Theatre

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Out & About - DS SR Alan Bris­senden

(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

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