(M) If your main aim is to see spectacular fist fights between superheroes from The Avengers, then there is a lot here to dazzle. But this is also a moving story about friendship, family and the sometimes arguable balance between doing right and wrong. It is the lifelong commitment of Captain America (Chris Evans) to his childhood friend and war buddy Bucky Barnes, aka Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), that underscores much of the uncertainty and tension. This comes to a riveting conclusion towards the end in a grim twist that is one of the best oldfashioned dramatic scenes I’ve seen in a superhero film. There are lots of other laugh-out-loud moments: self-aware, comic book-aware ones for Marvel fans, and straight-out ones for non-expert viewers. In traditional Marvel fashion, this humour complements ongoing personal investigation by the characters. An (M) The title refers to the sweet bean paste that is spread inside dorayaki, small round pancakes that are the specialty at the cafe where the lonely protagonist works in this modest but attractive Japanese film from director Naomi Kawase. Essentially a study of three generations of unrelated characters, the film tells its simple story mainly through the visuals, with minimal dialogue.
Mia Madre (M) Italian director Nanni Moretti’s modestly touching film deals with a filmmaker (Margherita Buy) who is in the middle of directing a drama about labour unrest at a factory when she is forced to come to terms with the fact her mother is dying. The family scenes are handled with tenderness and insight, and are somewhat relieved by scenes on the film set where an imported American actor (John Turturro, very good) proves to be a major problem.
Detective’s Handbook Here’s what we know. Chicago, 1950. Two cops are dead, shot in some dump on the South Side. The case is a priority. World-weary detective Frank Thompson (Justin Smith) has an old hangover and a new partner. Young Jimmy Hartman (Rob Johnson) is the way of the future, all shinyeyed and determined to do it by the book: The Detective’s Handbook, volumes 1 and 2. We Will Rock You The hit rock musical by Queen and Ben Elton has been seen by more than 16 million people worldwide. The production showcases 24 of Queen’s hits including We are the Champions, Bohemian Rhapsody, Another One Bites the Dust and, of course, We Will Rock You. Featuring Gareth Keegan, Erin Clare and Casey Donovan. Sydney Lyric Theatre, Pirrama Road, Pyrmont. Opens Thursday, 8pm. Tickets: $70-$120. Bookings: 136 100 or online. Until June 19. The Events ACO: Beethoven & Mozart V Composer and violinist Richard Tognetti leads the Australian Chamber Orchestra in a program that explores Bach’s last major work, The Art of Fugue, and its influence on Beethoven’s works. After studying Bach’s score, Beethoven went on to write compositions in fugal form, including the Grosse Fugue, the finale to his String Quartet No 13. The program is completed with Mozart’s Violin Concerto No 5 in A major, with Tognetti as soloist. City Recital Hall, 2 Angel Place, Sydney. May 14, 7pm; May 15, 2pm. Tickets: $49-$149. Bookings: 1800 444 444 or online. presents his latest exhibit, WYE. This moving image project comprises three video channels. Visions of 19thcentury colonial history and the present day are projected with those of an imagined dystopian future. Working with German cinematographer Jorg SchmidtReitwein, Subotzky shot WYE on location in South Africa after two years spent developing the artwork’s time-shifting narrative. A specially constructed audio component accompanies the visuals, creating a site of “temporal and geo-cultural collapse”. part by the commissioned electronic score from Nick Wales that evokes the vastness of the universe. These dancers always look sharp but here sleekness gives way to ferociously strong and muscular attack. They need it for this hugely demanding work. The evening opens with the return of Alexander Ekman’s Cacti, first danced by SDC in 2013. It’s a laugh-aloud funny jeux d’esprit that fizzes with energy. Canberra Theatre Centre, London Circuit, Civic Square, Canberra. Opens May 19, 7.30pm. Tickets: $30-$69. Bookings: (02) 6275 2700 or online. Until May 21.