(M) This biopic, about a week in the life of American novelist David Foster Wallace, who killed himself in 2008, aged 46, is essentially a two-hour conversation about life, love, selfhood and art high and low. It has been said Wallace’s writing creates in the reader the sense of “being David Foster Wallace’’. So it goes for Jason Segal’s towering performance here. The physical resemblance is uncanny, but it’s the inhabitation of the author’s brilliant and fragile mind that is most remarkable. It’s a role that needs a foil, and Jesse Eisenberg, an actor who makes such interesting choices, is a brilliant one as journalist-author David Lipsky.
The Assassin (Nie Yin niang) (PG) This prize-winning film from Taiwan’s Hou Hsiao-Hsien, awarded the best director gong at the Cannes film festival, is a martial arts movie for people who don’t much like martial arts movies. The story of a 9thcentury woman, trained as an assassin from childhood, is certainly contemplative and relatively uneventful, with short bursts of violence. It’s incredibly beautiful on every level and extremely rewarding, even though the threads of the plot aren’t always as clear as they might be.
Mississippi Grind Christine Anu: Aretha Franklin Songbook Australian vocalist Christine Anu takes on the music of the queen of soul in a revival of her successful 2012 show. “Aretha Franklin is a true legend which is why I’m always excited to sing her songs,” says Anu. “Her magic introduced me to a whole new audience and for this, I will forever love her.” The Basement, 7 Macquarie Place, Circular Quay, Sydney. Tonight, 7.30pm. Tickets: $40-$100. Bookings: (02) 9251 2797 or online.
Elton John: All the Hits Tour