Wiener Dog

September 18, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Comedy Film, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Todd Solondz) (2015) A film of many dog day afternoons, with a docile, uncomplaining dachshund the trope for hope and the lifting of spirits, this beautifully shot but slurpily-cadenced film is a poignant dance through a series of sad-funny lives and circumstances. From his first rejection (taken in the back of a ute from a farm to the shopping mart featuring a Chuck E Cheese, a 99c Store, an Armed Forces Career Center, ‘My Urgent Care Walk-in Medical’, ‘Vitamin World’, ‘Shoes etc’, AT&T, Liquor and, relevantly, a “Shake A Paw”), wiener dog is shuttled around. First there is a messy, disastrous stay…

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Lady Macbeth

June 26, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Dir. William Oldroyd) (2017) Leskov’s Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District (1865) is the template here, a pastoral of straitened femininity, boredom and murder that owes a bit more to Flaubert than Shakespeare or Turgenev. But not a lot – animal lust is the key here and this painterly, pretty, frankly quick little psychodrama is not a lot more than the slightly-higher trash, albeit well executed, beautifully photographed and guiltily pleasurable. We’re somewhere near the moors, in an England (Mtsensk is nowhere to be seen) wedged between Jane Austen and George Eliot, with the lovely, creaking, chilly old manor house as a major character,…

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Get Out

May 8, 2017 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Directed by Jordan Peele) (2017) In the  promos for Get Out, we see  the agonised, frozen face of a black man, Chris. You will see more such faces in Get Out, but not all of them are black. Decades ago, having withdrawn from the tense atmospherics of a 1980s media party, L was chilling (there was still some hippie in the air, and L is very cool) in a quiet room, exchanging a few words with a well-known African-American singer, who was hoovering up some well-known Australian lollies from a jar on the mantelpiece. An older (white) couple paused on their way out to congratulate said singer with, “thank you for your…

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Personal Shopper

April 21, 2017 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Written and directed by Olivier Assayas (2016) Much has been made in the publicity for this horror-paranormal-suspense-thingie of the haute couture clothes which Maureen (Kristen Stewart) buys for her employer, but  is ‘forbidden’ from trying on herself.  Naturally she tries them on, but unhappily they are too few, rather dull and Kristen wears them with her usual aplomb. If you like watching Kristen Stewart clump around sullenly in designer clothes, you’d be better off watching the Oscars. Maureen has a job – God knows why – selecting clothes for a vaguely-defined celebrity, Kyra (an underused Nora von Waldstätten).  We’re confused. Why does a stylist get around…

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The Founder

April 5, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Dir. John Lee Hancock) (2017) It’s the Art of the Deal with extra fries but no profundity. Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton in acting-overdrive mode) unearths the McDonald’s production-line, family-friendly, fast-food ‘restaurant’ and envisions that template replicated, by way of franchising, across the planet. And that’s it. Yep. That’s it. We’ll have it our way – hold the cheese, please. Unlike the sauce, there’s nothing special here; it’s all rather obtuse, albeit not objectionable. It’s like the famous product – fast, bland, formulaic, predictable, and forgotten in a trice. It founders under the arches, and the archness.

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