Well, it’s certainly not a subtle movie, but nothing about the whole Billie Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs circus was. Still, I found myself shaking my head: not at Riggs’ chauvinistic and confected antics, but more at the underlying, unspoken sexism that surrounded all aspects of life the 1970s. There’s not a lot of nuance in this movie and it was all a bit too feel-good for my liking, but interesting none the less.
My disdain for Margaret Court’s recent public forays was heightened by watching this movie. I shall say no more.
And seeing this real-life clip from the match, I’m impressed with the fidelity of the film’s reproduction. (Although the audience seems rather lacklustre here, I think)
My score: 3/5
Set on a Native American Reservation in Wyoming in winter, this is a harsh country. A hunter finds the body of a young girl splayed out in the snow, miles from anywhere. She dies from natural causes, but she has been raped. The young female FBI agent sent from Florida, who quickly realises that she is completely out of her depth, enlists his help in tracking down those responsible for her death. This film reminded me of Fargo, both in the landscape and the amount of violence, but it also explored themes of loss and dispossession.
My rating: 4 stars.
Oh, this was such a sad film. Based on a true story, it’s not crying-type sad, but just regretful about the pain we inflict on others, and that human drive for dignity. It’s beautifully filmed and both Ethan Hawke and Sally Hawkins are just brilliant. The audience just sat there, silent when it finished, drinking it all in.
I think a five for me.
And here’s a video of the real Maud Lewis.
I seem to be on a bit of a Rooney Mara thing at the moment, having seen ‘Una’ the week after ‘A Ghost Story’. In Una, a young woman tracks down her neighbour who had sexually abused her as a thirteen year old. This film felt very much like the stage play from which it was drawn, and I didn’t ever lose the feeling that I was watching two characters acting. The young Una was well-cast to match with Rooney Mara’s older version, but Ben Mendelsohn didn’t visually age sufficiently between the past/present segments. However, it was interesting that my sympathies waxed and waned for the characters, and it was not at all as clear-cut as it might appear.
My rating: 2.5
This film seems to have been advertised for months and months at Cinema Nova (my favourite cinema). It’s such a daggy looking ghost, in its white sheet with cut-out eyes, and the audience (myself included) didn’t know whether to laugh out loud at times during the film. As with time-travel films, some movies don’t bear thinking too hard about (“Hey! What about….?), and it’s true of this film too. But overall, it is a quiet, sad reflection on memory and place. The thing that really struck me about the film was the sound track. You can hear every crackle and brush of fabric, with haunting, slightly dissonant music. I enjoyed it
My rating: 4.5 stars.
I haven’t seen a spooky movie for ages. I don’t know if I like the experience of watching them – usually through my fingers as I have to cover my face – but it’s all good as long as the horror movie keeps its promise and all turns out in the end. Does ‘Get Out’ keep that promise? Ah – you’ll just have to see it.
My rating: 4.5
I saw this ages ago, and didn’t get round to posting this short review. Its probably out on DVD by now.
It’s not Lady Macbeth in the Shakespearean vein, but instead the film is based on the novella and opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District. A young woman is married off to an older man, who manipulates and humiliates her and when she can, she takes her revenge. It’s a very dark movie, both visually and in terms of story.
A pigeon-pair for Daphne du Maurier’s other well-known book/movie Rebecca, here we have a young man who is unsure whether his uncle’s wife is a tragic widow or an arch manipulator. Rachel Weisz is suitably enigmatic and your sympathies for her shift as quickly as her facial expressions do. It’s like watching a slow-motion train wreck.
My rating: 3.5
Ugh. What possessed me to go and see this? I hate violent movies.
Actually, I know why I did see it. Because it’s Australian (and I like to support local movies) and I heard that it garnered good reviews. It IS good and highly authentic in its depiction of controlling, violent relationships. But you’ll never think ‘That nice Stephen Curry’ again, no matter what character he plays. It’s not unlike Animal Kingdom, especially in its use of music. But I spent a lot of time looking down, especially as the victim looked so much like my stepdaughter. It has really unsettled me.
Set in Santa Barbara in 1979 this is a coming of age story told from the perspective of fifteen year old Jamie, whose single-mother Dorothea draws on the ‘village to raise a child’ metaphor when she feels at a loss to help her son become a ‘good man’. She turns to her 24 year old boarder Abbie, and Jamie’s best friend Julie with whom he is secretly infatuated. Sheesh woman!- give the kid some SPACE. Let him find his own way- you know he’s a good kid- just trust him. The little historical-nerd in me enjoyed the interspersed archival film footage, but it was all a little too washed in nostalgia and saccharine for me.
My rating: 3 stars.