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Brilliant exploration of emotion
A powerful debut film from Murali K. Thalluri that explores events in the life of a group of high school students, each of them in crisis in one way or another. The film starts with the discovery of the body of one of the students, then traces the lives of the group over the previous hours, leaving the audience in suspense until the last minutes as to the identity of the deceased. Each of the main characters is facing major stressors which we could see as potentially precipitating a suicide. The cast of unknowns provide performances full of power and emotion. Fantastically well done, especially considering the youth of the writer/director who was 19 years old when he wrote the script.
Kinky Boots (2005)
Excellent film with great performances and very funny at times
I really enjoyed Kinky Boots - great performances by both Joel Edgerton and Chiwetel Ejiofor. It's the first time I've seen Joel Edgerton in a lead role and I think he carries it off quite well, though I'm probably biased as I like him as an actor. It was very interesting to see Chiwetel Ejiofor later the same evening in a totally different sort of role as the Operative in "Serenity", showing his ability to play a broad range of characters. It's very funny in parts - the first film I've been to in a long time where I've had a really good laugh. The rest of the audience obviously enjoyed the humour as well. The humour generally revolves around Lola and the way that people relate to her, but it avoids stereotypical jokes. It's not only funny, but also quite moving at times, and again that tends to relate to the way people deal with Lola, which usually says more about them than her - ultimately a feel good movie and based (not sure how closely) on a true story. Overall, it's a well told story, with likable characters, a plot that's believable, and left me feeling good about the characters and what happened to them.
Mysterious Skin (2004)
As the father of an 8 year old boy, this film left me somewhat disturbed, but nevertheless impressed by Gregg Araki's story telling ability. His sensitive treatment of this topic, assisted by the excellent performances of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Brady Corbet, results in a powerful film, with plenty to talk about over coffee afterwards. The film seemed likely to be banned here in Australia, but the decision not to was sensible. It's definitely not a positive look at the effects of paedophilia, though the experience affects the two main characters in quite different ways. Take somebody along to discuss it with afterwards.