Tag Archives: simon miraudo

The road worrier – The Rover review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 10, 2014 The Rover is a hugely stressful tone poem in which on-screen characters are constantly being shot and killed by off-screen characters. That precise trick made for a startling capper to David Michôd‘s breakout hit Animal Kingdom, and he trots it out again several times in his theatrical follow-up. It’s […]

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Drag race – How to Train Your Dragon 2 review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 10, 2014 Dragons don’t kill people. Bad people with dragons kill people. So goes the lesson of How to Train Your Dragon 2, the sequel to DreamWorks Animation’s only great movie. Kids can do with that metaphor what they will, except, hopefully, apply it to drugs or guns. Written and directed […]

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Compassion play – Two Days, One Night review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 10, 2014 Two Days, One Night is paced like a joke, but it plays like a prayer. Writer-directors the Dardenne brothers, Jean-Pierre and Luc, spend the movie repeating the setup over and over again. Marion Cotillard‘s Sandra, recovering from a nervous breakdown, has a single weekend to convince each of her […]

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Losing it at the movies – Life Itself review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 9, 2014 Roger Ebert, lover of women, alcohol, cinema, and life itself, is seen at the conclusion of Steve James‘ new documentary making peace with his impending death, calling it a satisfying conclusion to his narrative. He would have hated being robbed a “third act” through sudden death. That’s remarkable chutzpah […]

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You get what you give – Begin Again review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 9, 2014 It’s called Begin Again, but why, when once was probably enough? Keira Knightley stars as heartbroken English singer-songwriter Greta, still reeling from a break-up with a newly-minted rock star (Adam Levine) whose increasing douchebaggery can be measured by the growth of his beard and widening of his shirts’ v-necks. […]

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Gone in 85 minutes – Locke review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 8, 2014 Steven Knight‘s Locke makes us ride ‘shotgun’ with Tom Hardy for 85 minutes and doesn’t let us out until the final credits roll. There are worse people to be stuck in traffic with. Carrot Top. Piers Morgan. Literally any Jenner. The makers of 1996 flop Carpool tested the limits of […]

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Bless this mess – Love is Strange review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 7, 2014 Love is Strange but the housing situation in New York is stranger. “Like something out of Kafka” is how Alfred Molina‘s character, George, describes it. Suddenly made homeless, music teacher George and his partner of 39 years, painter Ben (John Lithgow), have the unenviable task of begging their extended […]

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The young and the rest of us – Boyhood review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 7, 2014 Richard Linklater spent 12 years making the bittersweet Boyhood, shooting it piecemeal with actors Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette, as well as newcomers Ellar Coltrane and Linklater’s real-life daughter Lorelei. The elders play the divorced parents, and the youngers their children, lugged around Texas as their mother seeks new […]

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Sister Kristen – The Skeleton Twins review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 7, 2014 Everyone’s doing it. Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort have done it. Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson are about to do it. Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader have just finished it. Call it Hollywood’s hottest and grossest new fad: incesting. It’s that thing where actors play both siblings and lovers […]

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Twee at last – God Help the Girl review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 6, 2014 Finally, an answer to the question of what it would look like if a Belle & Sebastian album cover came to life, and under which reasonable circumstances a girl might bathe with a toy tiger, rest her head on a stack of books, or chill coquettishly on a Scottish […]

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Unknowing me, unknowing you – The Unknown Known review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 6, 2014 Not even Errol Morris‘ infamous Interrotron – a camera-rig that gazes right into the subject’s freaking soul – can pierce an unyielding Donald Rumsfeld in The Unknown Known. Morris’ latest documentary isolates the former U.S. Secretary of Defence and sees him grilled on topics ranging from the World Trade […]

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Piety party – Calvary review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 5, 2014 Those devilish McDonagh boys, always zigging when you think they’ll zag. John Michael McDonagh – brother of Oscar-winning In Bruges director Martin – follows up his dirt-black buddy comedy The Guard with despairing anti-hymn Calvary. It plays out like a parable, or, maybe, some half-remembered joke, with Brendan Gleeson‘s generous Father James learning of a mysterious parishioner’s desire to murder him; […]

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Lose your head – Frank review (Sydney Film Festival)

By Simon Miraudo June 5, 2014 Michael Fassbender covers up in Frank, though you could say that of any film he’s done in the years since Shame. The pants stay on, and now, a papier-mâché head has been added to the mix, obscuring the Irish actor’s handsome visage for the majority of the movie. Though […]

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A festivus for the rest of us: Sydney Film Festival 2014 begins!

The Sydney Film Festival is once again upon us, and 2014’s slate is as tantalising as any that has come before. This, of course, means our editorial team will be occupied skittering from darkened cinema to darkened cinema, up all night scribbling reviews, and frantically posting them each morning for the pleasure of those unable […]

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The top 10 films to catch at the 2014 Sydney Film Festival

By Simon Miraudo June 3, 2014 The Sydney Film Festival is upon us again, and you can trust us to cover all the hits, misses, and, well, whatever word we end up using to describe that single-shot Iranian slasher flick (more on that later). Scheduling and prioritising movies can be a stressful endeavour, so here […]

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Mouse trap – Escape from Tomorrow review

By Simon Miraudo June 3, 2014 “Don’t let your imagination run wild” is advice given to our hero at the start of Escape from Tomorrow, and advice not taken by director Randy Moore, who filmed this nightmare phantasmagoria in secret at the Walt Disney World Resort. Over the course of one fateful day, Jim White […]

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U got it bad – The Fault in Our Stars review

By Simon Miraudo May 28, 2014 As far as crazes amongst teenagers go, the ‘slow-death fantasy’ is a weird (if not new) one. Its most modern incarnation, John Green’s bestselling novel The Fault in Our Stars, has struck quite a chord; certainly if my screening of Josh Boone‘s feature adaptation is any indication. The audience […]

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The top 10 episodes of The West Wing

By Simon Miraudo May 21, 2014 Fifteen years ago, The West Wing debuted to an unsuspecting audience, and, along with fellow Class-of-99’er The Sopranos, totally upended the televisual landscape, kicking off the argument that TV might actually be better than the movies. A smart, stirring and super-funny series concerning fictional President Jed Bartlet (Martin Sheen) […]

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About time – X-Men: Days of Future Past review

By Simon Miraudo May 20, 2014 X-Men movies: always promising, never fulfilling. Days of Future Past – the seventh, for those marking time by this franchise’s release schedule – reunites the cast of Bryan Singer‘s original instalment with the ‘X-Men Babies’ introduced in First Class. It’s probably an exciting prospect for those who were equally […]

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Proclaimer mia! – Sunshine on Leith review

By Simon Miraudo May 19, 2014 There is nothing quite as alarming as sitting down to a film and only then discovering it’s a musical, to say nothing of the confusion that comes with the realisation it’s comprised entirely of Proclaimers songs. And yet, that is precisely the experience Sunshine on Leith delivered. (In fairness, […]

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Monster mash – Godzilla review

By Simon Miraudo May 15, 2014 Less is more, except when it comes to Godzilla, when more is perceived to be the whole damn point. That’s the conventional thinking, anyway, and there might not be a more conventional cinematic thinker than Roland Emmerich, whose 1998 attempt to bring the Japanese icon to the screen substituted […]

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Life is inscrutable – The Zero Theorem review

By Simon Miraudo May 12, 2015 The future has come and gone in Terry Gilliam‘s The Zero Theorem. Well, that’s if you ask the omnipresent talking billboards of his dystopia, who loudly shout such inane, “obey”-style advertisements to deadened passers-by. To think: the chattiness of marketing isn’t even the most depressing part of this universe. […]

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night, ‘Mother – The Babadook review

By Simon Miraudo May 12, 2014 You may not believe in bogeymen, but you better believe The Babadook is the best Australian film in years. Jennifer Kent’s feature debut is wholly inventive and original, while still calling to mind Drag Me To Hell, The Entity, Repulsion, The Shining, and Carrie. I don’t list its (possible) […]

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Fry and lorry – Chef review

By Simon Miraudo May 9, 2014 Chef is the most unremarkable film to ever be considered a ‘bridge-burner’, but that it is. Writer-director Jon Favreau revisits his acting roots as, well, a chef who turns his back on high-priced, uninventive gourmet food and earns back artistic credit in a dingy sandwich truck. No doubt the […]

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“A boy’s best friend is his mother.” The most memorable movie mums.

By Simon Miraudo May 7, 2014 Cinema history is littered with memorable movie mums, from the nurturing to the smothering to… well, whatever you call the son-swapping ladies in Adoration. Here are five of my favourite, all with their own unique personalities and peculiarities. With the exception of maybe one, they’re certain to make you […]

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War of the broses – Bad Neighbours review

By Simon Miraudo May 5, 2014 A man and woman get to be best friends in Bad Neighbours, making it the most revolutionary comedy of the post-Apatow age. Seth Rogen, who not so long ago starred as Freaks and Geeks‘ resident sarcastic stoner, is, in 2014, charming dad material, playing Mac Radner, loving husband to […]

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The parent trap – Like Father Like Son review

By Simon Miraudo May 1, 2014 Cultures collide oh so gently in Hirokazu Kore-eda‘s Like Father Like Son, a Japanese drama that examines its cavernous, local class divide thoughtfully and tenderly, much like Iran’s A Separation before it. DreamWorks has already snapped up the rights for an American remake, after founder Steven Spielberg spied it […]

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Tangled up in blue – The Amazing Spider-Man 2 review

By Simon Miraudo April 23, 2014 You’ve come a long way, Spidey. Just in the wrong direction. Sam Raimi‘s 2004 effort Spider-Man 2 is an all-timer; an exhilarating comic-book movie that skilfully balances goofball comedy with profoundly affecting tragedy, allowing a complicated romance to simmer beneath the surface. It’s among the best superhero films ever […]

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Willenium – Transcendence review

By Simon Miraudo April 22, 2014 Transcendence makes a convincing case for the abandonment of technology, although it’s not nearly as convincing as the case it makes for the abandonment of films about technology. This one unironically deploys phrases like, “We have to get off the grid”, and one particular event in the script is […]

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Playtime – The Lego Movie review

By Simon Miraudo April 10, 2014 At the intersection of chaos and commerce lies The Lego Movie, a manic, subversive family film that somehow squeezed its way out of the studio sausage factory. Don’t call it a cash-grab. Heck, if cash-grabs were always this good, we’d all be broke. The credit probably belongs to writer-director […]

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