Everybody Knows (Todos lo saben) (2018)

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Image via miff.com.au

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Asghar Farhadi is an accomplished director and he knows how to tell a good and complex story. His films often show us people who have a veneer of success – jobs, wealth, relationships, family – and are confronted with a moral dilemma that slowly unravels their comfortable lives. Everybody Knows is no exception and, once again, Farhadi has created a film outside of his native Iran. Continue reading

Reevolution (2017)

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I had a few micro naps in this well-meaning but ham-fisted Spanish thriller, screening as part of the Spanish Film Festival. The synopsis likened it to V for Vendetta, which was what convinced me to choose it. And yes it had political activists wearing masks to hide their identity but it felt like a film school version; with drama and action substituted with endless exposition, a convoluted plot and a score straight from a bad TV-movie. Continue reading

The Impossible (2012)

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Image via athenacinema.com

This is the film about the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, centred around a couple in Thailand, played by Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, and their three sons. It starts off well, with a dramatic and effective recreation of the tsunami that puts you right in the centre of the action; feeling what it might be like to struggle for survival and what choices you would make about saving others. From there it descends into a mawkish melodrama that is heavy on violins and implausible dramatic twists. Continue reading

Julieta (2016)

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JULIETA-2Oh Pedro, what has happened to the drama in your melodrama? This latest from Pedro Almodóvar is a dynamically flat story of Julieta, a woman whose daughter, Antía, has become estranged from her. Through flashback, we see Julieta meeting and falling in love with Xoan, a fisherman. We see their daughter growing up, the artist friend who is Xoan’s occasional lover, their disapproving housekeeper and Julieta’s father and ill mother. And we see the trauma that sets in train Antía’s rejection of her past. Continue reading