Limbo

  M, 104 minutes 5 Stars   Review by © Jane Freebury Every now and then, a film comes along that lands its points perfectly, in one fell swoop. The number of films and television series that have been mounted about the plight of refugees and asylum seekers are legion, yet this one film may … Read more

The Power of the Dog

  M, 127 minutes 5 Stars   Review by © Jane Freebury Sensuality laced with violence often features in the films of writer-director Jane Campion whose remarkable career, with its surprisingly modest output, saw her the first female director to win a Palme d’Or at Cannes. There have been numerous awards and accolades but that … Read more

First Ladies

PG & M, 6 x 40-minute episodes 5 Stars Streaming, SBS On Demand     Review by © Jane Freebury   A mixed-race guy, brought up in Hawaii, he’s gotta be weird. It’s how Michelle Obama recalls what went through her mind as she met the man who would become her husband and subsequently the … Read more

Collective

MA15+, 109 minutes 5 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury         A fire that swept through a nightclub in Bucharest killed dozens of young people in 2015. The premises were neither a proper venue for the kind of pyrotechnic music event that was taking place nor were there adequate safety measures to … Read more

High Ground

MA15+, 105 minutes 5 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury High Ground has been a long time in the making. Twenty years, the filmmakers say. People like David Gulpilil were once attached to the project. It world-premiered in Berlin just before Covid hit, then had to wait out the year as the cinema release stalled. … Read more

Brazen Hussies

M, 93 minutes 5 Stars Review by ©  Jane Freebury     Brilliantly put together, this important doco tells a story about social justice for women that’s a likely eye-opener for millenials When a couple of women chained themselves to the footrails in a Brisbane bar in 1965, it was a sign that something new … Read more

The Trial of the Chicago 7

MA15+, 129 minutes 5 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury This is a wildly ambitious film, compact and fast-paced over two hours. If wordy and a touch self-important, it is brilliantly written and performed, and the result is riveting. It could easily have been a television miniseries. The backstory, for a start, is immense. protesters … Read more

Babyteeth

Pitch-perfect performances all round, a beautifully crafted drama about a teenager’s last fling at life M, 118 Minutes Dendy, Palace Electric 5 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury Babyteeth has more than a few things going for it, including a terrific ensemble cast, cinematographer and director. Yet this family drama about a teenager with terminal … Read more

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

M, 119 minutes 5 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury   A boat with a young female passenger on board makes its way along a rocky coastline. When a piece of luggage falls overboard she jumps in to rescue it, petticoats, boots and all. It might have been end of story in late eighteenth-century France … Read more

Pain and Glory

MA15+, 114 minutes 5 Stars Review by © Jane Freebury The actor Antonio Banderas and director Pedro Almodovar first worked together in the 1980s and helped make each other famous with sexy, taboo-breaking films like Law of Desire, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, and Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! It was … Read more

Apollo 11

Rated G, 93 mins Capitol Cinemas Manuka, Dendy Canberra Centre, Palace Electric New Acton 5 Stars Review © Jane Freebury There are no talking heads recalling the event or opining its significance in this new doco about the first moon landing. Apollo 11 tells a well-known story in a fresh and dynamic way that is … Read more

Roma

MA 15+, 2 hrs 15 mins Netflix Review by ©Jane Freebury 5 Stars In all the best possible ways, Roma reminded me of being a film student again. Of seminar weekends sitting watching something from the archive that proved a revelation. A meditation on the personal and collective human experience, wonderful to watch, like this … Read more

Leviathan

Review by © Jane Freebury It takes a brave and confident filmmaker to begin with so little information in frame. Leviathan begins with breathless long shot of a seaside village at dawn, a single boat speeding along the breakwater. In the midground a figure emerges from a house with lights on, but heads back in … Read more

Before Midnight

Review by © Jane Freebury In Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, the first two films of what has become an exquisite trilogy, time was of the essence. Money too. In the first brief encounter between Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) in Vienna, it kept them on the streets, and talking, always talking. Second … Read more

The King’s Speech

Review by © Jane Freebury It is good to see—if this marvellous film gets it right—that the Australian Lionel Logue had a healthy disregard for the English class system when he was a speech therapist in Harley Street. Brought to life, and to our attention, by Geoffrey Rush, he would not be put down by … Read more

Samson and Delilah

Review by Jane Freebury In the lead-up to its screening at Cannes, it might seem to sceptical punters that the critics are falling over themselves in praise of this first feature from Indigenous writer/director Warwick Thornton, who has already made his mark with a clutch of highly-regarded short films. Too much hype can work against … Read more