Arguably the biggest local film of the year, The Dressmaker is uniquely Australian, although its buzz is most likely in large part to its international star. Kate Winslet stars as Tilly Dunnage, a glamourous dressmaker who returns to her hometown of Dungatar to visit her ailing mother, Molly (Judy Davis). Here she is confronted by the small town mentality of the townsfolk who delight in petty gossip and false accusations following a childhood incident that resulted in Tilly’s departure several years earlier. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: The Dressmaker→
It’s a difficult task to make a film that while tragic, is full of so many moments of beauty and joy. But that’s exactly what Neil Armfield has done in Holding the Man. Based on Timothy Conigrave’s memoir of the same name (which later became a critically acclaimed and much loved play), the film details the fifteen year relationship between Tim (Ryan Corr) and his partner John Caleo (Craig Stott), from their initial attraction in high school, through their university years, and their battle with the AIDS virus. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Holding the Man→
No doubt assumptions will be made based on this film’s title alone, but it’s not the crap ocker rubbish you might be anticipating. Last Cab to Darwin is based on the true story of cab driver, Max Bell, and follows the 2003 stage production of the same name. In the film adaptation, Rex (Michael Caton), a cab driver in Broken Hill, is given three months to live following a failed surgery targeting his stomach cancer. Euthanasia has been recently (and temporarily) legalised in the Northern Territory, and Rex drives his cab to Darwin, to meet euthanasia advocate, Dr. Nicole Farmer (Jacki Weaver). In doing so he leaves behind his aboriginal neighbour and clandestine missus, Polly (Ningali Lawford), who is heartbroken by his decision to leave. Along the way he meets Tilly (Mark Coles Smith), a troubled young aboriginal man who prefers to play the role of drifter rather than take on the responsibilities of husband and father. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Last Cab to Darwin→
Ten years in the making, the latest Mad Max instalment blazes into cinemas this month with a resounding bang. Forget The Avengers, forget Transformers, forget every other action movie you’ve ever seen (because chances are, they weren’t that good). And get ready for George Miller to change the game. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Mad Max: Fury Road→
By now, you’ve probably heard that sugar is the devil. It’s making us fat, tired, and anxious, all the while rotting our teeth and reducing our life spans. Apparently we need that message rammed down our throats just a little bit more, hence actor Damon Gameau’s That Sugar Film. Coming ten years after Morgan Spurlock‘s Super Size Me, the focus shifts from high fat to high sugar diets. Gameau’s film also coincides with the release of his That Sugar Book, because you can never have too many non-expert opinions.
Aussie movies aimed at kids don’t seem to come around too often. Try to think of a film set in Australia with Australian characters that is primarily for children. From this millennium. I can only come up with two – Hating Alison Ashley (2005) and Hey Hey It’s Esther Blueburger (2008) and these are both aimed more specifically at girls in early secondary school. It is thus a welcome rare event for Paper Planes to be released these school holidays. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Paper Planes→
I have to hand it to the writers of time travel stories, even if they are often full of plot holes. As a relatively uncreative person, I can barely comprehend the ability to create these weird paradox/infinite loop stories, just like how I can’t comprehend how dancers can learn whole ballets (and don’t even get me started on choreographers – they’re FREAKS!) You could criticise the inconsistences in The Infinite Man, but let’s face it. Time travel rarely makes sense. I don’t think it can.