THE BEGUILED

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Sophia Coppola Stars: Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Colin Farrell, Elle Fanning, Angourie Rice, Oona Laurence, Addison Riecke, Emma Howard. For her sixth feature film, Sophia Coppola (Lost In Translation, etc) remakes the 1971 southern gothic western that was directed by Don Siegel and starred Clint Eastwood, who had achieved international fame and success in the Sergio Leone directed spaghetti western trilogy. Based on Thomas Cullinan’s 1966 novel The Painted Devil, The Beguiled was the third of five films that the pair Continue reading

LION

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Garth Davis Stars: Dev Patel, Sunny Pawal, Nicole Kidman, David Wenham, Rooney Mara, Divian Ladwa. The moving Australian-produced drama Lion is based on the true story of Saroo Brierley, a young Indian boy from a poor rural family who, the age of five, became separated from his older brother Guddu in his native village and who eventually found his way home a quarter of a century later. Saroo (played by newcomer Sunny Pawal) became lost on a train that carried him 1500 miles away from home to the alien environment and the Continue reading

THE FAMILY FANG

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Jason Bateman Stars: Jason Bateman, Nicole Kidman, Christopher Walken, Maryann Plunkett, Kathryn Hahn, Michael Chernus, Harris Yulin, Josh Pais, Jason Butler Harner, Mackenzie Brooke Smith, Linda Edmond, Jack McCarthy, Kyle Donnery, Taylor Rose. This was one of two films I saw at MIFF about unorthodox, dysfunctional and troubled families - the other was Captain Fantastic, which boasted an impressive performance from Viggo Mortensen. The Family Fang is a quirky comedy about an eccentric family. Based on the 2011 novel written by Continue reading

QUEEN OF THE DESERT

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Werner Herzog Stars: Nicole Kidman, James Franco, Robert Pattinson, Damien Lewis, Jenny Agutter, David Calder. This queen of the desert is not a bus named Priscilla. Rather she is a modern thinking, fiercely independent, headstrong and intelligent British woman named Gertrude Bell who is apparently right up there with the famed T E Lawrence as an important figure in contemporary Arab history. An explorer, writer, archaeologist and traveller, she had an enormous impact on the politics of the Middle East at the beginning of the 20th Continue reading

SECRET IN THEIR EYES

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Billy Ray Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, Dean Norris, Alfred Molina, Joe Cole, Michael Kelly, Zoe Graham. This twisting thriller about murder, the search for justice, grief, obsession, revenge and the high emotional cost of vengeance is a workmanlike but ultimately uninspired US remake of the 2010 Oscar winning Argentine film from director Juan Jose Campanella. Writer/director Billy Ray has relocated the action from 1970s Buenos Aires, with its political tensions and air of corruption and conspiracy, to Los Continue reading