The Big Sick (M) The Big Sick is a delightful autobiographical rom-com. The film is set in Chicago where Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani), a member of a close-knit Pakistani Muslim family, has taken his first steps to integrate as an American. He meets Emily (Zoe Kazan) and they’re soon inseparable — until she discovers he hasn’t told his family about her and that, deep down, he is resigned to entering into a traditional arranged marriage. Not long after Emily leaves him, she’s felled a serious illness, and the news brings her parents from North Carolina. In contrast to Kumail’s parents, they know all about his relationship with their daughter and mother Beth (Holly Hunter) wants nothing to do with him. Dealing as it does with relationships between Muslims and “ordinary” Americans at this particular time, the film can be said to have assumed an importance rare for a romantic comedy.
War for the Planet of the Apes (M) War for the Planet of the Apes includes more references to other films, and to human history, than I’ve seen in a while, and it works. It turns this 50-year-old primate conflict first imagined by French novelist Pierre Boulle into something thoughtful and compassionate, as well as thrilling. The action opens 15 years after the end of the previous movie. The apes, led by Caesar (Andy Serkis), are secluded in a mountainous forest, fugitives from the human army. Some apes have joined the humans on the promise they will be spared when the apocalypse comes. This is an action adventure so viewers will expect a climactic confrontation between the two main characters, Caesar and the human military leader, the Colonel. It does come, but it is nothing like what we have come to expect from superhero films, and is outstanding as a result. A Ghost Story (M) I doubt there has been a movie about a ghost as simple, weird and strangely affecting as David Lowery’s A Ghost Story. The opening scenes introduce us to a couple in love (Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara). We don’t know their names (in the closing credits they’re identified as C and M) but we respond to their affection for one another. One day there’s a fatal accident and C is killed. The bereaved M returns to the modest house where they lived, accompanied by C’s ghost. At the screening I attended there was laughter when the ghost first appeared, and that’s understandable: The ghost is C covered in a white bedsheet that has holes cut to allow him to see through. A Ghost Story is a very provocative and original piece of work and it challenges its audience to respond.
installation incorporates sound and scent with works on paper and video on a purpose-built screen. Pictured above is Water Chamber 2 (2017). The Moderns: European Designers in Sydney The Moderns explores the enduring influence that the foreign design centres of Vienna, Berlin and Budapest have on Sydney’s architecture, interior design and modernist design. Stories of Sydney’s design emigres from the 1930s to 60s will illustrate the lasting impact on this city’s developments in modernist design. Museum of Sydney, Phillip and Bridge streets. Inquiries: (02) 9251 5988 or online. Until November 26. Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes Audiences will have a chance to view the artworks by this year’s finalists in each of Australia’s three most prestigious art awards — the Archibald, the