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12 items from 2015

The Dressmaker movie review: haute couture as a tragicomic weapon

20 November 2015 8:07 AM, PST | | See recent FlickFilosopher news »

So entertaining, so unexpected, so wonderfully oddball, so damn good. Witty genre-busting simmering with pathos, humor, and calamity. I’m “biast” (pro): love Kate Winslet; desperate for stories about women

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

I have not read the source material

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Like a gunslinger riding into town. Determined and dangerous. This is how director Jocelyn Moorhouse depicts the return of Tilly Dunnage to her backwater Australian town of Dungatar. The locale may be vaguely western-ish — remote and dusty — but the year is 1951 and Tilly comes armed only with a Singer sewing machine, her Parisian-inspired haute-couture style, and a superpowered ache for revenge.

I had no idea what I was in for with The Dressmaker, and even that opening — with its witty genre-busting that culminates in Tilly’s snarl to herself of “I’m back, you bastards” — couldn’t possibly have clued me in. »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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Brie Larson Opens Up on the ‘Emotional Marathon’ of ‘Room’

13 October 2015 10:00 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Brie Larson got an early break co-starring in the Disney Channel movie “Right on Track.” But even at the age of 13, she knew that saying yes to subsequent offers from the kids’ network would mean her acting ambitions would veer off track.

“I just couldn’t do it. I always had this attraction to holding up a mirror to the world, and this didn’t feel like real life,” recalls the actress. “I wondered what would be the point.”

Now, at age 26, after a busy but largely unheralded career, Larson is suddenly breaking out as one of Hollywood’s latest discoveries for what is her most difficult — and personal — role yet. Her emotionally wrenching portrayal as a young mother (Ma) held prisoner in a shed with her 5-year-old son (Jacob Tremblay) in the upcoming film “Room” is already catapulting her to the forefront of the Oscar race. Debuting in Los »

- Jenelle Riley

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Review: Lead-footed 'Pan' smothers the whimsy with a wrong-headed script

7 October 2015 3:15 PM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Why is it so hard to make a good Peter Pan film? By my count, there's one great film version of the story, and it's not the Disney version. Maybe the problem can be best summed up by noting that when Pj Hogan released his version in 2003, there were several critics who clutched their pearls and freaked out and acted nervous about the way the story's subtext threatened to become text. Why? Because he told the story the right way, and when you tell the story the right way, it is crystal clear that "Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up" is about that transitional moment when we cross from being children into something else. It is about loss of innocence and the fear of that loss. It is about a refusal to allow adulthood to gain any foothold, and what it is one would have to deny to stay a child forever. »

- Drew McWeeny

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Pan Review

22 September 2015 7:00 AM, PDT | | See recent HeyUGuys news »

  Joe Wright is by no means the first, and unlikely to be the last filmmaker, to tackle the story of Peter Pan and attempt to reinvent the narrative and illuminate the big screen, in a way nobody has quite managed since the 1953 Disney endeavour. Spielberg presented the live-action spin-off Hook, while P.J. Hogan

The post Pan Review appeared first on HeyUGuys. »

- Stefan Pape

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Pan review: “A fun, fantastic fantasy adventure”

20 September 2015 10:00 AM, PDT | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

Pan review: A fantastic fantasy adventure with the stand-out being Jackman’s glorious new villain, Blackbeard. Pan review

Joe Wright, the British director who, up until now has settled on bringing mainly period dramas like Pride and Prejudice and Atonement to the screen, focusses his talented sights on a retelling of the Peter Pan classic, which too can be wedged in that aforementioned genre, with the action taking place during World War II.

Pan is a brand new origin story written by Jason Fuchs, and was a screenplay that has appeared on the famous Blacklist, Hollywood’s list of the best of the best unmade screenplays. The action kicks off just before WWII, where Peter Pan’s mother Mary (Amanda Seyfried) is seen seemingly abandoning her newborn child at the gates of the Lambeth Home For Boys in south London. We very quickly skip forward 12 years to find Peter (newcomer »

- Paul Heath

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Review: Only the frocks fit for Kate Winslet and 'The Dressmaker'

14 September 2015 5:30 PM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Toronto – There have been some bad world premieres at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival, but Jocelyn Moorhouse’s “The Dressmaker” has them beat in one significant category: there are worse movies to watch on a plane. Based on Rosalie Haim’s 2000 novel, the story begins with Myrtle “Tilly” Dunnage (Kate Winslet) returning to her very small hometown of Dungatar, Australia (so small it's basically one street). Tilly left the town under mysterious circumstances as a small child and returns years later as an expert fashion designer and seamstress.  An unexpected return that is a complete surprise to he overly quirky mother Molly (Judy Davis).   We soon learn that Dungatar is full of colorful folk including a crossdressing police sergeant (Hugh Weaving), a cruel and vindictive herbal medicine store owner (Barry Otto), a town councilor with a secret past (Shane Bourne), a studly star football player (Teddy, played by Liam Hemsworth) and »

- Gregory Ellwood

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Toronto Film Review: ‘The Dressmaker’

14 September 2015 5:28 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The tailoring is more consistent than the storytelling in “The Dressmaker,” an appreciably deranged tale of small-town intrigue that finds Australian filmmaker Jocelyn Moorhouse returning quite literally with a vengeance after a nearly 20-year absence from the director’s chair. Starring Kate Winslet as a spirited 1950s haute-couturist who decides it’s time to return to her miserable hometown and give the place a little color (mostly red), this insistently quirky comedy-thriller-mystery-horror-revenge saga serves up an ugly human menagerie of ghouls and grotesques — every one of them contributing a different patch to a crazy quilt of murder, adultery, repression and madness. A work of shrill, campy excess as well as some pretty choice acting (especially from the always-welcome Judy Davis in a spry supporting role), Moorhouse’s adaptation of Rosalie Ham’s  2000 novel may lead audiences to expect a primmer, more well-behaved movie based on its title alone, but that »

- Justin Chang

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What’s New on Amazon Prime: August 2015

31 July 2015 8:24 AM, PDT | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

At the beginning of (and throughout) every month, Amazon Prime and Amazon Instant Video add new movies and TV shows to their libraries. Here are several streaming selections that you might be interested in, followed by a full list of titles available for streaming as well as purchase. Some of these may also have previously been on Amazon, only to have been removed and then added back. Feel free to note anything we've left out in the comments below.For a sad night in: My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997) Julianne (Julia Roberts) still carries a torch for her best friend, Michael (Dermot Mulroney), even on the eve of his wedding to the 20-year-old Kimmy (Cameron Diaz). The setup might make My Best Friend’s Wedding sound like every other rom-com, but to its supporters — and they are legion — P.J. Hogan’s film represents a high point in the genre. It »

- Jackson McHenry

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Watch: Kate Winslet Returns Home In Style In First Trailer For 'The Dressmaker' With Liam Hemsworth

13 July 2015 6:05 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

A needle and thread is an unexpected combination that changes lives in the forthcoming "The Dressmaker." Well that, coupled with movie star good looks. And the first trailer has landed for the bittersweet Aussie comedy that pairs up Kate Winslet and Liam Hemsworth. Based on the book by Rosalie Ham, co-written by P.J. Hogan ("Muriel's Wedding") and directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse ("Proof," "A Thousand Acres"), the story follows a woman who returns to her small hometown after years away working in classy fashion houses. And her arrival certainly shakes things up. Here's the official synopsis:  Based on the best-selling novel by Rosalie Ham, The Dressmaker is a bittersweet, comedy-drama set in early 1950s Australia. Tilly Dunnage (Kate Winslet), a beautiful and talented misfit, after many years working as a dressmaker in exclusive Parisian fashion houses, returns home to the tiny middle-of-nowhere town of Dungatar to right the wrongs »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Heath Ledger Scholarship winner named

1 June 2015 6:38 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

When Matt Levett was nominated for this year.s Heath Ledger Scholarship along with 17 other rising talents, the actor didn.t fancy his chances amongst what he described as a .an intimidating. line-up.

So he was both stunned and stoked to win the award presented on Monday night Us time in Los Angeles.

The 2009 Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts (Waapa) graduate says the $US10,000 cash prize will enable him to further his ambitions in Hollywood.

.It will give me the ability to stay longer and give me a foot in the door,. says Levett, who first went to the Us last September/October, when he signed with the Gersh Agency. The runners-up are fellow Waapa graduate Emilie Cocquerel and Lily Sullivan, who each get a round-trip ticket to Los Angeles and a scholarship to attend Masterclasses at Screenwise Film & TV School for actors in Sydney.

On behalf of the judges, »

- Don Groves

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Joe Wright's 'Pan' goes big with a visually aggressive new trailer

18 May 2015 11:00 PM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

It takes a certain degree of hubris to sign on to a "Peter Pan" movie at this point. J.M. Barrie's play/book/beloved cultural icons are enormously malleable as a story, and there are plenty of fans of the Walt Disney animated version as well as Steven Spielberg's "Hook" and even P.J. Hogan's "Peter Pan." All of those films tackle different parts of the iconography in different ways, and there have been some heavy hitters involved. The Disney film is one of their best features, especially if you're just considering the old school Disney films, and I think it's one of the moments where the Disney animators got everything right. They'd made enough movies in a row by that point to have developed a shorthand, and a style, and a confidence. "Peter Pan" may have some unfortunate moments in terms of cultural sensitivity, but I would argue »

- Drew McWeeny

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Nfsa seeks a cinema partner

20 January 2015 12:27 PM, PST | | See recent news »

The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia is looking to ramp up the programming of its Arc cinema in Canberra with a commercial partner. The Nfsa today called for expressions of interest from qualified parties to develop and deliver a regular screening program at the Arc. The institution was forced to cut back the cinema's screening program last year as part of a restructure which entailed slashing the workforce from 206 to 178, sparking protests from directors, producers, writers, actors, academics and journalists, many of whom complained about lack of consultation. Nfsa CEO Michael Loebenstein tells If, .The Arc is one of the few cinemas that can play archival films as well as digital content, but running it at full capacity proved unviable and beyond our capacity. By ourselves we can only manage a limited number of programs.. Among recent events at the Arc, classic Disney animation films have been shown »

- Don Groves

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2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2004 | 2000

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