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Film Reviews

Happiest Season

★★★★ - EMPIRE  - It’s the most wonderful time of the year: snow is falling, lights are twinkling, children travel home to visit their families and make new memories together. Everybody wants to have a perfect Christmas. But what happens when you throw in a secret that could potentially ruin…
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David Byrne's American Utopia

★★★★★ - STUFF  - Spike Lee's once-in-a-lifetime concert movie -  I can't stand David Byrne. I love David Byrne. I can't stand his control, his poise, his sheer nerdishness, the air of remove and effete intellectualism that he allows to colour so much of his image. I can't stand his insistence on…
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The Comeback Trail

★★★★ - THE AUSTRALIAN  - The Comeback Trail is one of the cleverest, funniest movies I have seen in a while. The movie is also Robert De Niro’s greatest performance since … well Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman. OK, that was only 12 months ago, but I think you know what I mean. He plays cash-strapped…
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Six60: Till The Lights Go Out

★★★½ - STUFF  - Band reveals roots, regrets on road to success -  The “Dunedin Sound” was never like this. Sure local bands were gaining national, sometimes international attention for their songs when I was growing up in the Edinburgh of the South, but the likes of The Clean, The Chills, The…
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Made In Italy

★★★½ - DEADLINE  - Liam Neeson And Son Micheál Richardson Excel In Tuscany-Set Dramedy That Mirrors Their Own Lives -  The new family dramedy Made In Italy seems made to order for stars Liam Neeson and his own real-life son Micheál Richardson. But in fact this feature debut from writer-director…
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Made In Italy

★★★½ - NZ HERALD  - A superlatively pleasant cinematic excursion to Tuscany -  Liam Neeson stars opposite his real-life son in this cordial dramedy that luxuriates in a ridiculously idyllic – albeit probably accurate – depiction of Tuscany. Switching out his gun for a paintbrush after spending…
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Rams

★★★★★ - NZ HERALD   - Sam Neill's superlatively charming screen presence drives a modern ocker classic -  This casually wonderful Australian adaptation of a 2015 Icelandic film is an utter joy from start to finish, and proves a splendid vehicle for Kiwi national treasure Sam Neill's delightfully…
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Ammonite

★★★★ - THE GUARDIAN   - Francis Lee’s sensational biopic of palaeontology pioneer Mary Anning reimagines her erotic encounter with a woman trapped in a stifling marriage -  The open secret of Victorian sexuality is rediscovered by film-maker Francis Lee in this fine, intimate, intelligently acted…
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A Son

★★★★★ - STUFF  - Why this Tunisian drama is an astonishing, testing and honest film -  I saw A Son at a preview back in March. It was scheduled to start its season a week or two later, but Covid and the world intervened. Nine months later, without having had the chance to watch A Son again, I…
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Rams

★★★★ - STUFF  - Could Sam Neill's ovine black comedy be the saviour of Kiwi cinemas? -  New Zealand’s favourite septuagenarian and vineyard proprietor’s career renaissance continues with a magnificent performance in this Australian black comedy. After impressive, scene-stealing turns in Sweet…
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A Son

★★★★ - THE AUSTRALIAN  - A Son, written and directed by Mehdi Barsaoui, in his feature debut, opens with a family heading off to a picnic with friends. The father, Fares (Sami Bouajila), is driving, with his 11-year-old son Aziz (Youssef Khemiri) on his lap, hands also on the steering wheel. His…
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Rams

★★★★ - GUARDIAN  -  Sam Neill and Michael Caton's unpretentious sheep farmers will move ewe -  Rams is a lovely, even-tempered drama about men and rural life, gentle but firm of spirit, with a down-to-earth pith and a way of entertainingly and unpretentiously exploring potentially difficult…
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  • SIX60: Till the Lights Go Out
  • Happiest Season
  • The Comeback Trail
  • Rams
  • David Byrne's American Utopia
  • Misbehaviour
  • NT Live: Cyrano de Bergerac
  • Made in Italy
  • Katherine Jenkins: Christmas Spectacular
  • Baby, Done
  • A Son
  • I Am Woman
  • Secret Impressionists
  • The Mystery of Henri Pick
  • It Must Be Heaven
  • Tenet
  • Romantic Road
  • Bolshoi Ballet 20/21: The Nutcracker
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