2016 AFCA Award Winners Announced

 Awards Coverage, Features  Comments Off on 2016 AFCA Award Winners Announced
Feb 162016
 

furyroad

The Australian Film Critics Association (AFCA) announced the winners of their annual film and writing awards at the AFCA Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, February 16.

The Dressmaker led the awards, taking home four wins, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Screenplay. Mad Max: Fury Road took out the awards for Best Film, Best Director and Best Cinematography.

AFCA FILM AWARDS – WINNERS
BEST FILM
THE DRESSMAKER
HOLDING THE MAN
LAST CAB TO DARWIN
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD – WINNER
PARTISAN

BEST DIRECTOR
NEIL ARMFIELD – Holding the Man
ARIEL KLEIMAN – Partisan
GEORGE MILLER – Mad Max: Fury Road – WINNER
JOCELYN MOORHOUSE – The Dressmaker
JEREMY SIMS – Last Cab to Darwin

BEST ACTOR
VINCENT CASSELL – Partisan
MICHAEL CATON – Last Cab to Darwin
RYAN CORR – Holding the Man – WINNER
TOM HARDY – Mad Max: Fury Road
SULLIVAN STAPLETON – Cut Snake

BEST ACTRESS
ROBYN BUTLER – Now Add Honey
NICOLE KIDMAN – Strangerland
NINGALI LAWFORD-WOLF – Last Cab to Darwin
CHARLIZE THERON – Mad Max: Fury Road
KATE WINSLET – The Dressmaker – WINNER

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
JEREMY CHABRIEL – Partisan
HUGH KEAYES-BYRNE – Mad Max: Fury Road
ANTHONY LAPAGLIA – Holding the Man
MARK COLES SMITH – Last Cab to Darwin
HUGO WEAVING – The Dressmaker – WINNER

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
JUDY DAVIS – The Dressmaker – WINNER
SARAH SNOOK – The Dressmaker
SARAH SNOOK – Oddball
EMMA HAMILTON – Last Cab to Darwin
DEBORAH MAILMAN – Paper Planes

BEST SCREENPLAY
SARAH CYNGLER & ARIEL KLEIMAN – Partisan
GEORGE MILLER, BRENDAN MCCARTHY & NIC LATHOURIS – Mad Max: Fury Road
JOCELYN MOORHOUSE & PJ HOGAN – The Dressmaker – WINNER
TOMMY MURPHY – Holding the Man
JEREMY SIMS & REG CRIBB – Last Cab to Darwin

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
BENTLEY DEAN – Tanna
PJ DILLON – Strangerland
DONALD MCALPINE – The Dressmaker
GERMAIN MCMICKING – Partisan
JOHN SEALE – Mad Max: Fury Road – WINNER

INTERNATIONAL FILM CATEGORIES

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM (FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
THE ASSASSIN
GIRLHOOD
PHOENIX – WINNER
THE TRIBE
WILD TALES

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM (ENGLISH LANGUAGE)
BIRDMAN – WINNER
INHERENT VICE
THE LOBSTER
THE MARTIAN
SICARIO

BEST DOCUMENTARY (LOCAL OR INTERNATIONAL)
AMY – WINNER
CITIZENFOUR
GAYBY BABY
GOING CLEAR: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE PRISON OF BELIEF
SALT OF THE EARTH
WOMEN HE’S UNDRESSED

AFCA also recognises the best writing on film. The winners of the writing awards and the can be found after the jump.

Continue reading »

2016 BAFTA Award Winners

 Awards Coverage, Features  Comments Off on 2016 BAFTA Award Winners
Feb 152016
 

Mandatory Credit: Photo by David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock (5586119dt) Alejandro G. Inarritu and Leonardo DiCaprio - Best Actor EE BAFTA British Academy Film Awards, Press Room, Royal Opera House, London, Britain - 14 Feb 2016

The final stage in the award season every year is the BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Awards, the British branch of the Academy Awards. At this point in the season – two weeks shy of the Oscars – the primary contenders are starting to look pretty clear, with the BAFTA Best Picture winner either cementing favouritism (Argo, for example) or building late momentum (see The King’s Speech).

While the awards this year were spread out fairly evenly, reflective of the rather strong field, The Revenant came out as the main victor landing five – Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Cinematography and Best Sound. Mad Max: Fury Road cleaned up most of the technical categories, claiming four. Carol, which has six Oscar nominations but appears to have little chance beyond Rooney Mara for Supporting Actress, led the field of nominees but was entirely shut out.

While Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu now seems set on winning his second straight Best Director award for The Revennt, after also being awarded at the DGA, and Spotlight and The Big Short are all-but locks to win the respective screenplay categories after their BAFTA and WGA wins, Best Picture is still a tough one to predict. The Revenant, which has the advantage of strength in numbers in that it is a contender in a lot of categories, is up against the SAG Best Ensemble winner in Spotlight and the PGA winner in The Big Short. 

Rarely is there a three-way split between the PGA, DGA and the SAG – but the PGA has slightly more weight in that it is a preferential ballot, like the Oscars. But, The Big Short seems set to lose Best Editing to Mad Max: Fury Road (thought it would win this category any other year), and a lone Best Adapted Screenplay win is hardly enough to justify the big one. Spotlight makes an identical claim, though seems to be even more of a long-shot in the categories it shares with The Big Short. The Revenant – which has had mixed reviews, and has no screenplay nomination – will be bucking a lot of trends if it wins.

Leonardo Di Caprio (The Revenant) and Brie Larson (Room) seem almost-certainties after adding to their Golden Globe and SAG statuettes for Lead Actor and Actress. Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies), my personal pick to win the Supporting Actor Oscar, didn’t have his closest competitor in Golden Globe and SAG-winner Sylvester Stallone (Creed), while Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs) followed up her surprising-at-the-time Golden Globe win for Supporting Actress. Both categories remain wide open.

Find out the full list of winners after the jump: Continue reading »

Zoolander 2

 Reviews  Comments Off on Zoolander 2
Feb 132016
 

Zoolander2

Ben Stiller’s 2001 film Zoolander has become a cult comedy, and for good reason. It’s silly, it doesn’t take itself seriously, and it cleverly pokes fun at both fashion and celebrity culture. It felt fresh in 2001 and a recent re-watch affirmed that it’s still a great film. How is it then that Zoolander 2 is so awful? Review after the jump.

Continue reading »

Microbe & Gasoline [AFFFF2016]

 Festivals, French Film Festival, Reviews  Comments Off on Microbe & Gasoline [AFFFF2016]
Feb 112016
 

download

French filmmaker and quirk-maverick Michel Gondry (The Silence of Sleep, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Mood Indigo) has tackled fresh territory and remained nicely grounded in his sincere new comedy, Microbe & Gasoil [Microbe and Gasoline]. The film has a ramshackle charm, but Gondry mostly sidelines his trademark surrealism. Some weird, ill-judged butt-ins do feel out of place, but this is a very sweet and funny experience-enlightening buddy road-trip with likeable young leads. Sure to warm your heart. Continue reading »

In Cinemas 11 Feb 2016

 Feature  Comments Off on In Cinemas 11 Feb 2016
Feb 112016
 

DEADPOOL Ryan Reynolds is Marvel Comics’ most unconventional anti-hero, DEADPOOL. Photo Credit: Joe Lederer TM & © 2015 Marvel & Subs.  TM and © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.  All rights reserved.  Not for sale or duplication.

In cinemas this week: Deadpool, Zoolander 2 and Brooklyn.

Deadpool – Based upon Marvel Comics’ most unconventional anti-hero, Deadpool tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humour, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life. An obnoxious, but rather clever marketing campaign has generated a lot of buzz for this subversive R-rated superhero entry about a fringe X-men character few non-comic book fans have heard of. Ryan Reynolds is a gifted comic performer, and no doubt well-suited, but will its profane riddled rebellion fall into unpleasantly smug territory, and just how much does its subversive approach actually work?

Zoolander 2 – Ben Stiller returns both in front of and behind the camera for Zoolander 2, a comedy that finds the beloved model Derek Zoolander (Stiller) and his rival-turned-partner Hansel (Owen Wilson) facing a threat to their continued success. Zoolander’s status as a (deserved) cult comedy icon could be tainted by this cameo-drowned disaster. Let’s hope no one is talking about this film in 15 years.

Brooklyn tells the profoundly moving story of Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan), a young Irish immigrant navigating her way through 1950s Brooklyn. Lured by the promise of America, Eilis departs Ireland and the comfort of her mother’s home for the shores of New York City. The initial shackles of homesickness quickly diminish as a fresh romance sweeps Eilis into the intoxicating charm of love. But soon, her new vivacity is disrupted by her past, and Eilis must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within. I placed Brooklyn at #20 on my Best of 2015 list. This beautiful and understated romantic drama is pretty close to perfection for most of its runtime, and utterly impeccable when the story is set in Brooklyn. It tells a universally relatable immigrant story, of the courage it takes to build a life independently in a big city or strange land. Best actress nominee Saoirse Ronan and an equally Oscar-worthy Emory Cohen are wonderful; their chemistry delightful. Costumes, period design, musical score – all divine.

Weekly Recommendation: Brooklyn, but the jury is still out on Deadpool.

Trailer: Spear

 Trailers  Comments Off on Trailer: Spear
Feb 102016
 

This film was brought to my attention today and I must admit that I was kind of blown away by the trailer. Watching it, I was struck by the beauty of the dance, and the haunting nature of the music.

The film’s synopsis is as follows:

Acclaimed Artistic Director and Choreographer Stephen Page brings Bangarra Dance Theatre’s outstanding dance work SPEAR to the screen. Striking and original, Page weaves story through dance to deliver an extraordinary cinematic experience in his feature film début.

 Using gesture and dance, with minimal dialogue, SPEAR follows a young Aboriginal man named Djali (Hunter Page-Lochard) from the outback to the streets of Sydney on his quest to understand what it means to be a man with ancient traditions in a modern world.

 Featuring brilliant Bangarra dancers and an evocative David Page score that combines traditional and contemporary music, SPEAR is an intimate journey with one of Australia’s most celebrated artists and one of the most affecting and spiritually resonant films of the year.

At a time when diversity on screen is at the forefront of conversations about the film industry, it’s especially good to see films like this get a release. If (like me) you talk about how important seeing a variety of stories is, then going to see this film (and supporting local talent) is one way to do more than just talk the talk. The film is out March 10th in limited release. You can see which cinemas here.

Goosebumps

 Reviews  Comments Off on Goosebumps
Feb 072016
 

goosebumps03-2

R.L Stine’s contribution to the world of youth-friendly supernatural horror is unprecedented. His novels – 62 books from the original series were published between 1992 and 1997, and many more followed – were hugely successful, and reading them was like par the course of the journey through primary school. Stine’s extraordinary imagination led to all sorts of disturbing tales of ghosts, creatures, and uncanny phenomenon. Is there a child who didn’t have nightmares after reading The Barking Ghost (one of the scariest early-reading experiences of my life), or second-guessed going to a theme park after reading A Night in Horrorland, or attending a summer camp after reading Welcome to Camp Nightmare? While there was a long-running television series, which doesn’t hold up particularly well (trust me, I have tried), 2016 feels like the perfect time for Goosebumps to make a nostalgic return. Continue reading »

2016 Alliance Française French Film Festival Line-up Announced

 Festivals, French Film Festival  Comments Off on 2016 Alliance Française French Film Festival Line-up Announced
Feb 032016
 

dheepan

The 2016 French Film Festival programme has been announced, and this year includes 42 contemporary features, one classic and a new programme strand that will showcase 5 of France’s premier television series.

Rosalie Blum, a comedy-drama from acclaimed screenwriter Julien Rappeneau, in his directorial début, has been selected as the Festival’s Opening Night film; while closing night will be a fully restored version of Jean-Luc Godard’s 1963 classic, Contempt (Le Mépris) starring the Brigitte Bardot at the height of her career.

Highlights from the programme include:

Dheepan – Director: Jacques Audiard
The winner of the Palm d’Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. It’s great to finally get the chance to see this in Australian. The film concerns  a former Tamil fighter who adopts the identity of a dead man and recruits a young woman and orphaned child to pose as his family, as he seeks a new life in France.

In the Shadow of Women (L’Ombre des femmes) – Director: Philippe Garrel
There are many hardcore Garrel fans out there, and I am sure they will be very excited to see his newest film at on the big screen. The focuses on the romantic and professional lives of documentary filmmakers, Pierre and
Manon, who are tested when the intoxication of infidelity threatens to overwhelm their existence.

The Wait (L’Attente) – Director: Piero Messina

I will see anything the gorgeous, talented Juliette Binoche is in! At a remote Sicilian villa, a mother (Binoche) welcomes a young woman (Lou de Laâge, who was so wonderful in Breathe) claiming to be the girlfriend of her absent son. But as the days pass and the two form a friendship, it becomes apparent that something is amiss.

We also like the look of The Measure of Man, Microbe & Gasoline, and Macdam Stories.
For the full programme, head over to the festival website

 

Festival Dates & Locations 

SYDNEY: 1-24 March Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona, Chauvel Cinema & Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace
CASULA: 7-10 April Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre
PARRAMATTA: 7-10 April Riverside Theatre
MELBOURNE: 2-24 March Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Westgarth, The Kino Cinemas & The Astor Theatre
CANBERRA: 3-29 March Palace Electric Cinema
BRISBANE: 11 March – 3 April Palace Barracks & Palace Centro
PERTH: 16 March – 7 April Cinema Paradiso, Luna on SX & Windsor Cinema
ADELAIDE: 31 March – 24 April Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas
HOBART: 28 April – 4 May State Cinema