(MA15+) The Danish film Land of Mine is an intense drama set in May 1945, as the German occupation of Denmark comes to a bitter end. Sergeant Carl Rasmussen (Roland Moller) is assigned to supervise a small unit of Germans who have been given the task of clearing 45,000 mines from a remote beach. Rasmussen is a reluctant overseer of these prisoners. But, inevitably, he changes his mind about his “boys” as he slowly gets closer to them and witnesses their courage and suffering. As everyone knows, we fear — and sometimes hate — the “other”, the foreigner, the stranger, until we realise that, deep down, they’re just like us. And that’s the simple story at the heart of Land of Mine, a handsomely made, powerfully acted but not particularly probing drama. The Boss Baby (G) Seven-year-old Tim Templeton’s world is turned upside down when mum and dad arrive home with a baby brother. But this baby (voiced by Alec Baldwin, channelling his boss role from television’s Rock, and perhaps a bit of Donald Trump) comes wearing a business suit and carrying a briefcase. Director Tom McGrath directs this amusing but overlong animation for DreamWorks. The Boss Baby has its moments but at 97 minutes is too long and a bit cliched towards the end.
A Man Called Ove (En man som heter Ove) (M) One of the most successful Swedish films made, this comedy-drama explores the life of an elderly bigot and busybody who lords it over the small suburban enclave in which he lives, disapproving of bureaucrats, foreigners and cats. But flashbacks reveal he has had a rich, and sometimes painful, life. A terrific performance from Rolf Lassgard overcomes some of the film’s cliches.
The Dog/The Cat This double bill returns to the Belvoir after a hit run on the company’s Downstairs stage. The Dog, by Brendan Cowell, presents a not-so-flattering portrait of the tricky line between mateship and romance, and of the insatiable appetite of Jack Russell terriers for the most disgusting things they can find. In The Cat, Lally Katz explores the perils of coowning a feline with your ex, and the things a cat would say if he were able and allowed to speak his mind. Katz, Cowell and director Ralph Myers reinvent this romantic comedy for the stage in a way that is beguiling and funny. Stars Benedict Hardie and Andrea Demetriades (pictured). Upstairs Theatre, 18 & 25 Belvoir Street Surry Hills. Tickets: $37$72. Bookings: (02) 9699 3444 or online. Opens April 13. Dracula From the company behind the multi award-winning national touring productions of and Animal Farm comes a new adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. This gothic horror tale will be swooping into the Riverside Theatre with the critically acclaimed production created by Shake & Stir. The production begins when young lawyer Jonathan Harker (Tim Dashwood) visits Castle Dracula to assist Count Dracula (Nick Skubij) with purchasing a plot of land in London. Unbeknown to Jonathan is the Count’s sinister plans and bloodlust. Directed by Michael Futcher. Kinky Boots Cyndi Lauper’s Kinky Boots is a big-hearted story about prejudice, self-acceptance and acceptance of outsiders. Kinky Boots, in which a drag queen saves a struggling shoe factory with a line of footwear that resembles “2½ feet of tubular, irresistible sex”, opened on Broadway in 2013 and was Lauper’s first stab at a musical score. Adapted from the 2005 British film starring Australian actor Joel Edgerton and Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kinky Boots is largely set in a provincial English factory but is powered by a posse of glamorous crossdressers who sing about giving “good epiphany” and how the “sex is in the heel”. Capitol Theatre, 13 Campbell Street, Haymarket, Sydney. Tickets: $50-$150. Bookings: (02) 9320 5000 or online. Opens April 12. The Bleeding Tree