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Film Reviews

Litigante

★★★★ - STUFF  - A perfectly drawn slice of humanity, honestly shared -  In present day Bogotá, Silvia is having what we might all recognise as a particularly bloody awful few weeks. Her mother, who she enjoys a prickly and combative relationship with, is going downhill fast with cancer. At work,…
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Finding You

VARIETY  - Self-Assurance Is Lost and Found in Twee Romantic Comedy -  Don’t be fooled by the empowerment-sounding title of “Finding You”: The engine of writer-director Brian Baugh’s romantic comedy isn’t driven by the woman herself, but by the men who are continually placed in power positions…
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James & Isey

★★★★½ - STUFF  - Florian Habicht's tiny tale an aroha-filled, sentiment-free joy -  As far as anyone knew, Florian Habicht (Kaikohe Demolition, Spookers) had folded up his documentary director's chair and joined the slightly more lucrative and stable world of directing TV commercials. But,…
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Land

★★★★ - STUFF  - Why Robin Wright's slight and quietly beautiful film is worth seeking out -  Any film that begins with The Staves’ achingly lovely interpretation of Springsteen's I'm on Fire, effortlessly transforming an ode to carnal lust into a tale of loss and redemption, is probably destined…
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First Cow

★★★★ - STUFF  - Kelly Reichardt is as idiosyncratic as they come. Her films are distinguishable and more or less immediately recognisable, by their quietness, their intense focus on small lives lived out in small communities and the wit and grace to acknowledge that every human life and human…
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The United States vs. Billie Holiday

★★★★ - THE TIMES   - An astonishing, red-raw performance from the singer and novice actress Andra Day is the main draw in this excoriating biopic about the FBI’s relentless pursuit of the jazz singer Billie Holiday. Adapted from a small section of Johann Hari’s non-fiction book about drug…
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Gunda

★★★★★ - STUFF  - Why a black-and-white documentary about a pig is 2021's best movie so far -  “This reviewer only likes black-and-white dramas about ballet dancers.” It's still my favourite online response to anything I've written. I can't remember what I wrote to elicit the comment. Probably…
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Tom & Jerry

★★★ - STUFF  - They are billed as the world’s “most famous enemies” and one of the most successful screen partnerships of all time. A duo who first appeared on-screen together more than 80 years ago and have no-less than seven Academy Awards for their work. And yet, this is only Thomas D. Cat and…
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Girls Can't Surf

★★★★ - STUFF  - Superb doco recounts how wave riders stood up against sexism -  In the 1970s, surfing became a big money sport. Sometime in that decade and the one that preceded it, the usual swivel-eyed pack of muppets who pass themselves off as “marketing", or "management", or whatever other…
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The Father

★★★★★ - STUFF  - An immersive, confronting, devastating drama that will haunt you -  Anthony Evans (Anthony Hopkins) loves his London flat. From his elevated view above Lauderdale Road, he can see the hustle and bustle of Elgin Avenue and he’s just a short distance from both the famed Abbey Road…
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The Father

★★★★ - WASHINGTON POST  - ‘The Father’ is a meticulously constructed story in which very little is what it seems -  In the intricate, exquisitely crafted movie “The Father,” Anthony Hopkins plays Anthony, an elderly gentleman living in a well-appointed flat in London, where he’s been living with…
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The Courier

★★★★ - STUFF  - Benedict Cumberbatch, Jessie Buckley shine in Cold War thriller -  “You drink too much, you’re not in great shape. If this was the least bit dangerous, you really are the last person we’d send.” Meant to allay British businessman Greville Wynne’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) concerns…
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