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Film Reviews

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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Reunion

★★★★ - STUFF  - The mature, beautiful Kiwi horror that just wants to scare you silly -  A young woman heads back to the family pile for an extended stay. She has a book to finish writing, she has broken up with her partner and she is not-very-happily pregnant. She – Ellie – is hoping the house,…
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I Am Woman

★★★★ - NATIONAL POST  - A feminist anthem gets the performance it deserves in I Am Woman -  The performances – You and Me Against the World, the delightfully cracked Angie Baby, and of course the title tune, an anthem of feminism for almost 50 years – deserve to be seen and heard in the biggest…
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Honest Thief

- Honest Thief delivers pure entertainment -  Although he’s not following the Taken formula this time, have no fear because Liam Neeson is delivering exactly what this 60ish action-movie star promises fans when he boards a vehicle like his latest, Honest Thief.  This one from Ozark co-creator Mark…
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Baby Done

★★★★ - STUFF  - Rose Matafeo shines in funny, fresh Kiwi answer to Knocked Up -  Zoe (Rose Matafeo) has always prided herself on being a daredevil and a free-spirit. While her friends have started marrying off and having kids (“the hen’s parties and baby showers have started blurring together,”…
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Monsoon

★★★★½ - STUFF  - Henry Golding shines in superb, slow-burning Vietnam-set drama -  Kit (Henry Golding) was six the last time he was in Saigon. Thirty years on and now definitely more British than Vietnamese, he’s returned to where he was born to pay homage to his parents. With both having…
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The Climb

★★★★ - STUFF  - How a tale of two friends bickering became a small marvel of a movie -  There's a meme doing the rounds on Facebook. “Describe your favourite film as dully as possible.” “Three men go fishing”, or “Priest visits sick girl and her mum” are a couple of examples. By that measure,…
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I Am Greta

★★★½ - STUFF  - Intimate doco lifts the lid on the life of Greta Thunberg -  She’s the Swedish teen who inspired thousands of others around the world to skip school to protest against government inaction on climate change. The self-confessed “nerd” who claimed the world’s current political…
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