Wednesday, 20 April 2016

More wonderful films again this week! A highly entertaining French dramedy, an amusing and inspiring biopic about a ski jumper, and a terrific Aussie tale about a pawnbroker's shop in Footscray. 

Director: Xavier Giannoli
Length: 127 mins

© Transmission Films
This is a stylish drama/comedy about a French Baroness who loves to host musical soirees, and do a little operatic performance of her own. Only trouble is she sings totally out of tune. The plot may sound slight, however there is a lot to this richly entertaining film. The story is one of self-delusion, deceit and lies - with a goodly dash of betrayal and manipulation thrown in. It is also the story of passion and obsessiveness, and just how mean people can be. Playing the lead is Catherine Frot who has won well-deserved awards for her role, which actually elicits quite a degree of compassion.  The film looks glorious, set in the Art Deco 1920s, with lavish sets and costumes, and the story itself is somewhat of an operatic tragedy. Along with humour, there's a great plot, some in-tune beautiful music, and an intriguing and memorable denouement.

 4 - Wholeheartedly recommended!

For my full review:

Eddie the Eagle
Director: Dexter Fletcher
Length: 106 mins

© Twentieth Century Fox
A true story about Michael "Eddie" Edwards, Britain's entrant in the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics ski jump. From an early age he was a klutz at sport, yet had a dogged determination to be an Olympic athlete. Quite unbelievably this led him to become a (failed) skier, and finally a ski jumper!  Taron Egerton is charmingly daggy as Eddie, and looks remarkably like the real fella. Playing his coach is the charismatic Hugh Jackman (drool!), and another fave of mine, Christopher Walken makes an appearance. I started watching with fears of a formulaic cliched plot, but by the end I and my fellow reviewers were sucked in, inspired by this plucky dork, thrilled by the adrenaline of the sport, and exited the cinema with a tear in our eyes. A sure crowd-pleaser!

3.5 - Recommended!

For a full review from Chris Thompson:

Director: Paul Ireland
Length: 89 mins

Pauly and Carlo on the Footscray streets - © Toothless Pictures
Set in a run-down pawnbroker's shop in Footscray, this quintessentially Aussie, big-hearted, funny and poignant film is a winner. Les (John Brumpton) runs the shop, but his co-worker Danny (Damien Hill) has ambitions beyond the store. In the course of one day various people pass through - Kate who runs a nearby bookshop and who catches Danny's eye, Jennifer, a troubled Mum whose druggie son has robbed her, a bullying thug, and Harry, Les's mate, trying to get hold of a gun. Tying the shop's interior to the outside grungy streets are a couple of poverty-stricken street guys, Carlo and Pauly. The ensemble cast are uniformly terrific, and the script, while very funny, catches something touchingly universal about all our lives, played out in the microcosm of that little store. And, as always, it's great to see Melbourne so lovingly represented on the big screen. 

4 - Wholeheartedly Recommended!

For a full review from Chris Thompson:

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