Dec 242014


The Christmas-New Year period is always a bumper time for cinema releases. Here’s our guide to [most] of what is coming out over the next couple of weeks, we hope it helps. Reviews of Paddington, St. Vincent, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Mr. Turner, The Water Diviner, The Imitation Game, Big Hero 6 and Into the Woods are after the jump.

Continue reading »

Dec 232014


So, the rule, if any is..if it got any sort of release in 2014, it’s eligible. The rule of festivals means nothing, purely because I’m still waiting for a DVD release of Alps which was on my list in 2012. If you see a film on this list that you want to catch but it was a festival film, it should hopefully encourage you, like me to fight to see the film in some way!

These films, these are the ones with good female characters, characters of ethnic diversity, characters who speak languages other than English and stories that exclude no one, but to some degree baffle all.

Continue reading »

Dec 222014


One last time. Back to Middle Earth and the battle that rages for the Lonely Mountain. When we were last with our travelers they had woken a very angry Smaug, who flew from the mountain in a fiery rage towards the settlement of Laketown. How does Laketown, the hobbit and his band of dwarves fare? The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is reviewed after the jump.

Continue reading »

Dec 212014


I have been more privileged than normal with the sheer number of films I have been able to see this year. I ventured across the world to attend the Toronto Film Festival, and made an effort to see at least one film at each of the festivals that run in Australia. It has been a terrific year, and I think what is notable is the incredible depth of excellent films.

Continue reading »

Dec 212014



The 83 submissions for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards have been whittled down to a shortlist of 9 films. Notable omissions include Mommy (Canada), Palme d’Or winner Winter Sleep (Turkey), Two Days, One Night (Belguim) and White God (Hungry). I’m disappointed Dolan’s audacious Mommy is not in contention – it is not only my favourite foreign language film of the year, but my 2nd favourite film overall. It’s surprising that the Dardenne brothers’ Two Days, One Night didn’t make the cut – the film is extremely topical and speaks to the almost universal experience of tough economic times.

On the positive side I am delighted that Poland’s Ida made the cut. It is quite possibly the best looking film of 2014, as well as being incredibly moving. Other films sure to be favourites are Russia’s Leviathan, Sweden’s Force Majuere and Argentina’s Wild Tales. I must admit to have never having heard of Corn Island, Accused or The Liberator, so I have no idea what sort of chance they have.

The full list of shortlisted nominees from which 5 will be chosen as the Oscar nominees are:

Wild Tales (Argentina)
Tangerines (Estonia)
Corn Island (Georgia)
Timbuktu (Mauritania)
Accused (Netherlands)
Ida (Poland)
Leviathan (Russia)
Force Majeure (Sweden)
The Liberator (Venezuela)

By Sam McCosh

Dec 212014


Earlier in the week I posted by Best Films of 2014 list. This list was a mix of new releases, festival titles, films I had seen overseas and films which went direct to home release. I wanted to share my list of the best Australian cinema releases of the year – all of these films got a cinema release at one or more Australian cinemas in 2014. Check the list out after the jump.

Continue reading »