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Film Reviews

Bohemian Rhapsody

★★★★ - STUFF  - There’s a couple of ways this review can go. I could start with a very long list of the absolute nonsense in the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. Writer – and Taranaki’s own – Anthony McCarten has a fine gift for taking outrageously interesting and complex lives and events...
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Brimstone and Glory

★★★★★ - Stuff  Every year, the Mexican municipality of Tultepec celebrates the local fireworks industry by absolutely blowing the living hell out of the town square, surrounding streets and several members of its population. Film-maker Viktor Jakovleski and the rest of the Court 13 collective (the...
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A Star is Born

★★★★★ - The Guardian  - Bradley Cooper directs and co-stars in this outrageously watchable update of the love story doomed by shifting fame. It’s the romantic epic of male sacrificial woundedness and it’s been regenerating like Doctor Who. We had it in 1976 with Barbra Streisand and Kris...
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A Star in Born

★★★★½ - NZ HERALD  - Bradley Cooper makes an assured directorial debut with this fourth mounting (fifth if you count the original inspiration, 1932's What Price Hollywood?) of the venerable tale of two talents falling in love as their careers head in opposite directions. Taking its setting cues...
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Stray

★★★★★ - NZ Herald  - Less a straightforward narrative than a lyrical tone-poem, Kiwi filmmaker Dustin Feneley's self-funded debut feature is a strong contender for the best film to come out of New Zealand this year. Off the back of a remarkable genesis - eight years trapped in development before a...
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Stray

★★★★½ - Stuff  - At an un-named detention facility somewhere near Wellington, a young man is told that the pre-release work-experience programme he is on has been pulled from under him. The employer is "cutting back".  The young man – we learn his name is Jack – absconds. He takes the ferry across...
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Zama

★★★★★ - DOMINION POST  - Back for general release after New Zealand International Film Festival screenings, Zama arrives already wearing garlands of praise from the great and the good of the international critics and festival curators. And fair enough too. Zama is a unique, mischievous and...
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Zama

★★★★½ - NZ Herald  - Gently unfolding the story of a Spanish colonial captain stranded in a purgatorial South American town, this gently surreal, impossibly lush existential nightmare is almost punishingly languorous, but the rewards are many for those who vibe with its peculiar rhythms. A...
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Zama

★★★★ - Rolling Stone  - Argentinian drama about an 18th-century invader going mad is intoxicating, spellbinding – and one of the best movies of the year.  A man in a uniform is standing on the beach, staring at the sea. Natives trudge along the shore behind him. His profile makes him look like a...
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Double Lover

★★★★ - STUFF In present day Paris, a young woman lives alone with her beloved cat Milo. She is plagued by phantom abdominal pain and a free-range ennui which has sucked the colour out of her life. Her doctor can't see any physical reason for the pain to exist and sends her off to a psychiatrist.  ...
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Number One

★★★★★ - DOMINION POST  - In the gleaming high-rise office blocks of Paris, a bloodless coup plays out. Emmanuelle Blachey is an engineer and senior boardmember at a major energy corporate. The position of CEO at France’s largest water provider is about to come vacant, and Emmanuelle is being urged...
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Number One

★★★½ - NZ HERALD  - Perfectly timed for the #MeToo era comes a corporate drama about an executive headhunted to become the first French woman to head a major French company, one of the CAC40 (the French equivalent of the Dow Jones). Emmanuelle Devos stars as Emmanuelle Blachey, a 40-something...
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