The Dressmaker (2015) 8/10
This movie took me by surprise. I had no idea that it was filmed in Australia and featured that quirky Aussie humour, the ‘it is what it is’ approach to hardship and the harsh, dry landscape that I love so much.
Kate Winslet is an elegant actress. She plays Tilly Dunnage. Tilly is from a speck of rural Australia and has a sense of fashion and design that is creative, bold and perfect.
Aussie talents are supporting players: hilarious and touching Hugo Weaving, batshit crazy (or is she?) Judy Davis is her mother, Liam Hemsworth is her constant love.
Loss, hilarity, revenge, adversity, triumph.
The Fifth Element (1997) – 8/10
Recently re-watched this cult classic sci fi space opera by Luc Besson.
Campy, comic book glory. Hilarious and engaging. An amazingly imaginative universe.
The fragility and power of love.
Personal Shopper (2016) – 6/10
Immediately post viewing I wanted to give this movie a 1 or even a zero. Felt the plot was a genre mash and a little bit silly and KS’s performance wooden and one dimensional.
My sister and I wanted to watch ‘Clouds of Sils Maria’ but it wasn’t available on my mum’s pay tv so we settled. And we were sorry . . . until the next day when we started pulling the movie apart – acting, plot, genres, intention, spirits, suspense, fashion, personal shoppers, atmosphere, loneliness, daring, confronting and why does KS buy so many drinks but doesn’t finish them.
There was so much about this film that we wanted to discuss and consider. It kept us busy for a couple of days. What is art?
Life (2017) – 2/10
The possibility of life on Mars always makes for compelling viewing. Jake Gyllenhaal and to a lesser degree Ryan Reynolds are fine actors. This is going to be good.
Wait, what’s that tag line? I think they meant we were better off without this movie.
A group of highly educated and trained astronauts working in a confined space. With crazy quarantine protocols. Making life and death decisions based on emotion.
An extremely intelligent and very hungry alien. And it’s definitely evil; evil with capitals and in bold. EVIL.
Never stood a chance. Earth is in trouble. If you are looking for an intelligent, well acted, interesting science fiction flick then you are better off without this movie.
Donnie Darko (2001) – 9/10
This is the third . . . or tenth time I’ve seen Donnie Darko. After each viewing I feel off kilter, like I’m not firmly in this world anymore.
Logan (2017) – 8/10
This is a movie with achingly deep feeling about love, loss and redemption. The weariness of ageing. Characters you care about, really care. Oh yeah, and some damn fine bloody action.
Am I talking about an ‘X-Men’ movie? X-Men movies are super silly these days; a multitude of mutants that have no depth and that you can’t keep track of anyway.
Logan is different, in a class far above the ubiquitous comic book movies and tv shows. Is it the story? Is it the actors? Is it the director? It is a heartfelt farewell to Wolverine and Charles Xavier, whose super heroic appearance belies their humanity.
The Night Manager (2016) – 6/10
Cloak and dagger television series adapted from the novel of the same name by John le Carre. A nod to my father for his love of intrigue and a great spy novel; maybe my interest in this genre is genetic.
Tom Hiddleston is the enigmatic night manager of an exquisite hotel in Cairo. He is ex military, cool and calm under stress. Aloof and apparently irresistible to women. A fate he cheerfully accepts.
Hugh Laurie plays his nemesis. An evil arms dealer unfazed by the deaths his actions permit. Strangely and blindly loyal to those he holds dear.
The night manager is recruited by British intelligence to infiltrate the arms dealer’s inner circle. A most wanted man for some time but clever enough to remain just out of reach. I think revenge forced the final crack in this man’s armour. Revenge for witnessed atrocities that burned and possessed.
Directed by Suzanne Bier. Did her influence create the depth of character of the female roles? Three women, backgrounds glimpsed, motivations cemented after contact with the night manager. A heavily pregnant British intelligence officer an unusual sight in the field.
Complex and exciting. Gorgeous scenery. Well acted except for the ‘oh my gosh this is so obvious’ ogling between Hiddleston and Hugh’s paramour. This went on for the last few episodes and was so annoying that it was, for me, a major detractor.
I was disappointed to read that they are considering making a season 2. I think the story is finished.