THE BIG SICK (2017): A Rom-Com that questions cultural identity

The Big Sick is an introspective look at cultural identity, based on the real-life relationship between co-writers Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon If you are looking for a delightful romantic comedy that goes beyond the genre’s often exhausted tropes, look no further than The Big Sick. The film is beyond merely affecting: it rakes you up to care about its characters. With outrageous humour that … Continue reading THE BIG SICK (2017): A Rom-Com that questions cultural identity

FILM REVIEW: First Girl I Loved (Sanga, 2017)

This review was originally published at ImpulseGamer.com.au With some relationships, admiration begins from afar. Expectations of love and ideas of sexuality are turned upside down for Anne (Dylan Gelula) as she photographs fellow teenager Sasha (Brianna Hildebrand) at a high school softball game, leaving her instantly beguiled. But love isn’t all easy in the Sundance indie film First Girl I Loved, where the placement of … Continue reading FILM REVIEW: First Girl I Loved (Sanga, 2017)

FILM REVIEW: Okja (2017, Joon-Ho)

In Bong Joon-Ho’s newest film, Okja, it is a tale that delights with an undying friendship between a child and a giant-pig that reminisces off the imagination of Spielberg’s most beloved films, but never without fails to interweave it with dark undertones that commentates on our burgeoning capitalist society that profits horrifyingly off a meat-industry, fuelled by human consumerism. Opening up in the mountains of South … Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Okja (2017, Joon-Ho)

FILM REVIEW: The Zookeeper’s Wife (Caro, 2017)

This review was originally published at ImpulseGamer.com.au Blockbuster movies set during the Holocaust are not a rare specimen; but The Zookeeper’s Wife offers a unique unfolding of an untold story in wartime Poland, where zookeeper of the still-standing Warsaw Zoo, Jan and his wife, Antonia – transform their zoo into a hiding refuge for over 300 Jews during World War II. At the risk of … Continue reading FILM REVIEW: The Zookeeper’s Wife (Caro, 2017)

FILM REVIEW: Hidden Figures (Melfi, 2017)

This review was originally published at ImpulseGamer.com.au Important women of influence are often excluded or forgotten from the history books. This is why Hidden Figures, a biographical film that seeks to reveal the story of three influential, African American women, is so integral. With its garnering of awards attention and financial success, it is a joy that audiences are able to finally learn of these … Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Hidden Figures (Melfi, 2017)

FILM REVIEW: A United Kingdom (Asante, 2016)

This review was originally published at ImpulseGamer.com.au Occasionally British films are not afraid to offer a glimpse of optimism, which may be dismissed as clichéd. A United Kingdom is a prime example of this. Like 2015’s Brooklyn, the film locates a hopefulness in the very context hampering it, centring its story within the midst of interracial and political tensions. Directed by Amma Asante (Belle), A … Continue reading FILM REVIEW: A United Kingdom (Asante, 2016)

FILM REVIEW: Captain Fantastic (2016)

This review was originally posted on ImpulseGamer.com Honesty is a rare feat in cinema, but Matt Ross finds it in Captain Fantastic, reflecting the progressiveness of its male protagonist – Ben, played by Viggo Mortensen, who has raised his children away from the civilisation of the city and within the primal, survivalist forest. It is the news of the death of their mother, which brings … Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Captain Fantastic (2016)

FILM REVIEW: The Rover (2014, Michôd)

“If you don’t learn to fight, your death’s gonna come right soon.” Relentlessly bleak, The Rover‘s dystopian context bears no signs of optimism. Its desolate vastness is vividly represented by the post-apocalyptic Australian outback setting, and yet – it never fully explains its full background. Michôd’s ambiguous plot only outlines one certainty: the world is in disarray. The Rover opens with Eric (Guy Pearce) – desert-tanned with … Continue reading FILM REVIEW: The Rover (2014, Michôd)

FILM REVIEW: A Most Violent Year (2014, Chandor)

J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year offers a glimpse into one of New York’s most violent years, but ultimately offers a unique exploration into the breakdown of the American Dream, classism, and morality itself. Soaked in a relatively dark palette, Chandor’s film contrasts from his last project, All is Lost; containing a fleshed out screenplay, while managing to divert his film from traditional crime conventions. … Continue reading FILM REVIEW: A Most Violent Year (2014, Chandor)

FILM REVIEW: A Bigger Splash (2016, Guadagnino)

While it begins with a deafening rock concert, A Bigger Splash’s use of silence is perhaps one of its most powerful tools. The immediate cutaway of the sanctuary of the Italian island of Pantelleria is interrupted after a presentation of a calm recuperating location; a phone call, a plane darkening over white sand—the return of Harry Hawkes (Ralph Fiennes) and the arrival of his daughter Penelope (Dakota Johnson) into Marianne (Tilda Swinton) and Paul’s (Matthias Schoenaerts) lives forebodes chaotic tensions. Swinton’s deliberate choice to render her rock star persona primarily voiceless and raspy whispers proves effective, allowing the film to revel in its sensuality, contrasting the exuberant with the quieter moments. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: A Bigger Splash (2016, Guadagnino)