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It has been a long time between drinks here at Funerals & Snakes but that doesn’t mean that I have been idle. I continue to write and broadcast for RNZ (filling in for At the Movies on RNZ National and writing for the Widescreen channel on the website) and since the beginning of 2019 have tried to post at least a couple of reviews a week.

My deal with RNZ means I can’t repost that work here but there is no reason why I can’t start running summaries and highlights for my many ‘fans’. I’ll probably try and restart the newsletter, too, although what form that might take is still to be decided.

Rancho Notorious will be back in some form in 2020, too.

Anyway, here are this week’s picks:

Marriage Story (Baumbach, 2019)

Marriage Story shows (yet) another side of the great Adam Driver:

I have focused on Driver here because he fascinates me but also because Marriage Story focuses on his story slightly more than Johansson (who is also amazing by the way). I don’t want that to mean that Driver’s character is the hero of this picture – he most certainly is not and I don’t think Baumbach intends him to be – but the sad unravelling happens through his eyes.

Happy New Year, Colin Burstead (Wheatley, 2018)

Ben Wheatley’s Happy New Year, Colin Burstead is a very black comedy about a family falling apart in the holidays.

… a return to his working class and hand-held roots after spending a few years making energetic, misanthropic but entertaining bigger budget fare like High Rise (which starred Tom Hiddleston) and Free Fire (Brie Larsen). It’s as if he wanted one more gaze into the Brexit-fuelled abyss of modern Britain before returning to the dream factory with a Daphne Du Maurier (Rebecca for Netflix) and a Tomb Raider sequel.

1917 (Mendes, 2019) & Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (Becher & Phelan, 2019)

Finally, a radio review from the seasonal Summer Times show on RNZ National (hosted by Emile Donovan).

Alright, let’s see what this looks like…