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Film Reviews

Parasite

★★★★★ - STUFF Back in 1896, HG Wells wrote – in the serial novel The Time Machine – of a distant, future Earth in which humans had evolved into two, distinct species. There were the small, effete and basically useless Eloi, who lived above the ground. And the brutish, cunning Morlocks, who...
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Toy Story 4

★★★★ - THE GUARDIAN Last year, I wrote about my (unfounded) fears that Mary Poppins Returns might trample the memory of a movie I fell in love with as a child. I felt a similar anxiety about Toy Story 4, after arguing that the first three movies formed cinema’s first “note-perfect trilogy”. Despite...
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Yesterday

★★★★ - BBC.COM Richard Curtis writes romantic comedies – Four Weddings and a Funeral and Love Actually are the best – so enticing that we wish they were real. His films are believable enough emotionally to be both joyful and heartbreaking, while their characters and situations are more colourful...
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Parasite

★★★★ - THE GUARDIAN Bong Joon-ho has returned to Cannes with a luxuriously watchable and satirical suspense drama. It runs as purringly smooth as the Mercedes driven by the lead character, played by Korean star Song Kang-ho. Parasite is a bizarre black comedy about social status, aspiration,...
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Little Woods

★★★★ - STUFF A new start beckons for Oleander "Ollie" Hale (Tessa Thompson). Her restitution is all paid up and she has does 10 days left on her probation. She even has a job interview for "something normal" in Spokane. The North Dakota resident had been caught trying to smuggle prescription...
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Little Woods

★★★★ - NZ HERALD Actress Tessa Thompson has well and truly arrived. She's been on well-known projects for years (Westworld, Selma, Creed, Dear White People) but after recent appearances as Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok and Agent M in MIB: International she's made the jump to household name. In this...
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Little Woods

★★★★ - NEWS.COM.AU Little Woods only has a small release, but it’s well worth seeking out. A powerful performance piece for Tessa Thompson and Lily James, the directorial debut by Nia DaCosta is a stunning, deep and thoughtful portrait of two marginalised women in America forgotten by city folk and...
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Pavarotti

- THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER - Ron Howard delivers a documentary portrait of the life and career of the titular star Italian tenor.  - The quintessential Italian tenor who did more to popularize opera in the latter half of the 20th century than anyone else receives a lavish and celebratory tribute in ...
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Pavarotti

★★★★ - STUFF  - He was the man who helped bring opera to a whole new audience. The son of an Italian baker who met everyone from koalas to Kofi Annan and became great friends with both Princess Diana and Bono's housekeeper. Boasting one of the most-recognisable visages (and silhouettes) of the...
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Wild Rose

★★★★ - THE GUARDIAN The celebrated songwriter Harlan Howard famously defined country music as “three chords and the truth”, a phrase that would subsequently be adopted by the likes of Billy Bragg to define skiffle, punk and all points in between. Screenwriter Nicole Taylor (who wrote the BBC...
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Sometimes Always Never

★★★★ - THE GUARDIAN There’s a beguiling Englishness to this elegant, offbeat comedy-drama, terrifically written by Frank Cottrell-Boyce and directed by feature debutant Carl Hunter. It has a wonderful syncopation in its writerly rhythm and narrative surprises. The film positively twinkles with...
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Tolkien

★★★★ - STUFF Falling somewhere in that vast hinterland between interesting-and-necessary-biopic and just-keep-flogging-that-pony, Tolkien arrives on the back of exactly the same marketing campaign we saw for last year's Goodbye Christopher Robin, the success of which I'd bet you a pint we now owe...
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