Saturday, September 24, 2011

Higher Ground

Director: Vera Farmiga

Starring: Vera Farmiga, Taissa Farminga, Donna Murphy, John Hawkes

A spiritual drama based on Carolyn Briggs' "This Dark World." The movie follows the story of young Corinne (Taissa Farminga), brought up as Christian but sensitized after witnessing her parents’ breakup. When she is older (Vera Farmiga), she marries Ethan (Joshua Leonard). The couple live ordinary lives within the Christian sect and Corinne develops a close friendship with the eccentric and fun loving Annika (Dagmara Dominczyk). When tragedy befalls Annika and a near death experience involves their daughter Corinne’s faith is severely tested. The couple turn to the Bible to make sense of it all. Do the answers lie within? Well you will need to see the movie to find out. The lovely Vera Farmiga makes her directorial debut in this movie.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Hunter

Director: Daniel Nettheim

Starring: Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill

Based on the novel by Julia Leigh the movie takes place in Tasmania during the 1920’s. A solitary hunter is in pursuit of the illusive and possibly last remaining Tasmanian tiger (the thylacine) when he comes across a family of a man missing in the wilderness. All is not what it seems in this excellent mystery. Fabulous photography and great performances all round. Worth a watch.

Take Shelter

Director: Jeff Nichols

Starring: Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Tova Stewart, Shea Whigham, Katy Mixon,

Curtis (Michael Shannon) is a loving husband and father suddenly beset by schizophrenia. Together with his wife, Samantha (Jessica Chastain) and hearing-impaired daughter, Hannah (Tova Stewart), they live in rural Ohio. After a series of vivid nightmares he becomes obsessed with needing to protect his family from an imagined storm. Curtis takes out a massive loan, he can ill afford, and without consulting Samantha turns his backyard shelter into a huge and expensive bunker. Aware of familial schizophrenia, his mother (Kathy Baker) lives in an assisted-living center, Curtis tries to seek help, but as his anxieties are internalized his behaviour becomes progressively strange. When the hallucinations start to invade his waking life terrifying consequences follow. Technically a very good movie which tackles the emotive subject of mental health. Supremely acted and whilst not an enjoyable watch, well worth seeing. Not really for the faint hearted but the cinematography of Adam Stone is superb.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What's your number?

Director: Mark Mylod

Starring: Anna Faris, Chris Evans, Ari Graynor

When Boston marketing analyst and spinster, Ally Darling (Anna Faris) discovers her 20th beau is a dud she resorts to creative accounting. With the help of her hunky, neighbour, (rather obvious true love), Colin (Chris Evans), she backtracks through her weirdly assorted exes in the hope they may yet prove to be her Mr Right. The movie tries to cover too many storylines in the process and is at best, a very mediocre comedy which is as predictable as it is boring.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Norwegian Wood

Director: Tran Anh Hung

Starring: Rinko Kikuchi, Kenichi Matsuyama, Kengo Kora

Based on Haruki Murakami's acclaimed novel Norwegian Wood the movie deals with extreme teen angst and erotic tragedy. After hearing the Beatles' "Norwegian Wood" Watanabe (Kenichi Matsuyama) reflects back to his student days in late 1960s in Tokyo. A sad time for him as he was dealing with bereavement after his best friend Kiziku committed suicide. Watanabe, is girl shy but through their shared grief forges a strong emotional bond with Kizuku's girlfriend, the delicate, Naoko (Rinko Kikuchi). What might have been never quite comes to pass as their lives move on and Watanabe meets Midori (Kiko Mizuhara). A beautifully shot movie which sadly lacks engagement. Suit the romantics and has an enjoyable musical score by Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead).