Our res­i­dent film ex­pert gives his opin­ion on the best and worst of­fer­ings show­ing in cine­mas

The Courier-Mail - QWeekend - - BOX OFFICE - LEIGH PAATSCH

A MONTH OF SUN­DAYS (PG) Aus­tralia, 110 min­utes

A quiet, ten­der-hearted and gen­tly ec­cen­tric af­fair takes its own sweet time find­ing a way into your good graces. But once there, it won’t be budged. It all comes down to your per­sonal take on Frank (An­thony LaPaglia), an ornery yet sen­si­tive chap who re­ally shouldn’t be work­ing in real es­tate. Af­ter a re­cent di­vorce and his mother’s death, feel­ing so much truth with no one to say it to is driv­ing Frank to frus­tra­tion. Just in the nick of time, an el­derly woman named Sarah (Ju­lia Blake) ap­pears, ready to lis­ten, and care­ful not to judge. A mag­nif­i­cent per­for­mance from Blake snaps the film and its lead­ing man into proper fo­cus just when both seem primed to drift off on a foggy-minded flight of fancy. Plenty of emo­tional points are racked up, along with some sin­cerely un­forced laughs. A brave change of style for one of this coun­try’s best film­mak­ers, wri­ter­di­rec­tor Matt Sav­ille ( Noise, Felony). Co-stars John Clarke ( pic­tured, above, with LaPaglia).

CAPTAIN AMER­ICA: CIVIL WAR (M) US, 148 min­utes

It was only a month ago that DC Comics’ Bat­man V Superman slugfest left the planet feel­ing it had been forced to chug a con­crete smoothie. Now it is Mar­vel En­ter­tain­ment’s turn to blend up a multi-hero grudge match, and man, does it go down so much bet­ter.

CACW can be as deep or as mean­ing­less as you want. There is such a pre­cise bal­ance struck here be­tween brainy myth-mak­ing and brawny earth-shak­ing that re­sis­tance is use­less. The movie wastes no time in stir­ring up a six-a-side scuf­fle be­tween op­pos­ing Avengers-aligned squads coached by Captain Amer­ica (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr). The di­vide has more to do with a dif­fer­ence of opin­ion on global de­fence pol­icy than any­thing as sim­ple as pure spite. Ev­ery­where you look, there’s a brand-name su­per­hero (in­clud­ing a newer, younger Spi­der-Man and the re­turn of Ant-Man) kick­ing butt, crack­ing wise and yes, sav­ing the world. Co-stars Scar­lett Jo­hans­son.

MIA MADRE (M) Italy, 106 min­utes

For much of the past two decades, Nanni Moretti ( We Have a Pope, The Caiman) has been the only Ital­ian film­maker able to con­nect with Aus­tralian au­di­ences on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. His core fol­low­ing will be more than sat­is­fied with Moretti’s latest work. Margherita (Margherita Buy) is a con­trol-freak di­rec­tor com­plet­ing a dif­fi­cult new movie project when she gets word her mother is slowly dy­ing. While brother Gio­vanni ( played by Moretti him­self, pic­tured, above, with Buy) self­lessly “opts in” to the painful process of farewelling an age­ing par­ent, Margherita’s self-ob­sessed ten­den­cies dis­tract her from fac­ing the in­evitable. Fur­ther block­ing a much-needed re­al­ity check is the nig­gling pres­ence of Barry (John Tur­turro), a mer­cu­rial Amer­i­can ac­tor whose tal­ent isn’t match­ing his rep­u­ta­tion. His comic in­ter­jec­tions are a wel­come relief but the film’s el­e­gantly low-key hu­man in­sights are what will leave the most last­ing im­pres­sion.

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