Movies – 222

Adoration, Sister, The Butler, Springsteen & I, Tiny Furniture


Naomi Watts is a brave actress. Fresh from tackling the near impossible task of portraying Diana, here she dives into something even more dangerous – a story by feminist icon Doris Lessing. And into deep and very murky waters indeed.

Adoration is a tale of love, lust and female friendship and tells the story of Lil (Watts) and Roz (Robin Wright), two lifelong friends living in a tranquil Australian seaside town (it was shot at Seal Rocks on the NSW coast) who embark on separate, passionate affairs  – with each others’ surfer sons! The twist here is that instead of a quick climax (well, some, they are teenage boys) when the affairs are discovered, the two women decide to just… well, continue. With the inevitable disastrous consequences.

A Hopscotch Features co-production, Adoration features an exquisite visual confidence coupled with a bold approach to storytelling. Adapted by Academy Award-winner Christopher Hampton (Atonement) and directed by Anne Fontaine, Adoration radiates with a sweltering sensuality. It is a provocative, sexy and fascinating film.

CTC from Nov 14 (Unpreviewed).

* Thanks to Hopscotch Films we have 10 double in-season passes to give away. Details below




In her accomplished 2008 debut, Home, Swiss director Ursula Meier explored life at the margins in a country we often think to be picture-postcard perfect. She returns there in Sister, a poignant drama about a 12-year-old boy and his older sister, living alone in a pretty Alpine resort. We very quickly learn that things are not right with this family. How do they live? Where are their parents?

It turns out Simon (Kacey Mottet Klein) is a cunning thief stealing ski gear from tourists in order to buy food, which he shares with the volatile and moody Louise (Léa Seydoux), who returns his obvious, overly needy affection with occasional hostility. We learn just how “wrong” things are for this pair a bit over half way in, and (no spoilers here!) that revelation comes as both a shock – and turns the nature of the story right around. Gillian Anderson is also in the fine cast. But it is Seydoux, the delicate flower of Farewell, My Queen and almost unrecognisable as the working class toughie in knee high white boots and cheap puffy jacket – who really stands out. What a stunning performance!

M15+ from Oct 31.



movies-TheButlerThe Butler

Forest Whitaker plays the butler from the poor south who serves in the White House from the 50’s through to the Reagan era while his son becomes increasingly radicalised and militant.

Within this family drama Lee Daniels has framed the entire US black rights struggle, and that’s just too big a story for one movie. But his choice of casting is inspired – Oprah Winfrey as his restive and often drunk wife, Robin Williams as President Eisenhower, Liev Schreiber as LBJ (issuing orders from the crapper), John Cusack as Nixon, and (wait for it) Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan. Obama plays himself.

CTC from Oct 31



movies-BSpringsteenDVD – Springsteen & I

Produced by Ridley Scott, this feature music doco is a celebration of rock icon Bruce Springsteen (aka The Boss), which seamlessly combines footage of some of Springsteen’s most famous live performances, dating back over three decades, with interviews with fellow musicians and fans. It is here that this doco really stands out; it becomes clear early on that this is a product by the fans, for the fans.

One example is of long-time fan Nick Ferraro, whom dreamed of performing as Elvis Presley with Springsteen. At one of his concerts, Nick came all dressed up, holding a sign that read “Can the King sing with the Boss?” and, much to his delight, he was brought up to sing with his idol. It is the touching moments like this that gives depth and humanity to this film and it’s a must-have for every Springsteen lover.

Available on DVD & Blu Ray from Nov 1.

WIN a copy of the DVD thanks to Shock Records, details below.



movies-tiny-furnitureDVD – Tiny Furniture

Lena Dunham, the everygirl geek and now superstar of HBO’s Girls didn’t just come from nowhere – first there was 2010’s Tiny Furniture. Which (and this can hardly be surprising) seems scarily autobiographical.

She stars as Aura, a less than perfectly shaped graduate with a useless film theory degree who returns home to New York to live with her mother (her real mother Laurie Simmons, and sister (her real sister Grace Dunham) in their upscale BoHo studio apartment.

She has no job, no boyfriend, no job prospects other than hospitality and not a lot happens – the perfectly typical Inner West hipster life! But then something does happen… It’s the dialogue (Dunham’s own) that cuts it here, it’s twisty, wry and off-kilter, often with a killer punch we don’t see coming. And it’s very, very funny.

Available now on DVD, Blu-ray and digital.



Reviews – Russell Edwards

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