Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Sept 1st- this week:  
Girl asleep
Sunset Song
The Kind Words
A Hologram for the King
Blood Father

There will be two blogs this week. Today's blog covers films out now. The next blog covers films I've already seen that will release in my absence. 
Today, poetry on screen (Sunset Song), a lightweight Israeli comedy about family secrets (The Kind Words), an indie comedy (Girl Asleep), Tom Hanks having an Arabian adventure (Hologram for the King), and an action flick with Mel Gibson (Blood Father).   

Sunset Song
Director:Terence Davies
Length: 139  min
© Madman - this is poetry on screen!
Davies is one of the great British directors who makes poetic films that take their time and reflect the hearts and souls of their characters. Sunset Song is set in the farmlands of Scotland around the time of World War 1. Chris Guthrie (Agyness Deyn) is a strong young woman living with a brutal father (Peter Mullan), a mother who cracks under the strain of too many children and a brother who leaves home. When she inherits the farm and falls for Ewen (Kevin Guthrie) it seems that life will finally fall into place, but the Great War breaks out to shatter their dreams. Visually this film is stunning, the musical soundtrack is haunting and heartbreaking, while the story itself takes its time and lets viewers experience an era of hardship, war and change, while enjoying a gentle story of love, friendship and endurance. It truly feels like poetry on screen!

4 - Wholeheartedly recommended!
For my full review:

The Kind Words
Director: Shemi Zahin
Length: 100 min

© JIFF Distribution - 3 siblings (plus 1) in search of the truth
With 12 nominations from the Israeli Film Academy (but notably no wins), this light-hearted,  amiable film delves into family relationships, a mother's death, and long-held secrets.  When Yona dies, her three adult children delve into the past, and discover the things they thought were true are not. It's a sweet film, but at times feels formulaic with a contrived look to many of the shots. The relationships are nicely portrayed, but the character of Dorona, the daughter going through marital hardship, gets a bit wearing with her constant sour-faced petulance. Scenes shot in Marseilles give the film a nice lift towards the end. This is movie going that is enjoyable while watching, but soon forgotten. 

2.5 - Maybe!
For my full review:

Girl Asleep
Director:Rosemary Myers
Length: 77  min

© Soft Tread/Umbrella - quirky doesn't begin to describe this
funny, sweet film. 
This short, sweet and totally quirky Aussie story of a fifteen-year-old grappling with life is one of the most unusual and cute films you'll see for a long time. Greta Driscoll is on the outer at school - a trio of "mean girls" (namely bitches) make her life hell, her parents are throwing her a birthday party she doesn't want, and her only friend Elliott is possibly gay. The story unfolds in the 1970s with ultra-daggy clothes, disco dance moves, and parents from hell. The hyper-realistic style of filming, with its color pallettes and carefully choreographed sequences, makes the film a treat to look at. The dialogue is brilliant, with copious laughs and digs at the characters, but things get a little obscure when Greta goes into a full-blown dream sequence which feels almost like "Where the Wild Things Are".  The film has just taken the top award at CinefestOz, and rightly so - it's fresh and delightful, and the performances are all round winners. 

4 - Wholeheartedly recommended!

A Hologram for the King
Director:Tom Tykwer
Length: 98 min
Exclusive to Cinema Nova

© Walt Disney Company/Cinema Nova - Hanks pleases yet again!
Tom Hanks plays Alan, a middle-aged businessman who is majorly malcontent with life both emotionally and financially. He hopes things will turn around when he is sent to Saudi Arabia to pitch an IT product to the King. There he runs into all manner of bureaucratic obstacles, but with the help of local taxi driver Yousef, and Zahra, a doctor at the local hospital, things go in a direction he never imagines. Despite certain doubts I have as to whether some things really could happen in this oppressive country, I found the film sweet and quirky, with self-deprecating humour, some imaginative dream sequences, and well-drawn realtionships between Alan and his two major supports. Hanks is, as always, a pleasure to watch, as are the fascinating settings and landscapes of a bizarrely wealthy kingdom. 

3.5 - Recommended!
For a full review from Chris Thompson:

Blood Father
Director: Jean Francois Richet 
Length: 8min

© Icon Films - Macho Mel is at it again in this
surprisingly good action flick
He's back! Mel Gibson plays Link, an ex-con out on parole, trying to go straight, living in a trailer park from where he runs his own tattoo parlour. But things go awry when his long-lost daughter Lydia turns up, being chased by a posse of hit-men associated with her drug-dealing boyfriend. If you love shoot-em-ups, motor-bike chases, and fathers who'll do anything for their kids, (and if you were a Sicario fan), this is one for you. It is well done within the genre, and Gibson, perfect for the role, tempers his macho, action-man persona with a helping of paternal feelings and, dare I say, sensitivity. 

3 - Recommended!

No comments:

Post a Comment