(M) Una is a powerful and challenging movie that dares to explore one of the most incendiary subjects: pedophilia. Thirteen-year-old Una (Ruby Stokes) is seen in the garden of her suburban home confronting someone we can’t yet see; it then cuts to Una 15 years later (Rooney Mara). As the parallel stories unfold the miserable saga becomes clearer. Ray (Ben Mendelsohn) lives next door to Una’s parents. He has befriended the child and seduced her. In the present, the adult Una — still profoundly traumatised by her childhood experiences — confronts Ray (now named Peter after a stint in jail). It’s obvious that Una hates and loves Ray/Peter and still can’t understand why he left her behind.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (PG) Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul is the fourth movie based on the children’s books by Jeff Kinney. Greg’s mother Susan has planned a family road trip to join her mother’s birthday. She bans mobile phones and other screens for 12-year-old Greg, older brother Roderick, infant brother Manny and even her husband Frank. We open with a riotous adventure at a cheap diner during which Greg’s hand becomes stuck in a nappy. The smartphone footage of this goes viral and he is branded Diaper Hands.
Fake news and constant camera surveillance are part of the world we live in, and if computers were as ubiquitous in 1949, when George Orwell published his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, he could well have included cyberattacks on a grand scale as well. The hero, Winston Smith, has rebellious thoughts about the totalitarian state in which he lives, hates its leader, Big Brother, and writes those thoughts in a journal. He knows he will be discovered eventually and “unpersoned”: eliminated. Tom Gibbons’s sound and Natasha Chivers’s lighting ratchet up the tension, shock the audience and contribute immeasurably to the success of the production. Not to be missed. Sydney Theatre Company, Roslyn Packer Theatre, 22 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay. Today, 1.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets: $61-$110. Bookings: (02) 9250 1777. The Plant Sue attempts to fill the void left by her dead husband by