As Trish, Shailene Woodley is the title’s “divergent,” a “different one” who doesn’t fit into any of the five clans everyone has to belong to in Veronica Roth’s dystopian future.
This is some time after a war that has destroyed our planet (but not Chicago’s skyline). The twist here is that survivors inside a giant fence around the city must choose at graduation which clan to belong to: the Erudites (knowledge workers) the Dauntless (the protectors) etc. And having made that choice, failure in the role means being cast outside – forever.
Kate Winslet is convincing as the monster in charge, so is Theo James as the smouldering Che (no beret but great tatts) Trish falls in with. There are some primeval teenage anxieties about fitting in and future roles being played out here, quite deftly by director Neil Burger.
Enough for a franchise? You bet! But what do those inside the fenced-in city eat? In one brief scene we glimpse a clan of peasants harvesting the crop of our post- apocalyptic future: kale. Oh no! Hunger Games: The Sequel has truly begun…
M15+ from April 10.
★ Thanks to eOne Films Australia we have 5 double in-season passes to give away.
For details on how to win, see our Giveaways page.
Nymphomaniac Parts 1 & 2
The credits disclaimer at the end of Lars von Trier’s 4 hour plus epic says: “None of the actors had penetrative sex during the making of this motion picture”.
What? Not even Charlotte Gainsborough, Uma Thurman, Christian Slater, Shia LeBeouf, Willem Defoe or Jamie Bell? Didn’t their contracts allow it? It doesn’t state they weren’t whipped, sodomised, spanked, beaten or urinated on – all of which occur during the many transgressive hard-core scenes often filmed in startling close-up.
We’re told this is the life story of “Joe” (Gainsborough mostly, but also Stacey Martin, sensational as the younger nympho in the more playful Part 1), whose joyless encounters with about 1000 men make for an often very funny, always thoughtful and genuinely entertaining film. It’s really a rumination on life, death, religion, loneliness, guilt, pain, unhappiness and fly-fishing (so glad you’ve recovered, Lars!) – and yes, some will claim to see something deep and meaningful in a montage of 100 penises. Others will feel they are being mocked.
Only one thing is certain. This aging controversy-addict has finally made a movie worthy of a controversy!
R18+ from Mar 27
Thanks to Trainspotting‘s Irvine Welsh, we expect everyone in Scotland to be like Bruce Robertson, the snorting, scheming, rooting, swearing drug-addicted detective running amok on the streets of Edinburgh. If the Scots ever do decide to secede, the Brits will be glad to see the back of them!
James McAvoy is brilliant and fearless as the worst policeman ever filmed, but he’s not the only one having the time of their lives in Jon S Baird’s hugely successful trawl through the nightmarish reaches of Welsh-land. Jamie Bell plays Bruce’s coked up chum and Eddie Marsan is his put upon colleague. Imogen Poots (somehow!) manages to retain her dignity.
There’s also homophobia, racism, underage sex, violence, pornography and a fabulous soundtrack. Everything for a great night in!
R18+ DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital from April 4.
★ Thanks to Icon Home Entertainment we have 5 DVDs to give away.
For details on how to win, see our Giveaways page.
The Lego Movie
With “explanatory” dialogue like, “Blah, blah, blah, proper name, place name, backstory,” Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s genuinely ground breaking animation is nothing if not subversive. All the characters are Lego figures with restricted movements and exactly two facial expressions – not unlike some big name actors we know.
Those lines are delivered by the Lego Lady voiced by Elizabeth Banks, a femme fatale and action gal who seduces our hero, construction worker Emmet (Chris Platt) into a rebellion lead by (who else?) Morgan Freeman. And if you think the critique of life in Lego Land in this inventive and very funny movie sounds familiar, it is. It’s from The Communist Manifesto (© Karl Marx).
Working class hero Emmet abandons the Lego Land plans handed down to him by the evil Lord Business (no relation to Rupert Murdoch) and becomes the “Special One” destined to lead the people of Lego Land to their true destiny. This being for kids, who will miss most of lightening-fast and jaunty satire, the powerless little guys (spoiler alert!) win. And so, unchained from their Multiplex armchairs, everyone is free to triumphantly march from one corner of the Westfield Complex to another. And line up (orderly queue please) at Toys R Us. $49.99 inc GST. PG from April 3.
PG from April 3.
The Raid 2
Gareth Evans’ action-flick The Raid, set in a grungy and hellish Indonesian slum, blew critics away last year – even the ones who normally dismiss the genre as beneath them. Its sequel may reduce them to a jibbering mess – straining to find superlatives.
Though it could never win a major Festival prize (as Nicolas Windings Refn’s similarly confronting Only God Forgives surprisingly did last year), it really is avant-garde cinema at its most polished and accessible. Everything about it is class, especially the Godfather-like machinations of its crime bosses and the incredible two and half hours of mayhem, once again choreographed by the earlier movie’s invincible star, Iko Uwais.
The frenetic pace and sheer viscousness (and visceral excitement) of it all left me reeling, sitting in a pool of my own sweat. And errr… other stuff.
CTC from Mar 28.