Author Archives

MOVIE: DISTRICT 9

South African director Neill Blomkamp astounds us with a concept so original, a subtext so thrilling, and an ending so clever that the film’s publicist had to beg reviewers, “Please, no spoilers.” Fair enough. Now just imagine a million aliens arriving on Earth in a derelict spaceship. They are benign, more than that, totally helpless, […]

MOVIE: CEDAR BOYS

Funny how movies about the western suburbs (Little Fish, West) are rarely screened east of Newtown. Serhat Caradee’s masterful debut is a well deserved breakout, succeeding both as powerful drama and exposé of Sydney’s cultural and class divide. Set in the south west, three young Lebanese men dream of a better life, and it’s the […]

MOVIE: MY SISTER’S KEEPER

For a movie about dying pretty teen (Sofia Vassilieva), this is a curiously dry-eyed affair. Nick Cassavette’s bathos-by-the-bucketload adaption of Jodi Picoult’s novel uses every manipulative trick possible, leaving us not much empathy for anyone, especially super-mom (Cameron Diaz). A pity, because the premise that younger sis (Abigail Breslin) rejects her family destiny (she was […]

MOVIE: THE LIMITS OF CONTROL

Women with glasses are so cool they have their own porn category. Aficionados of the genre will be well rewarded by Jim Jarmusch’s achingly cool new film, which may (or may not) be a spy thriller. It features the stunning Paz de la Huerta, who we first see wearing nothing but a pair of spectacles […]

MOVIE: CHÉRI

The happiness on Michelle Pfeiffer’s face signals more than post coital glow. That happens quite a lot in Stephen Frears’ witty adaption of Colette’s infamous novel, because she’s Lea, a wealthy and beautiful Parisian 'courtesan'. Today we would call her something else, but the 51-year-old star may also be grinning at still being asked to […]

MOVIE: RED CLIFF

Some time during the 133 minutes of John Woo’s hugely extravagant epic, you may wonder why one of the 800,000 men in a Chinese army didn’t think it just a bit odd that a shapely female (Vicki Zhao) had suddenly turned up in their ranks. She’s a spy for the Wu Kingdom led by Zhou […]

DISGRACE

Dissolute literature prof David Lurie (John Malkovich) has a taste for young African women, which gets him sacked from his Cape Town uni. He visits his adult daughter Lucy (Jessica Haines) in a remote part of the countryside and those who have read J. M. Coetzee’s prize-winning novel will know the horrors which await. A […]