(US, 2014) Dir: Ramin Bahrani. Stars Michael Shannon, Andrew Garfield, Laura Linney. "It’s a mesmerizing and disturbing portrait, elevated by two strong performances," says
Louise. "Audiences will no doubt notice the powerful and important role played by the score, from Australian screen composers Antony Partos and Matteo Zingales; important and remarkably effective," says Andrew.
BRIDGE OF SPIES
(US, 2015) Dir: Steven Spielberg. Stars Tom Hanks. "Tom Hanks' innate sense of decency shines through in Steven Spielberg's espionage thriller in which a war of principles takes place," says Louise. "A remarkably well crafted and engaging film from the fine screenplay, superbly cast and beautifully executed," says Andrew.
BY THE SEA
(US, 2015) Dir: Angelina Jolie. Stars Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie. "Poetic, intimate and beautiful, there's a European sensibility about Angelina Jolie's film about grief and loss. Of course there's an undeniable voyeuristic element. After all we are watching arguably the world's most celebrated, photogenic couple in the most intimate of situations," says Louise. "'Never assume anything about anyone' has been my mantra for many years so it is no surprise when characters in a film demonstrate the veracity of that sentiment," says Andrew.
(US, 2015) Dir: Ryan Coogler. Stars Sylvester Stallone, Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson. "Neither fans nor those new to the Rocky legend will be disappointed with what writer director Ryan Cooglar has done with Stallone’s characters in what is probably his last appearance," says Andrew.
(Aus, 2015) Dir: Jocelyn Moorhouse. Stars Kate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth, Hugo Weaving, Judy Davis, Sarah Snook. "I wanted to like the film more, but the in-your-face tone kept me at arm’s length," says Louise. "Moorhouse has a clear vision for the material and a great team to help her achieve it," says Andrew.
HE NAMED ME MALALA
(US, 2015) Dir: Davis Guggenheim. Documentary with Malala. "Two-times Academy award winning director Davis Guggenheim tells Malala’s moving story with a gentleness that counters its harsh elements," says Louise. "The Taliban will never understand why this film was made, why it is being seen around the world, why it shows their inhumanity and why Malala’s influence, resolve and power is spreading," says Andrew.
THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 2
(US, 2015) Dir: Francis Lawrence. Stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth. "In a lengthy drawn-out but satisfying finale, the Hunger Games franchise with Jennifer Lawrence’s strong, selfless female protagonist concludes, amid spectacular action, plot twists, surprise deaths, relationship development and a poignant final screen appearance by Philip Seymour Hoffman," says Louise.
LOVE THE COOPERS
(US, 2015) Dir: Jessie Nelson. Stars Diane Keaton, John Goodman, Olivia Wilde, Marisa Tomei, Alan Arkin, Amanda Seyfried. "It's a mixed stocking and if you’re prepared for the Hollywood tinsel search for 'comfort and joy', that’s pretty much what you will get," says Louise.
(US, 2015) Dir: Ridley Scott. Stars Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jeff Daniels. "Humour is the unexpected bonus of this thrilling space rescue adventure that offers a bit of everything, as it keeps us on edge throughout," says Louise. "This is a crowd pleaser on a grand scale and I certainly admire the craftsmanship and the cinematic values, although I could have wished for clearer exposition at times," says Andrew.
(Aust, 2015) Dir: Stuart McDonald. Stars Sarah Snook, Alan Tudyk, Coco Jack Gillies, Deborah Mailman, Terry Camilleri, Shane Jacobson. "There's plenty to like in this endearing Australian film about a chicken farmer named Swampy from the coastal town of Warrnambool, whose his unruly dog Oddball incredibly protects a wild penguin sanctuary from fox attacks. Based on a true story, director Stuart McDonald injects humour and heart into the tale," says Louise.
(UK/France, 2015) Dir: Stephen Frears. Stars Lee Pace, Ben Foster, Chris O’Dowd. "Proficiently made and offering a real sense of being there, the major problem about Stephen Frears' film about drug cheat and seven times Tour de France cycling champion Lance Armstrong is that it feels as though we have seen it all before," says Louise.
(US/ UK, 2015) Dir: Sam Mendes. Stars Daniel Craig, Lea Sedoux, Monica Belluci, Ralph Fiennes. " Everything is there ready for tasting – it’s a Bond degustation," says Louise. "The glance backwards by the writers signals a kind of watershed in the development of the new Bond since Daniel Craig slipped his Beretta into 007’s shoulder holster," says Andrew.