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meryl streep

RN 1/13: “You say you want a revolution...”

By Audio, Cinema, Rancho Notorious and Reviews

Kailey is in Toronto, Dan is in rainy Wellington and between them they review Kelly Reichardt’s “thrill­er” Night Moves and the dysto­pi­an night­mare of The Giver star­ring Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges and some kids, plus Robin Wright play­ing sev­er­al ver­sions of her­self in Ari Folman’s The Congress.

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Review: Rust and Bone, A Lady in Paris and Jack the Giant Slayer

By Cinema and Reviews

It’s no dis­grace to come second at Cannes to Michael Haneke’s Amour, espe­cially so when your film is Rust and Bone. Writer-director Jacques Audiard has a track record of unset­tling and con­front­ing dra­mas, start­ing (for New Zealand audi­ences) with Read My Lips in 2001 and – most recently – pris­on drama A Prophet in 2009. Rust and Bone is equally rugged but with some beauty to bal­ance the viol­ence and despair.

Academy Award-winner Marion Cotillard is the big name on the mar­quee but the film really belongs to Matthias Schoenaerts who lays down a por­trait of wounded mas­culin­ity as riv­et­ing as any of De Niro’s clas­sic per­form­ances. He’s Alain, a drift­er and waster who lands in pic­tur­esque Antibes with his young son. He’s use­ful in a scrap but use­less as a par­ent and some of the most dif­fi­cult scenes in the film are of him fail­ing to look after the boy.

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2012 Wellington Cinema Year in Review

By Cinema

As usu­al, the vagar­ies of hol­i­day dead­lines mean that, just as you are arriv­ing back at work to glee­fully greet the New Year, here I am to tell you all about 2012. The best way to use this page is to clip it out, fold it up and put it in your pock­et ready for your next vis­it to the video shop – that way you won’t go wrong with your rent­ing. Trust me – I’m a professional.

But this year I have a prob­lem. Usually I man­age to restrict my annu­al picks to films that were com­mer­cially released to cinemas. I’ve always felt that it wasn’t fair to men­tion films that only screened in fest­ivals – it’s frus­trat­ing to be told about films that aren’t easy to see and it makes it dif­fi­cult for you to join in and share the love. This year, though, if I take out the festival-only films the great­ness is hard to spot among the only “good”.

As usu­al, I have eschewed a top ten in favour of my pat­en­ted cat­egor­ies: Keepers, Watch Again, Mentioned in Dispatches and Shun At All Costs. In 2012, only two of my nine Keepers (films I wish to have close to me forever) made it into com­mer­cial cinemas and one of them isn’t even really a film.

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Review: Hope Springs, Total Recall and How Far Is Heaven

By Cinema and Reviews

Hope Springs posterIn Hope Springs, Meryl Streep proves once again that not only can she play any woman, she can also play every­wo­man. She’s Kay, an unful­filled Nebraska house­wife, mar­ried for 31 years to account­ant Tommy Lee Jones and resigned to sleep­ing in sep­ar­ate bed­rooms and cook­ing him his eggs every morn­ing while he reads the paper. Except, she’s not resigned, she’s become determ­ined. Determined to prove that mar­riage doesn’t just fizzle out after the kids leave home, that the past doesn’t have to equal the future.

So, she signs them both up for “intens­ive couples coun­selling” with friendly ther­ap­ist Steve Carell, in pic­tur­esque sea­side Maine. Jones is gruffly res­ist­ant, of course, and it’s his dead­pan sar­casm that prompts nost of the early com­edy (their fum­bling attempts to spice up their life provides the rest). As a com­edy, Hope Springs is extremely gentle – much more gentle than the trail­er would have you believe – but that gen­tle­ness suits the del­ic­ate sub­ject and the script (by Vanessa Taylor) actu­ally bur­rows in pretty deeply to a sub­ject that, I’m sure, is pretty close to home for lots of viewers.

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Cinematica 2/19: Meryl’s Mature Urges Make Tommy Lee Tense

By Audio and Cinematica

It’s Back to BOURNE with Jeremy Renner; Meryl Streep gets it on with Tommy Lee Jones in HOPE SPRINGS; Hirokazu Koreeda’s I WISH is a little gem and we talk to the dir­ect­ors of the New Zealand doc­u­ment­ary HOW FAR IS HEAVEN.