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Review: The Master, Gangster Squad, Whole Lotta Sole, ParaNorman and To Rome With Love

By Cinema and Reviews

Between its her­al­ded US release in September last year and its arrival in a (very) lim­ited num­ber of New Zealand cinemas this week­end, Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master seems to have been trans­formed from mas­ter­piece and annoin­ted Best Picture con­tender to also-ran, dis­ap­point­ing scores of loc­al PTA fans in the pro­cess, many of whom were crushed that we weren’t going to see the film in the director’s pre­ferred 70mm format. Turns out it was touch and go wheth­er we were going to see it on the big screen at all.

Anderson’s pre­vi­ous film, There Will Be Blood, was a close-run second to No Country For Old Men in my 2007 pick of the year, and his back cata­logue is as rich as any­one else of his gen­er­a­tion – Boogie Nights, Magnolia and even Adam Sandler in Punch-Drunk Love. Like Blood, The Master is painted on a big can­vas. Joaquin Phoenix plays Freddie Quell, an alco­hol­ic and self-hating WWII vet­er­an, stum­bling between mis­ad­ven­tures when he stows away on the San Francisco yacht com­manded by aca­dem­ic, author and mys­tic Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Dodd com­bines rudi­ment­ary psy­cho­ther­apy with hyp­nosis to per­suade gull­ible fol­low­ers that their past lives can be used to trans­form their dis­ap­point­ing present.

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Review: Your Sister’s Sister, Two Little Boys and Jo Nesbø’s Jackpot

By Cinema and Reviews

Your Sister's Sister posterYour Sister’s Sister is a lovely little film for a big screen, an intim­ate three-hander fea­tur­ing shift­ing rela­tion­ships, secrets revealed and a warmth and gen­er­os­ity towards its char­ac­ters that con­tin­ues to cap­tiv­ate even when it is test­ing them.

Mark Duplass’s Jack has been depressed and bit­ter since the death of his broth­er and best friend Iris (Emily Blunt) offers him her fam­ily cab­in for a few weeks so he can sort him­self out. What she doesn’t know is that her sis­ter, Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt), has also chosen to use the cab­in to get over her own recent romantic breakup.

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