Apr 262016
 

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Written and directed by Matthew Saville (Noise and Felony), A Month of Sundays is a charming Adelaide-set drama about ordinary people and second chances, starring Anthony LaPaglia in a compelling performance as a career real estate agent, Frank Mollard, trapped in a mid-life crisis of professional failure and emotional disconnect. Having recently lost his mother and been divorced, he is estranged from his teenage son and can’t even manage to sell a house during a property boom. This humorous and often moving existential study has a unique offbeat approach, which ensures that it stirs and lingers in the consciousness longer than you would fist anticipate.

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Mar 062016
 


 

This trailer for Australian film The Daughter has been around for 4 months, but I only saw it for the first time this week as it has started showing before films and on various online sites. When I decided not to see this at Sydney Film Festival last year, I thought I wouldn’t have to wait too long to catch it on general release. 9 months later, still waiting.

The film finally gets an Australian cinema release on March 17 (with previews March 11) and I am really looking forward to finally seeing it. The film received such positive reviews out of both Sydney Film Festival and TIFF. I’ve heard a couple of people say that the trailer isn’t entirely representative of the film, but regardless, it’s a fantastic trailer and if I wasn’t already looking forward to the film, I am now.

The official synopsis of the film:

In the last days of a dying logging town Christian (Paul Schneider) returns to his family home for his father Henry’s (Geoffrey Rush) wedding to the much younger Anna (Anna Torv). While home, Christian reconnects with his childhood friend Oliver (Ewen Leslie), who has stayed in town working at Henry’s timber mill and is now out of a job. As Christian gets to know Oliver’s wife Charlotte (Miranda Otto), daughter Hedvig (Odessa Young) and father Walter (Sam Neill), he discovers a secret that could tear Oliver’s family apart. As he tries to right the wrongs of the past, his actions threaten to shatter the lives of those he left behind years before.

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.

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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.

Jan 162016
 

TheDressmaker

The Australian Film Critics Association (of which I am a member) has announced the nominees for the 2016 AFCA Film Awards. The awards recognise the best in Australian and international film in 2015.

Leading the nominations this year is Australian domestic box office hit, The Dressmaker with eight nominations, including two in the best supporting actress category (for Judy Davis and Sarah Snook). Mad Max: Fury Road received 7 AFCA nominations to go alongside the outstanding 10 Oscar nominations the critically acclaimed film has also received. Last Cab to Darwin also received 7 nods, including a much-deserved nomination for veteran Australian actor Michael Caton. The criminally under-seen Partisan received 6 nominations, and Holding the Man received 5.

Girlhood, The Martian, Phoenix, and Sicario are among the films to be recognised with a nomination in the international film categories.

The Australian Film Critics Association annually award prizes to the best Australian film criticism across three categories.

1. Ivan Hutchinson Award for best long-form writing on Australian or International cinema.
2. Award for best review of an individual Australian film.
3. Award for best review of an individual non-Australian film.

This year the awards will be judged by: Sandra Sdraulig AM (Chair of the Adelaide Film Festival), Annette Blonski (Professional script editor and consultant), Lisa French (Deputy Dean of Media & Communications, RMIT), Alan Finney (Chair of the Australian Film Institute (AFI) / AACTA), and Kristian Connelly (General Manager, Cinema Nova).

Both the Writing Award and Film Award winners will be announced at the Annual Awards Ceremony to be held at the iconic Astor Theatre, Melbourne on Tuesday, February 16th.

The full list of nominations are after the jump.

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Dec 092015
 

Mad-Max-Fury-Road

The 5th Annual Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards (the AACTAs) took place in Sydney this evening, with Mad Max: Fury Road taking Best Film and Best Director; and The Dressmaker scooping three of the four acting awards (for Kate Winselt, Judy Davis, & Hugo Weaving), as well as the people’s choice award. The fourth acting award (Best Lead Actor) was won by Michael Caton for Last Cab to Darwin.

It is fitting that Fury Road and The Dressmaker were the big winners. The two films were the highest performing at the Australian Box Office this year and were both critically praised.

At the industry awards held last month, Fury Road took home six awards including Best Visual Effects or Animation, Best Score, and Best Production Design. The Dressmaker picked up Best Costume Design.

AACTA Award For Best Film
The Dressmaker
Holding The Man
Last Cab To Darwin
Mad Max: Fury Road WINNER
Paper Planes

AACTA Award For Best Direction
The Dressmaker – Jocelyn Moorhouse
Holding The Man – Neil Armfield
Last Cab To Darwin – Jeremy Sims
Mad Max: Fury Road – George Miller WINNER

AACTA Award For Best Lead Actor
Patrick Brammall – Ruben Guthrie
Michael Caton – Last Cab To Darwin WINNER
Ryan Corr – Holding The Man
Sullivan Stapleton – Cut Snake

AACTA Award For Best Lead Actress
Roby Butler – Now Add Honey
Ningali Lawford-Wolf – Last Cab To Darwin
Charlize Theron – Mad Max: Fury Road
Kate Winslet – The Dressmaker WINNER

AACTA Award For Best Supporting Actor
Mark Coles Smith – Last Cab To Darwin
Alex Dimitriades – Ruben Guthrie
Anthony LaPaglia – Holding The Man
Hugo Weaving – The Dressmaker WINNER

AACTA Award For Best Supporting Actress
Judy Davis – The Dressmaker WINNER
Emma Hamilton – Last Cab To Darwin
Deborah Mailman – Paper Planes
Sarah Snook – The Dressmaker

AACTA People’s Choice Award for Favourite Australian Film
Oddball
Mad Max: Fury Road
Last Cab to Darwin
The Dressmaker WINNER
Paper Planes

A full list of all the winners, including the television, documentary, and industry awards, can be viewed at the AACTA website

Oct 292015
 

dressmaker

The Dressmaker leads Australia Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Award nominations, with 12 nods including Best Film, Best Director, Lead Actress (Kate Winslet,) and Supporting Actress (Sarah Snook). The film which centers around an internationally acclaimed designer returning home to rural Australia was released in Australian cinemas today (October 29).

The critically-acclaimed post-apocalyptic film Mad Max: Fury Road received 11 nominations, including a Lead Actress nomination for Charlize Theron. I love that she has been recognised as the lead, because the film is utterly hers. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see her in contention for an Oscar in the same category? We can only hope.

Warm-hearted Last Cab to Darwin received 8 nominations; while Holding the Man received 6, and Cut Snake and Paper Planes both received 5.

A look at the Best Visual Effects Or Animation category shows how many major Hollywood productions are looking to Australia for our innovation in special/visual effects. Pan, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ted 2, and Mad Max: Fury Road have all received nomination in this category.

This year has been a record-breaking year at the box office for Australian films, with the all-time box office record of $63.4 million (set in 2001) passed at the beginning of the month. The Australian film share of the local box office is currently (as of Oct 7) sitting at 6.8%, which is the best since 2001.

The AACTA craft awards will be presented at a dinner in Sydney on November 30, with the main awards presented at an awards ceremony at The Star Event Centre on December 9.

Check out the nominations after the jump.

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Jul 132015
 


 
Well this looks fun! There’s a heap of sass and a whole lot of style in the trailer for THE DRESSMAKER, the upcoming Australian film from writer director Jocelyn Moorhouse (PROOF, HOW TO MAKE AN AMERICAN QUILT). Adapted from Australian author Rosalie Ham’s 2000 novel of the same name, THE DRESSMAKER has an absolutely stacked cast, with Kate Winslet rocking a great Australian accent in the lead role. Kudos to the hair & make-up team who somehow made the gorgeous and talented Sarah Snook look decidedly plain. I am really looking forward to this film.

Official Synopsis:
Based on the best-selling novel by Rosalie Ham, THE DRESSMAKER is a bittersweet, comedy-drama set in early 1950s Australia. Tilly Dunnage (Kate Winslet), a beautiful and talented misfit, after many years working as a dressmaker in exclusive Parisian fashion houses, returns home to the tiny middle-of-nowhere town of Dungatar to right the wrongs of the past. Not only does she reconcile with her ailing, eccentric mother Molly (Judy Davis) and unexpectedly falls in love with the pure-hearted Teddy (Liam Hemsworth), but armed with her sewing machine and incredible sense of style, she transforms the women of the town and in doing so gets sweet revenge on those who did her wrong.
 
THE DRESSMAKER is released in cinemas October 22, 2015
For more information, check out the film’s Facebook page.