(PG) Meryl Streep gives a bravura performance as the New York socialite who, in 1944, performed to a sellout crowd at Carnegie Hall despite the fact her singing voice was, as one critic put it, “the worst in the world”. As her supportive but faithless husband, Hugh Grant turns on the charm to considerable effect, and director Stephen Frears tells the story with his customary skill. It’s a pity that a fictionalised French version of the same story, Marguerite, was released just a few weeks ago.
Mother’s Day (M) Whether you want to take your mother to see this film is something only you can know, or guess at. It features what is supposed to be comically contrived racism and sexism but it just isn’t funny and feels uncomfortable. Having said that, this third anniversary day instalment directed by veteran filmmaker Garry Marshall (following Valentine’s Day in 2010 and New Year’s Eve in 2011) is not without humour and in some respects it’s one of the strangest American family comedies I’ve seen in a while. It has an impressive ensemble cast led by Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts and Jason Sudeikis and toys with the challenges of being a parent — and an adult child.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (tbc) Tina Fey plays a television journalist assigned to cover the war in Afghanistan in 2003 and the film — based on a memoir by a real-life print journalist — vividly depicts life in Kabul during this period, though it was filmed in New Mexico. But Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, suffers from its uncertain tone. The attempt to combine brutal realism and grim humour never really succeeds, and the casting of white actors as Afghan characters is also a problem.
Georgy Girl: The Seekers Musical Judith Durham’s clarion voice isn’t a once-in-a-generation thing; it’s unique. Her weightless soprano, spinto strong, can’t be mimicked. And this is a chink that is exploited by the creators of Georgy Girl: The Seekers Musical. If the voice can’t be matched technically, it can be rivalled in other ways. In a second-act montage, Pippa Grandison (pictured centre) as Durham gives an emotional heft to Another You that the original simply doesn’t have. Though tongue-in-cheek and often rampantly daggy, Georgy Girl is a very clever and carefully blueprinted piece. From song selection and arrangements to sound engineering, little is left to chance. Georgy Girl is a reminder of just how broad the Seekers’ appeal was. It’s as escapist and adorable as the band. State Theatre, 49 Market Street, Sydney. Today, 2pm and 8pm. Tickets: $65-$140. Bookings: 136 100 or online. Until June 1. Metamorphoses This play, from American playwright Mary Zimmerman, brings Ovid’s tales to visual life. Set in a large pool of water, Metamorphoses contrasts the ancient with the contemporary in both language and image. Directed by Andrew Henry with music from Julia Stone. Old Fitz Theatre, 129 Dowling Street, Woolloomooloo. Tonight, 7.30pm. Tickets: $28-$38. Bookings: 0409 020 119 or online. Until June 11.