Wednesday, 1 June 2016

You should never be bored with the endless choice of films. This week you can choose from comedy, a sublime  documentary, a biopic of an adventurous woman who roamed the desert, and a broody teen flick. As I always say, something for everyone.  

God Willing 
Director: Edoardo Falcone
Length: 97 mins

© Palace. Priest and atheist - two wonderful performances
I've never been a big fan of Italian comedy, but this one is a winner. In what can best be described as a semi farcical, at times irreverent romp, God Willing is the tale of an unlikely friendship between a priest, Father Pietro, and Tomasso, an arrogant cardiac surgeon and staunch atheist.  When Tomasso's son Andrea decides he will ditch his medical studies to become a priest, his dad blames Father Pietro for adversely influencing his son and sets up a scheme to expose Pietro as a fraud. With witty inventive dialogue, pitch perfect acting by the two leads, plenty of laugh-out loud scenes, and a thought-provoking plot, this is an uplifting and thoroughly enjoyable film.

4 - Wholeheartedly recommended!

For my full review:

Director: Lawrence Johnston
Length: 97 mins

Las Vegas has always been a mecca for neon signs © Sharon Hurst
This visually stunning, captivating, and nostalgic doco is a celebration of all things neon - the history, design and enduring beauty of the neon sign. The director (an Aussie) is obviously a major fan of the medium - the love and respect he has for neon shines through (pun intended!) In a fascinating historical background we learn of  the invention of neon in the early 1900s, and follow its progress from Paris to the USA, where it became an iconic part of city streetscapes, and of many film scenes.  Aficionados speak about their involvement, either as historians, artists creating neon sculptures, or curators of neon museums where the signs are taken after they are ripped down to make way for LED.
This film made me feel happy and nostalgically sad all at once - I sat rivetted by the glorious images on screen, and revelled in the broody music that perfectly complements the film. Neon totally confirmed my conviction that images of the past are more than mere nostalgia - they are a link to what our lives have been and the happy things that have shaped us. I simply adored this film!

4.5 - Wholeheartedly recommended!
Exclusive to Cinema Nova 

For a full review from Chris Thomson (who didn't like it as much as I did):

Queen of the Desert 
Director: Werner Herzog
Length: 128 mins

© Transmission Films
One of my favourite films of all time is Lawrence of Arabia. So I went to this with great anticipation, only to find myself somewhat disappointed. Nicole Kidman plays Gertrude Bell, an ahead-of-her-time woman who went off adventuring to Arabia around the same time Lawrence was there, before and during World War One. Bell became a close associate of many of the Arab tribes and ended up being involved in the geopolitical mapping of the region. But I didn't really get the sense of the significance of her involvement from the film. This story should have been immensely absorbing but somehow wasn't. It focused more upon her unhappy romances and her many expeditions, and plotwise seemed to have no strongly defined narrative arc nor any high point. Certainly the film looks exquisite, with sweeping desert scenes, magnificent cinematography and a wonderful feel for the era. Kidman plays her role well, Robert Pattinson is an odd choice for TE Lawrence, while the superb camels and the majestic sand dunes are almost the stars of the show! 

2.5 - Maybe!

For a full review from Bernard Hemingway:

Is This the Real World 
Director: Martin McKenna
Length: 88 mins

Mark Blazey (Sean Keenan) is a seventeen year old who doesn't want to play by the rules of the real world. Kicked out from his private school he locks horns with the Principal of his new school, Mr Rickard. Which is not a good thing, given Mark falls for Rickard's daughter Kim. 
Sean Keenan is aptly cast as the broody Mark and he grounds the film. High profile actors such as Julia Blake and Susie Porter (as Gran and mother) are strong. Cinematography is excellent, (especially the scenes of Mark on his dirt bike) though at times a little pretentious (overly long tracking shots). Where my big reservation kicks in is with the plot. I simply cannot believe that any modern-day teacher would be able to get away with the bullying and physical violence that Mr Rickard does. Add to this the non-credible adventure that Mark and Kim go on, and these major plot devices completely undercut the film's credibility for me. Still, it should have major appeal for teens, esp Keenan fans.

2.5 - Maybe!
Showing exclusively at Sun Yarraville and Lido Hawthorn. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow! You are a superb reviewer ... in my opinion ... I've seen a couple of those duds and totally agree with you! Keep being brave!!