Sunday, 13 December 2015

It's that time of year where we reviewers start seeing all the really good stuff that's coming out in advance of awards season, along with the releases scheduled for Boxing Day and early New Year. We also start making our "Best of" lists! So, over the next few blogs I'll look at a couple of films I've just caught up with (belatedly), those upcoming releases I've already seen, and will regale you with my Best Of (in due course - there are still a few more to see and they might make the grade!) 

Mississippi Grind
Director: Anna Boden/Ryan Fleck
Length: 108 mins

Gerry (Ben Mendelsohn) is a hopeless gambler, down on his luck. He teams up with poker player Curtis (Ryan Reynolds) and the two take a road trip down the Mississippi River, hoping to win big time. While not a great deal happens in this film, the atmosphere of the grungy gambling haunts and cheap motels is beautifully evoked, the friendship between two very likeable guys works a treat, and I'm quite in awe of Mendelsohn's acting ability. For lovers of the understated road trip/gambling genre, it should entertain.

Worth a look!

For a full review from Bernard Hemingway:

Director: James Vanderbilt
Length: 125 mins

In 2004, on the eve of a US Presidential election, 60 Minutes producer Mary Mapes (Cate Blanchett) aired a program which questioned George W Bush's military record. Her evidence proved to be not as water-tight as it should have and the resulting brouhaha cost her and a number of other employees their jobs. Notable was the resignation of Dan Rather (Robert Redford) who had anchored the program for 30 years. This film is a fabulously incisive look at journalistic ethics, the quest for truth, and the depressing way in which the powers that be always seem to win! 
All the cast (including a number of Aussies) are strong and Blanchett is simply stunning (again!) in this role. The suspense of the plot mounts as the film moves on, making it thrilling even for those who are not political animals.  

Definitely worth seeing!

For a full review from Bernard Hemingway:

The Belier Family
Director: Eric Lartigau
Length: 127 mins

A Boxing Day release - some sneak previews around now

If you like lightweight eccentric French comedy, this could be your bag. In a family where Mum, Dad and young brother are all hearing impaired, 16-year-old Paula has to be sign language translator, even in some very embarrassing situations. When it's discovered she has a talent for singing, she is encouraged by her teacher to make some radical changes to her life, creating conflict between her desires and her feelings of family duty.  The film features plenty of whacky comedy, some teenage angst, a lot of over-excited signing from Mama, and a memorable rendition of a song that sort of sums up the whole theme near the film's denouement.

Maybe worth seeing!

For my full review:

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