Opera

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

(M) This film, di­rected by Ed­ward Zwick, comes four years after Jack Reacher. It’s based on the 18th novel in the pop­u­lar se­ries by Amer­i­can au­thor Lee Child. Over­all this is a slick ac­tion­ad­ven­ture that has rel­e­vant re­ver­ber­a­tions from the Amer­i­can in­volve­ment in Afghanistan and Iraq, and touches on the com­plex na­ture of the war on ter­ror.

Keep­ing Up with the Jone­ses (M) A fee­ble com­edy in which an or­di­nary sub­ur­ban cou­ple (Zach Gal­i­fi­anakis and Isla Fisher) sus­pect their glam­orous new neighbours (Jon Hamm, Gal Gadot) of be­ing spies. There are the usual ex­plo­sions, car chases and shootouts, but the promis­ing con­cept goes nowhere very in­ter­est­ing, al­though Hamm im­presses as the charm­ing mys­tery man.

Boys in the Trees (M) This is an in­trigu­ing part­fan­tasy, part-thriller com­ing-ofage drama writ­ten and di­rected by Nicholas Verso, in his fea­ture film de­but. It’s set in 1997, on Hal­loween, and the Aus­tralian lo­ca­tion is not ob­vi­ous. The main char­ac­ters are late­teenagers, in this case ones on the cusp of leav­ing school. There are sur­real mo­ments and ex­pe­ri­ences that may or may not have some­thing to do with Hal­loween: mem­o­ries of chil­dren who died, the ap­pear­ance of a ghost­like man, a haunt­ing tun­nel, a strange party at a house. The end­ing is shock­ing and su­perb.

Elle (MA15+) Dutch di­rec­tor Paul Ver­ho­even’s first fea­ture in 10 years is the French en­try in this year’s for­eign film Os­car race, and de­servedly so. It’s a su­perb por­trait of a mid­dle-aged woman, bril­liantly played by Is­abelle Hup­pert, who, in the shat­ter­ing open­ing se­quence, is raped in her own home by a masked man. It’s not a con­ven­tional re­venge thriller, though, but a dark and some­times grimly amus­ing film about tan­gled re­la­tion­ships, ri­val­ries, agen­das. Think Hitch­cock meets Luis Bunuel.

Syd­ney Opera House — The Opera (The Eighth Won­der) Di­rec­tor David Free­man and his pro­duc­tion team have used the fore­court of the Opera House to stage an opera about the cre­ation of the iconic Aus­tralian land­mark. The use of the build­ing as the back­drop is sur­real as well as awe-in­spir­ing. Much of the hype about this pro­duc­tion fo­cuses on the fact it is a “silent opera”, heard through head­phones. Sound

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