Shakespeare in Love reviewed

Shakespeare in Love is a delightfully funny look into the Bard’s fictitious inspiration for his most famous love story. Bereft of ideas for his new play, Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate’s Daughter, Will (Fiennes) meets the beautiful theatre-loving Viola (Paltrow). Their love affair inspires the famous tragedy of the star-crossed lovers that we know today….

Shawshank Redeemed in 100 Words

Darabont’s celebrated adaption of King’s beloved story is rightfully hailed as one of the greatest films of all time. The heartfelt tale of an unlikely friendship forged in an unforgiving jail has both impeccable writing and profound performances. Like Cuckoo’s Nest, it highlights the power of friendship and the resilience of the oppressed individual. Robbin’s resourcefulness…

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…

The Jungle Book: All Looks, No Substance

Disney’s latest live-action remake has impeccable visual effects, but lacks the charm of the classic story. Visually, the film is outstanding. The jungle and all the animals in it have been vividly rendered with stunning authenticity using advanced CGI techniques. Plot-wise, it lacks. Shere Khan, the tyrannous tiger, seeks vengeance on man for past wrongs…

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…

Spotlight: Understated Brilliance

A recent Best Picture win at the Oscars, coupled with Cardinal Pell’s topical report to the Royal Commission on Child Abuse makes the shocking narrative of Spotlight all the more absorbing. It recounts the engrossing true story of how the Boston Globe newspaper uncovered the widespread molestation of children within the local Catholic Archdiocese in…

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…