/director Noah Baumbach offers a deeply personal work with Marriage Story; one of the year's finest films and one of the most emotional experiences you will have in a cinema in...

Awards Season, Reviews / 13.09.2019

An origin story of Batman's greatest foe was something no one ever really asked for. Much like Disney's ill-fated attempt to flesh out the backstory of one of its greatest villains in Maleficent, the Joker is a character whose mystery is part of his endless charm. He's a character we can never fully understand. Nor should we seek to. So seemingly indiscriminate in his chaos, his brand of evil was perfectly summarised by Michael Caine's Alfred in The Dark Knight when he theorised, "Some men just want to...

Awards Season, Reviews / 11.09.2019

Renée! Renée! Renée! Does Judy! Judy! Judy! You'd be hard-pressed to find a better project for an absent Hollywood star to make her triumphant comeback than by tackling the most ambitious role of her career. In a twist of meta-laced irony, it's a character Renée Zellweger can clearly identify with. Chewed up and spat out by the industry that made her a household name, Zellweger obviously connects with a thing or two about the experiences of the legendary Judy Garland. In a heartbreaking look at the troubled final days of the Hollywood...