Robin Hood: Prince of Melodrama- 100 Word Review

Reynold’s take on the outlaw hero who defeats the tyrannous Sheriff of Nottingham is melodramatic, absurd and occasionally fun. The pompous, swashbuckling score failingly attempts to inject significance and heroism into Robin’s journey. The casting is patchy at best. Costner’s more Peter Pan than Robbin, Mastrantonio lacks Marion’s tenacity, Freeman’s Moor suffices and Rickman’s antagonist…

Woman in Gold lacks Sparkle- 100 Word Review

Curtis’ film is a slow telling of a true story, with flashbacks more interesting than the central plot. Years after fleeing persecution in WWII, Jewish Maria (Mirren), attempts to reclaim family art that was stolen by the Nazis. Mirren is her usual tenacious self and Reynolds good as passionate young lawyer. Among numerous legal scenes…

Beyond Thunderdome balances Max’s Madness with eccentric storyline- 100 Word Review

Miller’s third post-apocalyptic outing has the craziness of its predecessor with a unexpectedly comprehensible plot. Road Warrior, Max (Gibson) is enlisted by Thunderdome’s ruler to kill a rival in a gladiator-style arena. A subsequent banishment introduces him to a gang of children dreaming of the mythical Tomorrow-Morrow land. When their expedition fails, only Max can save…

Up in the Air- Reviewed in 100 Words

Reitman’s 2009 film offers an engaging and affecting view of travel and its alienating effects. Ryan, a ‘corporate downsizer’, has his jet-setting lifestyle interrupted when he’s forced to take a bright-eyed graduate under his wing. Clooney is expectantly good as the modern businessman forced to confront his self-imposed isolation. He’s well matched with Farmiga’s itinerant…

Impulsive Sherlock emerges in action-packed mystery-100 Word Review

Pierce’s riveting escapade narrates eccentric sleuth Holmes and his accomplice Watson as they battle black magic in this Victorian thriller. Downey Jr’s Holmes is erratic, belligerent and astute, however an unconvincing genius compared to Cumberbatch’s autistic prodigy. He’s well paired with Law’s level-headed Watson, and this camaraderie is central to the film’s charm. The Art…

Paddington: Charming and Delightful- 100 Word Review

King’s Paddington, based on the cartoons, recounts the delightful adventures of Paddington Bear. Paddington travels from Peru to London, searching for “home”. Here he befriends the Brown Family, but must avoid kidnap by the evil Taxidermist, Millicent. This uncomplicated plot is brought to life with quirky storytelling and amusing performances. Whishaw’s Paddington is cheerful, sensitive…

Austen Classic Revitalised in Elegant Rom-Com, reviewed in 100 Words

Wright’s take on Austen’s hilarious novel is charming, witty and elegant. Set in the Regency Era, it portrays the lives of the Bennet daughters, principally the vivacious Elizabeth who disregards the loveless economic marriages of her time. Knightley thrives as bold spirited Lizzie, Pike delivers as graceful Jane, Blethyn delights as frivolous Mrs Bennet and…

The Danish Girl: Tender portrayal of Transgender Woman’s quest for Identity- 100 Word Review

Hooper’s latest period piece is a touching yet lengthy depiction of a transperson’s journey from man to woman, based on Ebershoff’s novel. 1926, Dutch painters Einar (Redmayne) and Gerda’s (Vikander) happy marriage begins to breakdown after Einar discovers he identifies more with “Lili” (his character in their playful game of dress-ups) than himself. This quest for identity and the repercussions…

Finding Neverland a Beautiful Tale of Imagination and Love-100 Word Review

Forster’s adaption of Knee’s biographical play sensitively describes the whimsical J.M. Barrie, and the family that inspired Peter Pan. A poignant and sentimental story about the power of the imagination brought to life with tender performances, graceful directing and a wistful score. Depp was radiant as Barrie, Winslet charmed as his companion, and the children…

Harry meets Sally in 100 Words

Reiner’s ode to male/female friendships satisfies in a droll rom-com with witty writing. Attempting to challenge the principle that men and women can’t be “just friends”, Harry (Crystal) and Sally (Ryan) undergo a tumultuously comical relationship from prickly acquaintances to intimate confidantes to (gasp) lovers. Ryan shines as bubbly, outspoken, nit-picking Sally, brilliantly countered by…

Suffragette is Superb conclusion to 2015 cinema

Gavron’s tribute to the foot-soldiers of the British Suffragettes is gritty yet poignant, backed by a strong female cast and crew. It chronicles Maud’s intense and empowering journey from timid laundress to militant Suffragette in the face of brutal patriarchy. Mulligan humanises the dedicated Maud with righteous indignation, well supported by Duff’s tenacious Violet, Bonham-Carter’s…