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ALOHA

SYNOPSIS: Brian Gilcrest (Bradley Cooper), a celebrated military contractor returns to the site of his greatest career triumphs and re-connects with Tracy (Rachel McAdams), a long-ago love while unexpectedly falling for Allison Ng (Emma Stone), the hard-charging Air Force watchdog assigned to him.

Review by Louise Keller:
It's the scenes without dialogue that are the most memorable in this warm, likeable film in which issues big and small grapple for attention. Cameron Crowe has the knack of putting heart into his films and while this one may not be in the same class as Jerry Maguire or Almost Famous, it is nonetheless highly enjoyable.

Aloha thrives on the relationships and the interactions between its characters, even if the overall plot that forms the foundation of the film (money, myths and space) is somewhat confusing. I got rather lost by some of the elements regarding the space program, the Hawaiian 'mana', the military and the role of the billionaire contractor: this is where the storyline falls down. It does all comes together in the end, but I would have liked to understand the elements better.

When the film begins, Brian Gilcrest (Bradley Cooper) is heading for Hawaii to 'supervise a gate blessing' and return to the fold of Bill Murray's Carson Welch, the eccentric billionaire businessman with dreams that soar beyond the sky. The mission involves a satellite launch and while the history between the two men is unclear, this opportunity clearly offers Gilcrest a new chance - in more ways than one.

Bill Murray is always fun to watch and Alec Baldwin makes his presence felt as the grumpy General. But the performance gold comes from the three leads. Beyond his charm, Cooper brings a deep complexity, while McAdams is lovely as the girl with unfinished business. Stone has an intoxicating screen presence charming everyone - from the Hawaiian King, Tracey's kids, the General, the difficult Carson Welch, and of course Gilcrest.

The heart of the film concerns Gilcrest's relationships - with two women and the sky. The sky has long been his fascination and the return to Hawaii brings him face to face with his ex girlfriend,Tracy Woodside (Rachel McAdams) and military babysitter Allison Ng (Emma Stone). The dynamic between Gilcrest and Tracy is delightful as they revisit the past as they explore why they split up. Watch for the scenes in which Tracy's husband Woody (John Krasinski, brilliant) meets and greets Gilcrest. Not a word is spoken but plenty is said. It's very funny. Another highlight scene comes towards the end and involves Tracy's daughter Grace (Danielle Rose Russell) and Gilcrest. Once again nothing is said but a rush of emotions result. It's a case of less is more and these are Aloha's defining moments.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

ALOHA (PG)
(US, 2015)

CAST: Bradley Cooper, Rachel McAdams, Emma Stone, John Krasinski, Ivana Milicevic, Bill Murray, Jay Baruchel, Alec Baldwin

PRODUCER: Cameron Crowe, Scott Rudin

DIRECTOR: Cameron Crowe

SCRIPT: Cameron Crowe

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Eric Gautier

EDITOR: Joe Hutshing

MUSIC: Jon Thor Birgisson

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Clay A. Griffith

RUNNING TIME: 105 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: 20th Century Fox

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: June 4, 2015







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