Australasian Cinema > 2021
Ascendant (Antaine Furlong, 2021) wr. Antaine Furlong, Kieron Holland; Charlotte Best, Jonny Pasvolsky, Karelina Clark; sci, thriller; girl stuck in lift/elevator
Blueback (Robert Connolly, 2021) wr. Tim Winton; Mia Wasikowska, Ariel Donoghue, Ilsa Fogg, Radha Mitchell, Liz Alexander, Clarence Ryan, Pedrea Jackson, Erik Thomson, Eric Bana.
Buckley's Chance (Tim Brown, 2021) Bill Nighy, Kelton Pell, Milan Burch, Victoria Hill; family; WA
Centre of Attention (Rusty Angel, 2021) wr. Rusty Angel, story by Lita Cathcart; Brodie Henson, Teasha Garofalo, Daniel James, Jordan Kattahagen; stalker serial killer horror thriller; Qld
Drover's Wife, The (Leah Purcell, 2021) wr. Leah Purcell, prod. David Jowsey, Bain Stewart, Greer Simpkin, Oombarra Productions, dp Mark Wareham; Leah Purcell, Jessica De Gouw, Sam Reid, Tammy Macintosh; 'western'; subtitle: The Legend of Molly Johnson; released 14Oct21; 109 min. There's no credit to Henry Lawson for the story, tho the title is his.
... this is Purcell ripping back those fictionalised story layers and exposing them to the harsh light of day. A far cry from the so-called ‘meat pie western,’ Purcell draws on her own family history and reverses the roles of the antagonist. The Reel Bits.
Dry, The (Robert Connolly, 2020) wr. Harry Cripps, Robert Connolly from novel by Jane Harper, prod. Bruna Papandea, Jodi Matterson, Steve Hutensky; Eric Bana, Genevieve O'Reilly, Keir O'Donnell, John Polson; general release 1Jan21
blurb: Federal Police officer Aaron Falk returns to his home town after an absence of over twenty years to attend the funeral of his childhood friend, Luke, who allegedly killed his wife and child before taking his own life - a victim of the madness that has ravaged this community after more than a decade of drought. When Falk reluctantly agrees to stay and investigate the crime, he opens up an old wound - the death of 17- year-old Ellie Deacon. Falk begins to suspect these two crimes, separated by decades, are connected. As he struggles to prove not only Luke's innocence but also his own, Falk finds himself pitted against the prejudice towards him and and pent-up rage of a terrified community.
Elvis (Baz Luhrmann, 2021) Austin Butler; biopic
Friends and Strangers (James Vaughan, 2021) Emma Diaz, Victoria Maxwell, Fergus Wilson
Gold (Anthony Hayes, 2021) wr. Anthony Hayes, Polly Smyth, prod. Anthony Hayes, John Schwarz, Michael Schwarz, dp Ross Giardina; Zac Efron, Susie Porter, Anthony Hayes; western
Greenhouse, The (Thomas Wilson-White, 2021) Jane Watt, Rhonda Findleton; family drama fantasy
Head South (Jonathan Ogilvie, 2021) wr. Jonathan Ogilvie, prod. Mat Govoni, Antje Kulpe; Hugo Weaving, Ed Oxenbould; explores New Zealand’s 1979 post-punk scene; Aust/NZ copro
High Ground (Stephen Johnson, 2020) wr. Chris Anastassiades, dp Andrew Commis; Simon Baker, Jacob Junior Nayinggul, Callan Mulvey, Jack Thompson, Caren Pistorius, Ryan Corr, Sean Mununggurr, Witiyana Marika, John Brumpton, David Field; drama; Indigenous themes; set NT, 1930
Summary: In a bid to save the last of his family, Gutjuk, a young Aboriginal man, teams up with ex-soldier Travis to track down Baywara, the most dangerous warrior in the Territory, his uncle.
The story is not unrelated to Ion Idriess, Man Tracks, 1937. See Derek Rielly 2019, Gulpilil, Macmillan: 25-31.
How to Please a Woman (Renée Webster, 2021) Sally Phillips, Erik Thomson, Caroline Brazier, Tasma Walton, Hayley McElhinney, Roz Hammond, Cameron Daddo, Alexander England, Ryan Johnson, Josh Thomson, Myles Pollard; Fremantle; comedy
Interceptor (Matthew Reilly, 2021) wr. Stuart Beattie, Matthew Reilly; Elsa Pataky, Luke Bracey, Aaron Glenane; Netflix
June Again (JJ Winlove, 2020) wr. JJ Winlove; Noni Hazlehurst, Claudia Karvan, Stephen Curry, Uli Latukefu; socia problem; dementia; comedy
... High drama and high comedy can co-exist, if the creator is bold. By restraining the latter, Winlove hampers the former. The film feels at times becalmed, partly because Winlove wants a gentle pace. I kept wishing he would go for it, to try to squeeze the juice out of every scene. He has the tools, but not the inclination. ... The film has its rewards, mostly to do with Hazlehurst’s luminous performance, but it could have been a contender. Sydney Morning Herald, 5 May 2021, via Apple News.
Little Tornadoes (Aaron Wilson, 2021) wr. Christos Tsiolkas, Aaron Wilson; Robert Menzies, Edwina Wren, Anya Beyersdorf, Khan Chittenden; family drama, set in '71
Lone Wolf (Jonathan Ogilvie, 2021) wr. Jonathan Ogilvie; Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Hugo Weaving, Josh McConville, John Flaus
blurb: It's not exactly what the Minister of Justice wants to be doing: watching an endless stream of video footage. But a former police officer is very insistent. Together, all this footage - from hidden cameras, phone taps, Skype sessions and security surveillance - can tell an interesting story. The focus here is on an obscure bookstore where a group of environmental activists are meeting in secret. Idealistic Winnie and her boyfriend Conrad want to disrupt the G20, but aren't aware that they are possibly being lured into a trap.
Based on Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent, 1907. Josh McConville's character is called Conrad.
Wonderful to know John Flaus (b. 1934) is still working.
Long Story Short (Josh Lawson, 2021) wr. Josh Lawson; Josh Lawson, Rafe Spall, Ronny Chieng, Dena Kaplan, Noni Hazlehurst
blurb: Teddy wakes up the morning after his wedding to discover that every few minutes he's jumping forward to the next year of his life.
Loveland (Ivan Sen, 2021) Hugo Weaving, Ryan Kwanten, Jillian Nguyen; scifirom
Mortal Kombat (Simon McQuoid, 2021) prod. James Wan; Lewis Tan, Jessica McNamee, Josh Lawson, Tadanobu Asano, Mehcad Brooks, Ludi Li, Chin Han, Joe Taslim, Hiroyuki Sanada, Sisi Stringer; actioner; SA
Nitram (Justin Kurzel, 2021) wr. Shaun Grant; Caleb Landry Jones, Judy Davis, Essie Davis, Anthony LaPaglia, Sean Keenan; Martin Bryant biopic; screened Cannes; Jones won best actor
Variety: When he reaches into his duffel bag of guns, looking up from his fruit cup in a cafeteria that will in moments become the site of worst mass shooting in Australian history, his eyes, for the first time, are clear.
Occupation: Rainfall (Luke Sparke, 2020) wr. Luke Sparke; Temuera Morrison, Jason Isaacs, Daniel Gillies; scifi
Outnumbered (Emmett Adcock, 2021) wr. Matthew Noske, Christopher Mauch; Ian Sanderson, Christopher Mauch, Matthew Mauch, George McVeigh; western
blurb: an action packed, gun fighting drama with twists, turns, a little humor and engaging characters tied together with beautiful Australian landscapes and horse riding scenes. A remarkable feature of this movie is that most of the cast are not actors pretending to be cowboys but are, in fact, real Australian cowboys who just happen to be able to act!
Penguin Bloom (Glendyn Ivin, 2020) wr. Cameron Bloom, book by Harry Cripps; Naomi Watts, Andrew Lincoln, Rachel House, Jacki Weaver, Gia Carides, Leeanna Walsman, Lisa Hensley; premiere at TIFF; Oz release 1Jan21
Based on the best-selling book of the same name, the film tells the story of Sam Bloom (Academy Award® nominated Naomi Watts) a young mother whose world is turned upside down after a shocking, near-fatal accident leaves her paralyzed. Sam's husband, (Andrew Lincoln), her three young boys and her mother (Academy Award® nominated Jacki Weaver), are struggling to adjust to their new situation when an unlikely ally enters their world in the form of an injured baby magpie they name Penguin. The bird's arrival is a welcome distraction for the Bloom family, eventually making a profound difference on Sam's life, teaching her how to live again.
Power of the Dog, The (Jane Campion, 2021) wr. Jane Campion, novel by Thomas Savage, prod. Emile Sherman, Iain Canning, Roger Frappier, Jane Campion, Tanya Seghatchian; Benedict Cumberbatch, Jesse Plemons, Kirsten Dunst; psychodrama: two ranch-owning brothers in Montana; won Best Director Venice; Netflix Original; shot NZ
Charismatic rancher Phil Burbank inspires fear and awe in those around him. When his brother brings home a new wife and her son, Phil torments them until he finds himself exposed to the possibility of love.
Rage (John Balazs, 2021) wr. Mchael J. Kospiah; Matt Theo, Hayley Beveridge, Richard Norton; 2:23
After a violent home invasion leaves him in a coma and his wife deeply traumatized, a mild-mannered husband awakens to find out that one of the attackers is still on the loose. As they try to move on with their lives, one day his nearly-despondent wife spots the attacker, opening up a twisted tale of brutal revenge where all isn't as it seems.
Darren Tilby: Rage is a solid revenge-thriller that certainly deserves your time. But more than that, it deserves more than what it ended up being. For me, the payoff at the end just wasn’t there. I think perhaps I’ve sounded more critical than I wanted to here. I have really enjoyed this film, and I have no doubt whatsoever that it’ll play well with audiences, particularly to fans of the genre. I’ve only been as critical as I have because the film has so much potential that it fails to live up to. It’s a bit like when your mum tells you she’s not mad, she’s just disappointed. That’s what I felt by the end: a little disappointed. UK Film Review.
Run Rabbit Run (Daina Reid, 2021) wr. Hannah Kent; Elisabeth Moss; supernatural thriller
Story of Nadia, The (Toufic Saadeh & Billy El Kaddour, 2021) wr. Sarah Vaughan, Toufic Saadeh; Dylan Mahoney, Bella Valentini; supernatural thriller
Streamline (Tyson Wade Johnston, 2020) wr. Tyson Wade Johnston; Levi Miller, Jason Isaacs, Jake Ryan; 15-yo swimming prodigy self-destructs after father released from jail
Subject (Tristan Barr, 2021) wr. Vincent Befi; Stephen Phillips, Tristan Barr, Gaby Seow, Matthew Connell, Cecilia Low; Cannes Frontières, July
Tennessine (Amin Palangi, 2021) wr. Osamah Sami; Osamaha Sami, Robert Rabiah, Jessica Veitch, Faezeh Alavi
This Little Love of Mine (Christine Luby, 2021) Saskia Hampele, Liam McIntyre, Lynn Gilmartin; romance
Unknown Man, The (Thomas M. Wright, 2021) wr. Thomas M. Wright; Joel Edgerton, Sean Harris; For Henry, worn down by a lifetime of physical labour and crime, Mark seems to be his saviour and ally. What he doesn’t know is that Mark is an undercover cop who is determined to convict him of an unsolved murder committed years prior.
Voices in Deep (Jason Raftopoulos, 2021) wr. Jason Raftopoulos; Angeliki Papoulia, Michele Valley, Antonis Tsiotisopoulos, Panagiotis Margetis; refugees
Email me: Garry Gillard | New: 24 December, 2020 | Now: 16 November, 2021