New movies this week

That’s Not Me

A disclaimer in the credits of That’s Not Me states, “Jared Leto was in no way involved in the making of this movie.” Phew! Just as well, since Melbourne husband and wife team Gregory Erdstein and Alice Foulcher made this ingenious and very clever indie for only about 60 grand. Buy why Jared Leto? Wasn’t Kit Harrington available not to be paid? The joke concerns identical twin sisters Polly and Amy, both actors, both always mistaken for one another and both played by Foulcher. Amy is the famous one who has scored a starring role in a hit HBO series and is dating Leto. Polly’s the aspiring but very envious one who hasn’t yet made it – and her only date is a douchebag hipster (a cringingly funny Rowan Davie). She lives in a cramped share flat with two self-absorbed dingbats, works as ticket seller a local art house cinema, and when she’s fired from that her redundancy settlement is a choc top. That leads to a delusional self-promotional jaunt to Hollywood, but afterwards she has to move back with her with mum and dad. Who as good supportive parents do, have always told Polly she’s “amazing” and should follow her dreams. Well, maybe not – reality hurts – and that’s what this lovely, very accomplished debut feature is saying. Its spot-on satire is both dry and very dark, its targets hit with bullseye precision. That’s quite an achievement in a film that is also has so much genuine heart. MA 15+ At Palace Norton St from Sept 7 ★★★★

Also opening at local cinemas this week

The Dinner

Intriguingly, this adaption of Herman Koch’s novel was once scheduled to be Cate Blanchett’s directorial debut. Who knows what happened, but there’s certainly no shortage of dramatic talent on board in Owen Moverman’s sparkling version. It has enough explosive talky action to keep us in a intense cold sweat from start to finish, right through to the final credits – where The Savages’ punk anthem, “Don’t let the fuckers get you down!” blasts out a reminder of what we’ve just sat through. Just to whom that expletive is directed at is up to you to decide. Could be the senate candidate (Richard Gere) who organises the dinner at an elite restaurant, maybe ihis trophy wife (Rebecca Hall), his under-achieving schoolteacher brother (Steve Coogan) or even his conniving sister-in-law (Laura Linney) – all there to sort out what to do about a callous crime their privileged children were secretly involved in. There’s a lot of recrimination, guilt and satiric wit in the conversation, with enough intellectual meat on the table to satisfy the heartiest of appetites. Though after listening to Coogan’s caustic tirades, you may well decide to become a vegan. M from Sept 7. ★★★ 1/2

Reviews – Russell Edwards