Where the Crawdads Sing

M, 125 minutes 2 Stars   Review by © Jane Freebury The fanfare launching this movie about a fiercely independent young woman living in the swamp wilderness who becomes a naturalist and author, hardly seems necessary. If best-seller lists are anything to go by, an…

Comments Off on Where the Crawdads Sing

The Phantom of the Open

M, 106 minutes 4 Stars   Review by © Jane Freebury Wondering what else he might get out of life as retirement approached, a crane operator in the English port city of Barrow-in-Furness took up the game of golf. As you do. Then when a…

Comments Off on The Phantom of the Open

Compartment No 6

MA 15+, 107 minutes 4 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury   Claustrophobia in a sleeper compartment on a long train journey has a tension all its own in this Finnish-Russian collaboration. As the frisson escalates between the two young occupants of the space, it’s…

Comments Off on Compartment No 6

Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time

M, 126 minutes 4 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury This lovingly curated documentary on the celebrity American author and social satirist, Kurt Vonnegut, had a long gestation. In production for decades, ever since filmmaker Bob B. Weide first approached the writer about making it,…

Comments Off on Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time

Lost Illusions

  M, 144 minutes 5 Stars  Review by © Jane Freebury This extravagantly-mounted, lush period drama adapted from the book of the same name by Honore de Balzac is set at a time of foment in France, the Restoration. The country had in quick succession…

Comments Off on Lost Illusions

Elvis

  M, 159 minutes 5 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury   The King has been gone a while now but that doesn’t mean people don’t feel a connection and want to bring him back. Just what was it about Elvis Presley that spoke to…

Comments Off on Elvis

Nude Tuesday

      MA15+, 100 minutes 3 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury The latest relationship comedy from New Zealand is out there and experimental with some good things going for it. To start with it has lead actors, Jackie van Beek and Damon Herriman,…

Comments Off on Nude Tuesday

The Kitchen Brigade

  M, 97 minutes 3 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury It’s not hard to imagine how working in a kitchen as a sous-chef under one gastronomic eminence or other, might get the ego bristling. It is a situation we have no difficulty in accepting…

Comments Off on The Kitchen Brigade

A Hero

    PG, 127 minutes 4 Stars   Review by © Jane Freebury A new film from Asghar Farhadi will never now go unnoticed. Not since he won a best foreign language Oscar for his riveting drama about a young couple splitting up, and then…

Comments Off on A Hero

Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom

  PG, 109 minutes 3 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury   Travellers lucky enough to have visited Bhutan will have insights of their own into the small mountain kingdom wedged between China and India, but for the rest of us it seems an exotic…

Comments Off on Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom

Top Gun: Maverick

  M, 130 minutes 4 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury Why are we watching Top Gun: Maverick today? To see why Joe Biden got hooked on aviator sunglasses, to make a joke of cocky American can-do attitudes, to check out how Tom Cruise looks…

Comments Off on Top Gun: Maverick

Everything Went Fine, aka Tout S’Est Bien Passe

MA 15+, 113 minutes Four Stars Review by © Jane Freebury It isn’t every day that the subject of a European film coincides neatly with events on the ground on our side of the world. This new French film based on a published memoir of…

Comments Off on Everything Went Fine, aka Tout S’Est Bien Passe

A Chiara

M, 122 minutes 4 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury It’s a birthday party, Italian style, with an 18-year-old basking in all the love and attention as family and friends swirl around her. The vino is flowing freely, delectable dishes keep landing on tables already…

Comments Off on A Chiara

Ablaze

PG, 81 minutes 4 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury   As personal as it is, this new documentary is likely to be a revelation for many. It is a record of the quest by a young Australian opera singer to discover more about his…

Comments Off on Ablaze

To Olivia

  M, 94 minutes 3 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury There’s a promising start to this new film that visits the life of the famous children’s author, Roald Dahl. A tall, imposing figure enters a hall and strides across the floor through a crowd…

Comments Off on To Olivia

Petit Maman

      PG, 73 minutes 3 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury It’s my guess there are few filmmakers who could make a success of the story of a young girl who goes back in time to meet her mother when she is young,…

Comments Off on Petit Maman

Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

M, 121 minutes 4 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury On the face of it, an anthology or portmanteau movie can look like it has plenty going for it, if it brings together top directors, writers and stars. But it can still get a mixed…

Comments Off on Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

  M, 107 minutes 4 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury Nic Cage playing Nick Cage in this toey new Hollywood number plays along with the persona that goes with the actor’s name. The actor’s angry, brooding screen presence and the excesses of the Hollywood…

Comments Off on The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

When the Camera Stopped Rolling

4 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury The long list of credits for this intimate, handsomely crafted documentary looks like a who’s who for the local film industry. It’s a tribute to the subject of the film, filmmaker Lilias Fraser, and to her cinematographer daughter,…

Comments Off on When the Camera Stopped Rolling

Ithaka

  M, 111 minutes 4 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury   Since Wikileaks, the organization he founded, sensationally uploaded hundreds of thousands of files of classified information to the internet, Julian Assange has lived his life in different forms of incarceration. It’s probably safe…

Comments Off on Ithaka