• Animal Kingdom

    Animal Kingdom

    ★★★★½

    Janine ‘Smurf’ Cody is a woman in control; her dominance, her ability to influence the world around her are what her life thrives upon. So naturally, when her grandson J calls to ask for help now that his mother, her daughter, has died from a heroin overdose, she cannot help but be happy. Happy, not because she has her grandson back, but happy because she has another planet stuck in her gravitational pull.

    The brilliance about Jacki Weaver’s Academy Award…

  • Martha Marcy May Marlene

    Martha Marcy May Marlene

    ★★★★½

    Martha Marcy May Marlene is an extraordinary showpiece for the younger sibling of the infamous Olsen twins, Elizabeth. Her performance in this strange critical indie hit shows remarkable talent and insight, a glorious naturality which just shines in the lead role. A remarkably naive, lost and traumatised young woman, Olsen manages to make each moment count; from one rather terrorising incident to a simple glance towards the horizon, there's such an intense beauty to everything she does with the role…

  • We Need to Talk About Kevin

    We Need to Talk About Kevin

    ★★★★½

    It's fortunate the Academy recognised Swinton in 2007 for her performance in Michael Clayton; if her career continues the way it has been for the last three years, I can't imagine there will be many more chances for Swinton to be nominated for film's most prestigious of prizes. Despite the high calibre performances she has delivered since her Oscar win (2009's Julia, I Am Love last year), the Academy has not embraced her since giving her that little gold man.…

  • Beasts of the Southern Wild

    Beasts of the Southern Wild

    ★★★★½

    Six year old Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis) and her father Wink (Dwight Henry) live in a small and forgotten bayou community called “the Bathtub”. The pair take pleasure from their simple lives; Hushpuppy attends a small school where she is taught the bare necessities from her teacher Miss Bathsheeba (Gina Montanna). She spends her playtime amusing herself with broken, old toys and she carves messages for the future on the inside of boxes which litter her shack-for-one. Her father is only…

  • On the Road

    On the Road

    ★★★★

    In 2004, filmmaker Walter Salles brought to life the extraordinary travels of a young medical student named Ernesto Guevara in his stunning The Motorcycle Diaries. Flash forward eight years and Salles is doing the same again, taking the physical and philosophical journey of a young Jack Kerouac across North America and fashioning it for the screen in On The Road. An adaptation of Kerouac’s autobiographical novel, Salles could not have been a more perfect fit for the material, and the…

  • Stories We Tell

    Stories We Tell

    ★★★★½

    "When you are in the middle of a story it isn't a story at all, but only a confusion." - Margaret Atwood.

    Sarah Polley's career has hardly been orthodox. A young Canadian actress who attained her popularity through a burgeoning television career, she hit the big time with a role in Atom Egoyan's 1997 Academy Award-nominated The Sweet Hereafter. With the odd exception (namely her roles in 1999's Go and 2004's Dawn of the Dead), her acting career often saw…

  • The Past

    The Past

    ★★★★

    An anxious Marie (Berenice Bejo) arrives at the airport, picking up her estranged husband Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa) so that they can finalise their divorce. She spots him, a hint of bittersweet acknowledgement adorns her face, she moves closer to him but finds a soundproof wall dividing the pair. No matter; she gestures to another, they get his attention and after a few gestures, they're on their way, running to her car and out of the rain. However, a number of…

  • Mommy

    Mommy

    ★★★★½

    There's a lot about Xavier Dolan's fifth effort, Mommy, which will remind viewers of his first piece, J'ai tué ma mère...except turned on its head; indeed, Dolan even cast the same mommy, Anne Dorval. Mommy shares so much with its predecessor, the dynamic of the mother-son relationship, the explosive histrionics and volatility between the pair; and yet the dynamic is framed in such a different perspective (and ratio). Mommy takes the focus away from Dolan's own eyes and instead focuses…

  • Boyhood

    Boyhood

    ★★★★★

    An extraordinary look at adolescent life, Boyhood is an artistic achievement like no other; it is the coming-of-age story where we actually watch the main character come of age. Literally. Filmed over twelve years, filming only a handful of days each year, Richard Linklater creates the cinematic equivalent of a 12-year-long patchwork quilt, sewing raw, vibrant, moving moments together in the most creative and beautiful of ways.

    Boyhood's lead character is Mason (Ellar Coltrane), a boy who lives with his…