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The Weekend Australian - Review - - Out & About -

All is Lost (M)

A mas­ter­ful ex­er­cise in pure cin­ema in which Robert Red­ford, as a lone sailor adrift in the vast ocean, is the sole pro­tag­o­nist. Vis­ually and au­rally, this is an amaz­ing achieve­ment. The 77-year-old ac­tor’s iconic pres­ence is pow­er­fully used by di­rec­tor JC Chan­dor. David Strat­ton

Tracks (M)

Robyn David­son’s 1977 trek across the cen­tral Aus­tralian desert — a 2700km jour­ney last­ing nine months with four camels and a pet dog for com­pany — should have made for a com­pelling film, with Mia Wasikowska in the cen­tral role. But the re­sult is sur­pris­ingly flat, due in part to an awk­ward screen­play that tells us lit­tle about David­son’s back­ground or mo­ti­va­tion. Evan Wil­liams

Vam­pire Academy (M)

The first book in Richelle Mead’s hugely pop­u­lar se­ries about a school for vam­pires comes to the screen with­out much distinc­tion. The nar­ra­tive is a mud­dle and the teen talk, puerile. New­com­ers Zoey Deutch and Lucy Fry do their best with some pretty in­tractable ma­te­rial, but the fans will doubt­less be lin­ing up. DS

The Wind Rises (PG)

The lat­est (and prob­a­bly the last) film from Hayao Miyazaki, Ja­pan’s leg­endary mas­ter of an­i­ma­tion, this de­light­ful fan­tasy is at once a fairy­tale about a young boy’s dreams and an ac­count of the rise of Ja­panese mil­i­tarism in the 20th century. The story is re­vealed through the eyes of Jiro Horikashi, who grew up to de­sign the Zero fighter, Ja­pan’s dead­li­est weapon in World War II. A sombre story, in­fused with a strange pas­sion and ten­der­ness, and never less than vis­ually en­chant­ing. EW

Non-Stop (M)

Far-fetched but en­joy­able, this thriller set aboard a pas­sen­ger plane on a six-hour tran­satlan­tic flight de­liv­ers the goods de­spite its in­creas­ing num­ber of im­plau­si­bil­i­ties. Liam Nee­son plays a US federal air mar­shal, trav­el­ling armed and incog­nito, faced with an ex­tor­tion­ist who threat­ens to mur­der a pas­sen­ger or crew mem­ber ev­ery 20 min­utes un­less they are paid mil­lions of dol­lars. The claus­tro­pho­bic at­mos­phere is well con­veyed in Jaume Col­letSerra’s ef­fi­cient but over-thetop, di­rec­tion. DS

Glo­ria (MA15+)

This sub­tle and un­pre­ten­tious film is the story of a 58-year-old di­vorcee (Paulina Gar­cia) who chal­lenges the per­ils of lone­li­ness and old age by seek­ing a new start in life, ideally with an­other long-term part­ner. Touch­ing, funny and up­lift­ing. EW pro­duc­tion lacks weight and deep res­o­nance. The im­mense, soul-tear­ing themes of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, unswerv­ing com­mit­ment to the truth, un­al­loyed good­ness and the power of for­give­ness in the face of ap­palling wrong are di­luted. Bell gives us the story of a boy who wants his mummy and daddy to love each other and to be to­gether. It doesn’t seem the best use of The Win­ter’s Tale. Pre­sented by Bell Shake­speare.

Deb­o­rah Jones Syd­ney Opera House. Tonight, 2pm and 7.30pm. Tick­ets: $35$79. Book­ings: (02) 9250 7777 or on­line. Du­ra­tion: 3hr, in­clud­ing 20min in­ter­val. Un­til March 29.

Once in Royal David’s City

Michael Gow’s new play is about how we are to un­der­stand things. We have our in­stinc­tive emo­tions, and over the top of those we have lay­ered — as his play lay­ers —

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