ABR Arts Film

Jasper Jones ★★★★

Andrew Nette
Friday, 10 February 2017

There is something deeply satisfying about watching a classic cinematic trope done well. The film version of Jasper Jones, the best-selling Australian novel of the same name by Craig Silvey, is a uniquely Australian take on the coming of age film, done very well ...

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Manchester By The Sea ★★★★1/2

Anwen Crawford
Monday, 30 January 2017

Aman steers a fishing vessel through grey-blue seas off the coast of wintry Massachusetts, while another man chats with a young boy in a life jacket. The camera keeps its distance, the three figures aboard the boat framed by a wide horizon, but we soon perceive that the boy is son to the man at ...

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Moonlight ★★★★★

Whitney Monaghan
Monday, 23 January 2017

There is a striking scene early on in Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight that sums up the whole film. It is dusk and the sun is about to set on a Miami Beach. A young African American boy and his mentor sit by the sea and watch the ebb and flow of the ocean in the dwindling light. Having just run away ...

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Lion ★★★

Tim Byrne
Monday, 09 January 2017

For the first third of this film, you would be forgiven for thinking you were back under the influence of the Italian neorealists: largely non-professional actors in a realistic milieu; themes of poverty and deprivation; a child at the centre of the action. That it takes place in India only heightens the ...

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A United Kingdom ★★★1/2

Anwen Crawford
Thursday, 15 December 2016

In London, 1947, a young white English woman named Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), of modest background, meets an ordinary-seeming young black man named Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo) at a dance. They go on a few dates, swap jazz records, and then, in short order, the young ...

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The Light Between Oceans ★★★★

Brian McFarlane
Monday, 31 October 2016

If you’ve just read a novel prior to seeing the film derived from it, you tend to know what to expect in the way of major plot manoeuvres. Attention is then apt to focus on how the filmmaker has responded to the original, and the ‘what’ can then often be seriously challenged. As one who believes ...

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In the notes accompanying this year’s Melbourne Festival, artistic director Jonathan Holloway stated that his diverse program was designed to ‘puncture the creative borders between artforms’. The concept of artistic cross-fertilisation is hardly new, nor does it always result in something worth ...

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Joe Cinque's Consolation ★★★

Jake Wilson
Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Early in Helen Garner’s Joe Cinque’s Consolation (2004) there is a striking description of Anu Singh, the Canberra law student arrested in 1997 for drugging her boyfriend Joe Cinque with a cocktail of heroin and Rohypnol. In court one morning, Singh uses the interval before the judge’s arrival ...

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Sunset Song ★★★★★

Brian McFarlane
Monday, 05 September 2016

It is possible that the remainder of 2016 may produce a more memorable film than Sunset Song, but I doubt it. None so far has moved and enthralled me as Terence Davies' latest has. How I wish he didn't keep us waiting so long between films. It was the semi-autobiographical Distant Voices ...

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David Brent: Life on the road ★★★

Dilan Gunawardana
Monday, 22 August 2016

The ending of the BBC 'mockumentary' sitcom, The Office (2001–03) was suitably cathartic. Its supporting protagonists, Tim Canterbury (Martin Freeman) and Dawn Tinsley (Lucy Davis), walked off into the sunset hand in hand to Yazoo's synth love-ballad 'Only You', and its central character ...

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