WEEK IN MOVIES
WITH LEIGH PAATSCH
THE CUP 2.50PM, NINE Topical, with this year’s Melbourne Cup to be run on Tuesday, but the film won’t be remembered as “the film that stopped a nation”. Based on the moving true story of how champion jockey Damien Oliver won the 2002 Melbourne Cup, The Cup seems to have potential staying power. Oliver famously piloted the Irishtrained thoroughbred Media Puzzle to victory less than a week after his older brother, Jason, died tragically in a track mishap. Unfortunately, The Cup jumps sluggishly from the barriers and finds itself immediately caught up in a ruck of soppy, simplistic sports movie clichés. By the time the film gets a clear run and unleashes an impressive finishing burst the race to win over viewers has already been lost. Stephen Curry stars as Oliver.
VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA 1.25AM, SBS2 Set the DVR for this one unless you’re an extreme night owl. A lively comedy of manners, morals and mischief from filmmaker Woody Allen. Scarlett Johansson and Rebecca Hall star as two young American tourists who fall under the spell of a seductive artist (Javier Bardem) during summer holidays in the Spanish capital. This is Allen’s most laidback movie in memory, but the relaxed, carefree vibe does not blunt the edge of the humour. The city of Barcelona is a delight to gaze at throughout, too. Fine viewing.
REALITY BITES 9.30PM, ELEVEN Released in 1994 but eternally topical – three idealistic university graduates get a rapid education on life in the real world as they emerge
from academia to face the hurdles of finding work and love in the big bad worlds. Stars Winona Ryder, Janeane Garofalo, Ethan Hawke, Ben Stiller and Steve Zahn. Harmless rom-com filled with sweet slackers.
ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER 7.30PM, WORLD MOVIES Here’s a great example of Spanish writer-director Pedro Almodovar ( Talk to Her) doing what only he does best: making vibrant movies dominated by gutsy, gofor-broke women. Manuela (Cecilia Roth), an organtransplant clerk at a Madrid hospital, is reeling from the recent death of her son. Compelled to do something to fill the void, Manuela decides to track down the father of her late child, who never knew the boy existed, a transvestite named Lola (Toni Canto).
THE WEDDING SINGER 9.30PM, GO! Like its star, Adam Sandler, this film generates nonstop, clunky, junky laughter, despite your better judgment. In what remains his best comedy to date, Sandler plays the frontman for the house band of a wedding reception centre during the style-challenged 1980s. He’s having problems deciding between new girlfriend Drew Barrymore and the fiancée who jilted him at the altar.
BACHELORETTE 10.30PM, TEN Don’t go tagging Bachelorette as a cheap knock-off of the smash-hit comedy Bridesmaids. Sure, it’s all about some major stumbles in the run-up to a major wedding and, yes, the humour goes in and out of the don’t-go-there zone as it
pleases. Nevertheless, this is different enough to warrant a look-see. Kirsten Dunst spearheads a snitchy bridal entourage threatening to ruin their friend’s big day.
TRUE GRIT 8.30PM, SBS An exemplary new adaptation of the classic Charles Portis novel, True Grit sees the Coen brothers doubling back towards some familiar territory. Not quite No Country For Old Men, more No Country for a Young Woman. And a world away from the corny John Wayne version of yesteryear. The story told here is that of a wild west revenge saga with a difference – the difference being that it is a 14-year-old girl, Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) looking to square up the murder of her father in the 1870s. Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon co-star.
Spanish spell: Scarlett Johansson and Javier Bardem star in Woody Allen’s VickyCristinaBarcelona.