Nitram

March 28, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Untethered

(Directed by Justin Kurzel) (2021) Suspense need not be a mystery. Out of the so-called 7 plots, the dramatist’s art is to finesse the selected one. As with Shakespeare, it matters not that we know the ending. In Nitram (‘Martin’ backwards, as is Martin), the story (about Martin Bryant, going ‘postal’ in April 1996) is notorious. Here, the director creates an intimate, very private background to a very public tragedy, and does it with great depth of feeling and beautiful pacing. It is a small town saga (the south-east coast of Victoria standing in for Port Arthur, probably for political…

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Spencer (dir. Pablo Larrain 2021)

February 24, 2022 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Pablo Larrain’s fiction about an imagined few days in the life of Diana, Princes of Wales at Sandringham Castle, Christmas 1991 will make you feel really sorry for that woman. Not Diana. Heavens no! But Kristen Stewart.  The poor thing does very well in portraying Diana despite a poor Sloane Ranger accent and a script as leaden as the lining of a butler’s sink. Stewart gives Spencer’s Diana just as much weight as she merits – none.  Spencer’s Diana is a whiney, entitled, disrespectful, self-centred fool. She’s world-weary and heartily sick and tired of the demands that those nasty Windsors…

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Quo Vadis, Aida?

February 24, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Jasmila Zbanic) (2020) If you were told that a mortal enemy was approaching your town, in force, what would you do? Would you up stakes (family, dog, cat, photos, bread and water)? Or would you wait and hope for relief from a UN Peace Keeping brigade, lacking both air support and Sun Tzu’s well-known power to keep peace (i.e. by preparedness for war)? After Tito, who had ruled Yugoslavia for some 34 years under Soviet patronage (although he was not exactly a puppet) died in 1980, it was inevitable that the country would list, containing as it did…

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The House of Gucci (dir. Ridley Scott)

January 23, 2022 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Gucci 2022. (Image courtesy of www.gucci.com)

(2021) Poor Ridley doesn’t know what kind of director he is – sci-fi (Alien, Blade Runner), historicist (Gladiator, Robin Hood) or God-Love-America (Thelma and Louise, Black Hawk Down)? He’s as confused as we are by his house-of-fashion-meets-financial-shenanigans offering, The House of Gucci.  Gold-digger Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) meets Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver) at a Milan party. She wants him, at least the Gucci part. He’s not interested, indeed he doesn’t seem to be interested in anything at all throughout the two and a half hour story, but Patrizia won’t leave him alone. She throws all of Gaga’s famous 5 foot…

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The Power of the Dog

December 11, 2021 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Chaps and More Chaps, and a Little Anthrax on the Side How Jane Campion’s Dude Ranch Film Slides Away into the Montana Night By Janelle McCulloch “The Power of the Dog” directed by Jane Campion (2021) What can be said about The Power of the Dog? It’s a strange way to begin a film review of this Western drama, but I am well and truly mute. And much of this now-widely-talked-about film is, too. It’s a beautifully shot piece, low on dialogue but big on wide Montana skies (which are actually wide New Zealand skies), and there are some very…

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