MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2017 – REVIEWS

ALL FILMS REVIEWED BY GREG KING LAST UPDATED AUGUST 13, 2017 FINAL PORTRAIT. In 1964, renowned portrait artist and sculptor Albert Giacometti passed away soon after completing his final painting. He had painted a portrait of American journalist James Lord, who had come to Paris for a brief visit. The portrait was only supposed to take a couple of days, but the increasingly frustrated Lord spent a couple of weeks with the mercurial artist in his Paris studio. Final Portrait is a passion project for writer/director Stanley Tucci who has been nurturing the film Continue reading

A MONSTER CALLS

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: J A Boyona Stars: Lewis MacDougall, Liam Neeson, Felicity Jones, Sigourney Weaver, Toby Kebbell, Geraldine Chaplin. The films of Spanish filmmaker J A Bayona have dealt with families in crisis and children in peril, and they have always had a strong emotional subtext running through them. His previous films have included the horror film The Orphanage, and The Impossible, which told the story of a family affected by the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. His third feature film is A Monster Calls, a mix of horror and complex coming of age Continue reading

ZACH’S CEREMONY

Reviewed by GREG KING Documentary Director: Aaron Petersen. This documentary follows 16-year-old indigenous youth Zach Doomadgee as he prepares for his traditional initiation ceremony, a rite of passage into manhood for aboriginal boys. Outwardly Zach is a typical Sydney teenager, rebellious, resisting parental pressures and experimenting with drugs and alcohol. But Zach is also caught between two cultures – his aboriginal heritage and his life in bustling Sydney - he is finding it hard to fit in and struggling to find his own identity. In some regards the film Continue reading

WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Max Joseph Stars: Zac Efron, Wes Bentley, Emily Ratajkowski, Jonny Weston, Shiloh Fernandez, Alex Shaffer, Jon Bernthal. Recently we saw Eden, Mia Hansen-Love's drama following an aspiring young DJ pursuing success and tracing the rise of Daft Punk and the development of garage dance music in France, which left me a little cold. This low budget feature from America also looks at an aspiring DJ who is aiming to make a name for himself in the cut throat world of the LA club scene. As with Eden though this is a film of limited appeal and Continue reading

BOYCHOIR

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Francois Girard Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Garrett Wareing, Kathy Bates, Kevin McHale, Eddie Izzard, Josh Lucas, Debra Winger, Joe West. Mr Hoffman's opus? This feelgood coming of age drama about the battle of wills between a troubled young boy and a music teacher is another variation on the familiar underdog story. It is more in the vein of Mr Holland's Opus than last year's Whiplash. It also has overtones of Dead Poet's Society about it as it explores some wonderful life lessons. Written by Ben Ripley, who is better known for his science Continue reading