ABR Arts Film

Who You Think I Am ★★★★

Felicity Chaplin
Monday, 29 July 2019

Best described as a psychological thriller in the spirit of Vertigo by Alfred Hitchcock, Who You Think I Am (Celle que vous croyez) by French director Safy Nebbou (Dumas, The Forests of Siberia) is a film about the lie at the heart of every truth, about how we deceive in order to gain love ...

... (read more)

Rocketman ★★

Patrick Boyle
Tuesday, 28 May 2019

With the release of Rocketman, Dexter Fletcher’s free-wheeling, surrealist musical saluting Sir Elton Hercules John, it’s clear the rock-and-roll biopic Hollywood’s new idée fixe. The film follows the release of Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), the award-winning celebration of Freddie Mercury ...

... (read more)

Little Woods ★★★

Anwen Crawford
Monday, 13 May 2019

‘I’m starting to see why Canada is so appealing,’ says Deb (Lily James) to her older sister Ollie (Tessa Thompson) as the two of them sit on the kitchen floor of their mother’s house trying to figure out their lives. Their mother has died after an unspecified, difficult illness; Ollie was her live-in carer and still sleeps on the sofa, out of habit and grief ...

... (read more)

All Is True ★★1/2

Johanna Leggatt
Monday, 06 May 2019

There is a scene in Kenneth Branagh’s British film, All is True, where the earl of Southampton (Ian McKellen) tells William Shakespeare (Branagh) that The Bard has lived ‘a small life’. As the Southampton points out snidely, there have been no scandals in Shakespeare’s backstory, no drunken gallivanting on ...

... (read more)

1985 ★★★★

Stuart Richards
Wednesday, 24 April 2019

At the 2019 Melbourne Queer Film Festival, a friend and I were discussing the work of the Texan-based, Malaysian-born filmmaker Yen Tan. Having just seen his latest film, 1985, I was struck by the subtle power of the film. Aesthetically, it might have been made in 1985. As with all his films, there is a non-sensationalist sadness that gradually builds ...

... (read more)

Burning ★★★★★

Richard Leathem
Friday, 12 April 2019

Japanese author Haruki Murakami may be one of the most revered authors alive, but his work is seldom adapted for the screen, erhaps because the internalised nature of his narratives doesn’t leap out as being easily translated to film. Until now, only Norwegian Wood (2010), an atypical Murakami novel, has seen wide exposure ...

... (read more)

Us ★★★★

Barnaby Smith
Thursday, 28 March 2019

Popular culture is still resonating with the impact of Jordan Peele’s 2017 film Get Out, one of the most extraordinary and confident directorial débuts of recent times. Get Out cut a swath through complacency and assumptions regarding race relations. The idea of wealthy, ageing white people transplanting their brains into the bodies of young black men to ...

... (read more)

Stan & Ollie ★★★

Richard Leathem
Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Comedy is a fickle business and a biopic on almost any successful comic act would surely include a section on the inevitable falling out of favour with public tastes. Laurel & Hardy were no exception, and Stan & Ollie, a BBC Films co-production, ostensibly focuses on the latter part of the duo’s career, when the film roles had dried up and a theatre tour of ...

... (read more)

At Eternity's Gate ★★★★

Jack Callil
Monday, 11 February 2019

A man sits on a chair in a field, hands clasped together. He runs into the open grass before collapsing onto the ground. Grasping a handful of earth, he holds it high above his head and lets it fall over his face. He sits up, draws a palm across his mouth, and looks at the sunset. He grins ...

... (read more)

If Beale Street Could Talk ★★★★

Patricia Maunder
Friday, 08 February 2019

There is an inordinate weight of expectation on Barry Jenkins’s third feature, If Beale Street Could Talk. His previous film, Moonlight, won three Oscars in 2017, including Best Picture (after La La Land’s mistaken-award chaos), and was nominated in five other categories. Furthermore, this is the first English-language film ...

... (read more)