HOTSHOTS

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Film -

Gone ( M): An out­back thriller in the tra­di­tion of Wolf Creek but not as sadis­tic, this is the work of Bri­tish television com­mer­cial di­rec­tor Rin­gan Led­wige. Can back­pack­ers Shaun Evans and Amelia Warner trust too- friendly Amer­i­can Scott Mechlow­icz? You bet their lives they can’t. — David Stratton

Lucky Miles ( MA15+): Michael James Row­land’s film is a se­ries of comic nar­ra­tives with a mul­ti­cul­tural cast about boat­peo­ple ar­riv­ing on a re­mote shore in West­ern Aus­tralia in 1990 and the ef­forts of a mil­i­tary pa­trol to track them down. The tone is warm and quirky, the char­ac­ters are lik­able and the re­sult is gen­er­ally ap­peal­ing de­spite an awk­ward nar­ra­tive struc­ture. — Evan Wil­liams

Evening ( M): Based on Susan Minot’s novel, La­jos Koltai’s film is in that dread cat­e­gory, the su­pe­rior Hol­ly­wood women’s pic­ture, full of re­fined pas­sions, el­e­gant pe­riod de­tail and tear­ful mo­ments. Claire Danes stands out in a cast of no­ta­bles ( Meryl Streep, Toni Col­lette, Glenn Close and Vanessa Red­grave) as the im­pul­sive hero­ine in love with the wrong guy in the 1950s. — E. W.

Harry Pot­ter and the Or­der of the Phoenix ( M): The fifth Harry Pot­ter film proves to be the least in­ter­est­ing of the se­ries so far. Lit­tle- known di­rec­tor David Yates can’t main­tain the threat­en­ing beauty of the pre­vi­ous two films and a lot of im­por­tant de­tail has been elim­i­nated in the trans­fer from page to screen. How­ever, the film looks as mag­i­cal as ever and the cast, in­clud­ing Imelda Staunton, is in fine fet­tle. — D. S.

La Vie en Rose ( M): Olivier Da­han’s lush and vi­brant biopic traces the ca­reer of French singer Edith Piaf from her child­hood in slums and broth­els to in­ter­na­tional star­dom. Marie Cotil­lard plays the adult Piaf with great pas­sion and en­ergy, mim­ing her big songs and mak­ing up for much of the film’s dis­jointed nar­ra­tive style. — E. W.

Knocked Up ( MA15+): Wri­ter­di­rec­tor Judd Apa­tow ( The 40- Year- Old Vir­gin ) casts a shrewd eye on is­sues of gen­der, class and gen­er­a­tional dif­fer­ence in this crisp and per­cep­tive Hol­ly­wood sex com­edy. Sham­bolic loser Ben Stone ( Seth Ro­gen) finds him­self fac­ing the prospect of fa­ther­hood af­ter a drunken tum­ble with a beau­ti­ful television in­ter­viewer ( Kather­ine Heigl). — E. W. OUR CRIT­ICS AVOID

Pre­mo­ni­tion ( MA): Sub­ur­ban house­wife San­dra Bul­lock is told that her hus­band, Ju­lian McMa­hon, has been killed in a car ac­ci­dent, but next day he’s alive and well. Di­rec­tor Men­nan Yapo un­folds this un­likely story with min­i­mal cred­i­bil­ity. — D. S.

Cash­back ( MA): A Bri­tish com­edy ex­panded by writer- di­rec­tor Sean El­lis from his short film. The thin premise has art stu­dent- su­per­mar­ket worker Sean Big­ger­staff ogling naked women and brood­ing over the loss of his girl­friend, un­aware that co- worker Emilia Fox is far wor­thier of his at­ten­tion. — D. S.

Out­back thriller A scene from Gone

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