Stage

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Out & About - Stephen Romei DS SR

(M) This en­joy­able Dwayne John­son-Kevin Hart CIA ac­tion com­edy is not en­tirely pre­dictable and the re­fusal to over­play the buddy-film cliches is sat­is­fy­ing. The size dif­fer­ence be­tween Hart and ex-wrestler John­son is well used and the chem­istry be­tween the two ac­tors is sparkling. In­deed, they are funnier than the film it­self, though it’s funny enough. And we gain an in­sight into the sen­si­tiv­ity of John­son; he is a good comic actor. A fine film to watch if you feel like tak­ing an easy break from the real world.

Mag­gie’s Plan (M) A de­light­ful con­tem­po­rary com­edy about the prob­lems fac­ing an independent 30some­thing New York woman who can’t sus­tain re­la­tion­ships but who yearns to be a mother. Writer-di­rec­tor Re­becca Miller and a su­perb cast headed by the di­vine Greta Ger­wig along­side Ju­lianne Moore and Ethan Hawke en­sure that this smart, witty com­edy is based firmly in re­al­ity — and all the bet­ter for it.

The BFG (PG) Steven Spiel­berg’s The BFG is a mar­vel­lous, mood-lift­ing, word­man­gling adap­ta­tion of Roald Dahl’s 1982 chil­dren’s novel. Much of the mar­vel­lous­ness comes from the Big Friendly Gi­ant of the title: the su­perb English stage and screen actor Mark Ry­lance. The script, which is the fi­nal work of Melissa Mathi­son ( ET: The Ex­traTer­res­trial), who died in Novem­ber last year, was ap­proved by the Dahl es­tate. There’s a lot to laugh about, with Mathi­son mak­ing spiff­ing use of Dahl’s squig­gly lan­guage and his fond­ness for ono­matopoeia. High-level mo­tion-cap­ture tech­nol­ogy means Ry­lance be­comes the gi­ant and he in­vests the char­ac­ter with in­tel­li­gence, love and a lit­tle fragility. His quirky mono­logues are de­liv­ered with the grace, warmth and acu­ity of an actor who was the first artis­tic di­rec­tor of Shake­speare’s Globe Theatre. This is a per­fect film for the school hol­i­days, for kids and adults.

Sin­gin’ in the Rain In the 1952 MGM mu­si­cal Sin­gin’ in the Rain, Cosmo (Don­ald O’Con­nor) says with a heav­ing sigh: “Lina ... she can’t act, she can’t sing and she can’t dance. The triple threat.” But, boy, can she screech. In the Gene Kelly movie, Lina La­mont (Jean Ha­gen) is a first mag­ni­tude star of the silent movie era whose ca­reer looks set to flame out with the ad­vent of the talkie. Here, the God­face In this elec­tion year, Ma­tri­ark Theatre and 107 Projects present this play about po­lit­i­cal cor­rup­tion, back­stab­bing and be­trayal. The cit­i­zens of God­face will vote to elect a new Prime God. Com­bin­ing pup­petry and phys­i­cal com­edy, God­face is a theatri­cal and an­i­mal­is­tic po­lit­i­cal cri­tique. Di­rected by Scott Parker. 107 Projects. 107 Red­fern Street, Red­fern. To­day, 2pm and 7pm. Tick­ets: $25-$30. Book­ings on­line. Ends to­mor­row.

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