Category Archives: Movies 2017

Movie: Rosalie Blum

I was sitting in the cinema, watching trailer after trailer of upcoming American movies. It’s so good to see something that’s not American for a change. Something that unfolds with a different sense of narrative pacing; something that doesn’t have American accents; something that is underpinned by values that are not American.  The absolute dominance of American news and Donald Trump in our media is making this deluge of Americana even more suffocating.

So I was well and truly ready for Rosalie Blum. This is a terrific movie, set in the present day in a provincial French town, where a prematurely-balding hairdresser who still lives with his mother, finds himself fascinated by an older woman who he’s sure he’s met previously. The gently-unfolding movie tells the same events from three different perspectives and although billed as a ‘comedy’ is bittersweet and nuanced.

The movie is in French,  sub-titled in English

My rating: 4 / 5.

Movie: ‘A United Kingdom’

There’s 54 countries in Africa, and each would have its own distinct post-colonial story. To my shame I know very few of them- just a smattering of knowledge about the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya and that’s just about it. Although some aspects of this film are for dramatic interest (e.g. the British public servants here are not historical figures), the rest is pretty accurate.  I thought for a minute that I might have to rethink my opinion of Winston Churchill- but I didn’t.  A United Kingdom is a good movie (and here’s a link to the obituary for Ruth Khama)

My rating: 4.5 out of 5

Movie: Nocturnal Animals

This movie was nothing like I thought it would be.  I knew that it was about a woman who was forwarded the draft of a book written by her ex-husband and dedicated to her. On reading it, she came to question past events, and finds that revenge can be served in many ways.

I was expecting a bit of a dinner-table psychodrama. I wasn’t prepared for the violence or dystopian bleakness of this movie.  A very critical review ‘I’m so glad to spoil this film for you’ found much the same thing.  I don’t know if I’ll be quite as malicious, but this film is certainly NOT a dinner-table psychodrama. Don’t think Woody Allen: think Mad Max.

My rating: Hard to say -4? but too violent and disturbing for me.

Movie: I, Daniel Blake

At a time when our government is sending out computer-generated demands for repayments of debts that may or may not be owed by Newstart clients, every member of Parliament should be made to sit down and watch this film. “Just get online and fix up your details” flows so easily from the lips of a politician,  but as we see with older worker Daniel Blake, it’s not so easy. Mr Bumble the Beadle from Oliver Twist might be a figure from the past, but the oily, formulaic weasel-speak of the employment centre staff is just as patronizing.

My rating: 4.5/5 stars

Movie: Hell or High Water

I’ve seen this described as a ‘Neo-Western’ which is what it is, I suppose, with lots of shoot-em-up and Texan drawls that are almost incomprehensible to my little Aussie ears. But it’s more than this. Set in a dry, featureless landscape with oil pumps rocking on small holdings with ramshackle houses surrounded by clapped-out cars, this is almost a rural version of ‘99 homes‘. A divorced father and his brother who has recently been released from prison, embark on a series of bank robberies that an old, soon-to-retire police chief is despatched to solve.  Not really my cup of tea, but there’s more to it than might appear.

My rating: 3.5/5