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Monday, 19 June 2017

Film No. 42 My Cousin Rachel June 13th

Film No. 42 (2017) June 13th.  11.15 PM LUNA WINDSOR Nedlands.

"I've written to you several times but there is no one I can trust to take my letters to the mail"(Phillip reads a letter sent to him by his dying cousin, newly married to a woman named Rachel).

Another lavish re-tell of a well known novel by Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca). A faultless production depicting the dark mysterious, gold-digger (seemingly) Rachel, stunningly played by Rachel Weisz. The opening stanza builds exquisite tension prior to Rachel's arrival on the windswept cliffs of county Surrey but gradually the gloss is lost in this old fashioned tale as later scenes linger longer than they should. Sam Claflin playing the emotionally challenged Phillip doesn't have quite the chemistry to match Weisz. It will be popular matinee cinema for the mature set never the less. 8GUMS.      

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Film No. 41 The First Girl I Loved June 12th

Film No. 41 (2017) June 12th.  6.30 PM  LUNA Paradiso, Northbridge.

"I'm not comfortable with this, I feel like my daughter is being accused of something" (Anne's mother discusses her daughter's at a school mediation session).

Perhaps First Girl I Loved will gain a larger audience on a streaming network but this quirky love triangle gained a Sundance following which has caught the attention of cinema goers. It is vibrantly fresh with an excellent lead performance by Dylan Gelula as Anne. The male corner of the triangle lacks development hence the Netflix feel to the overall product. A film that takes risks and leaves us thinking for a day or two can't be all that bad. Thus First Girl has merit. Those with Homophobic tendencies may be best suited to steer clear. 7GUMS.     

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Film No. 40 (2017) The Mummy. June 7th.

Film No. 40 (2017) June 7th.  6.45 PM Greater Union Event Cinema,  Innaloo.

"Welcome to a new world of Gods and Monsters" (Voice over attached to a trailer).

Tommy Cruise takes on another blockbuster role, this time he fills the rather larger shoes of Brendan Fraser in a re-boot of The Mummy. No surprise that Cruise is once again bullet proof but he's not everything he seems. Fraser's version was far more linear in structure and less CGI reliant. It's a long shot to stretch the aura of a mummy into something it is not. Too long, confusing and basically boring for mine but may well please the masses. And yes, Tom gets the girl but there's a twist. 4GUMS. 

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Film No. 39 (2017) Don't Tell. May 30th.

Film No. 39 (2017) May 30th.  4.50 PM Greater Union Event Cinema,  Innaloo.

"Kevin was extremely popular with the girls, unfortunately some of them have powerful imaginations" (Former head of Toowoomba Prep school describes his and the Anglican diocese version of events in 1990).

Quality performances and a courtroom drama using the actual transcripts bolsters Don't Tell, a devastatingly important Australian story. Lyndal (Sara West) is broken but very brave as she takes on the Anglican diocese, desperate to repair the wrongs committed against her by a teacher at her Toowoomba boarding school in the early nineties. Solicitor (Aden Young) and Barrister (Jack Thompson) team up to become the rocks Lyndal nervously places her faith in. One review I read described Don't Tell as a film all Australian parents should see; I'd go as far as to expand the audience to all parents. 10GUMS.    

Film No. 38 (2017) 20th Century Women. May 27th.

Film No. 38 (2017) May 27th.  11.00 PM LUNA PALACE, Leederville.

"We've always believed that the life we set down for our kids will be better than our own" (A quote from Jimmy Carter's CRISIS OF CONFIDENCE speech in July 1979, a key scene in the film).

This brilliant coming of age drama depicts unconventional, loveable characters and the influence they have on the most grounded character of all, Jamie, (Lucas Jade Zumann) in 70's Santa Barbara, California.  Dorothea Fields (Annette Bening), an older mum works to give Jamie the best platform for life she believes there can be. Lodger Abbie (Greta Gerwid) and insecure neighbour Julie (Elle Fanning) give depth to a clever script. Bening deserved oscar recognition (if only as a nominee) for this thoughtfully, wise film. Warmth Amongst Others ..... now there's a better title. 10GUMS.    

Film No. 37 (2017) Churchill May 24th.

Film No. 37 (2017) May 24th.  6.30 PM LUNA Paradiso, Northbridge.

"The invasion of France must be stopped!" (States Churchill ... to which Ike responds "No, it is you who needs to be stopped").

For anyone under the impression Churchill was the architect of D Day June 6th 1944 then this might be the film to offer an alternative view. The fearless British leader of legendary status had become a shadow of his bulldog self by the time Ike and Monty were ready to launch one of the greatest offences in wartime history. This rendition of one specific period in Winston's celebrated career is brilliantly acted by Brian Cox but it leaves a little to be desired as an example of successful cinema. One gets the impression we are the audience for a play shot on film. Churchill has an abundance of quality performances; Miranda Richardson as wife Clementine is all class. 7GUMS.   

Film No. 36 (2017) I am Heath Ledger. May 21st.

Film No. 36 (2017) May 21st.  11.00 PM LUNA PALACE, Leederville.

"He was the most alive human being. If it wasn't on the edge then he wasn't interested"(Friend and mentor musician Ben Harper describes Ledger).

The prodigious talent that was Heath Ledger (1979 - 2008) is on display for all to see in this insightful documentary. Ledger was always headed for greatness in an amazingly seamless way, accumulating lovers and friends along the way because of his wonderfully warm nature. Ledger's mates Naomi Watts, Ben Mendelsohn, Emile Hirsch and Ang Lee give great legitimacy to his back story. I walked away with a better understanding as to why, sadly, Ledger died by accident, leaving us and taking his talent with him; talents that were prodigious. 9GUMS.