Welcome to our 873rd weekly edition; Thursday, November 28, 2013

Movie reviews:
(UK, 2013) Dir: David Frankel. Stars James Corden, Alexandra Roach, Mackenzie Crook, Julie Walters, Colm Meaney. "I remember watching Paul Potts on YouTube, when his singing of Nessun Dorma from Turandot on Britain's Got Talent went viral ... tears dripped onto my keyboard as I watched. The Devil Wears Prada director David Frankel elicits exactly the same response in the re-enactment of the unlikely rags to riches story of the chubby working class boy from Wales..." says Louise; "A hero's journey on an operatic scale, One Chance brings together a wonderful, beneficial cinematic storm of a great story, superbly cast & performed and directed with exactly the right balance of heart and tension," says Andrew.

News report:
SPA 2013
Australia's screen producers talked dirty money and digital sea change at their 2013 'coinference' in Melbourne last week, and Urban Cinefile gathered lots of positive feedback, not least to Kim Williams' keynote address at the beginning, in which he urged the industry to "own your future" and put the consumer at front & centre.

NEWS: Gossip-free zone
* APSA entries in free screenings at Brisbane's GOMA;
* Iranian Filmfest auds up 75%;
Public memorial for the late Australian documentarian Dennis O'Rourke;
* Backyard Ashes is extending its run to other towns;
* Brammall to host AACTA lunch; Gatsby gets VFX award;

BOX OFFICE: Reports & charts every Monday & Thursday (after 4pm)

Win one of 10 copies of The Way Way Back, starring Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Sam Rockwell, Liam James, courtesy Universal Sony Home Entertainment. Available on Blu-rayT, DVD & UltraVioletT from November 28.

Win one of 10 double inseason passes to Ender's Game, based on the bestselling book and starring Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Abigail Breslin, Hailee Steinfeld, Viola Davis and Ben Kingsley, courtesy Icon Film Distribution. 'A biting morality tale ... unforgettable,' says Louise. In cinemas December 5.

Movie review:
(Israel, 2012) Dir: Rama Burnshtein. Stars Hadas Yaron, Yiftach Klein, Irit Sheleg, Chaim Sharir, Razia Israely. "..their funny hats and weird hairdos don't camouflage the recognisable human characteristics we readily understand. For me, that is the film's most enduring and most important message," says Andrew.

Movie review:
(Israel, 2013) Dir: Reshef Levi. Stars Patrick Stewart, Gil Blank, Sasson Gabai, Yael Abecassis. "With its combination of dark humour, Jewish humour and ageing ailments humour, Hunting Elephants is a bitter sweet and lively comedy," says Andrew. (Melbourne only)

Movie reviews:
(Chile/US, 2012) Dir: Sebastián Silva. Stars Michael Sera, Juno Temple, Emily Browning, Catalina Sandina Moreno. "Silva's skill is allowing us to experience everything through the point of view of his protagonist, although things become tedious in the final reel," says Louise. "It begins like a nature doco and ends like a nightmare. Sebastián Silva's imagination has conjured up a somewhat contrived scenario in which two young women are separated but seemingly only for the purposes of the plot - to leave one of them like a fish out of water in a strange country," says Andrew.

Movie review:
CARRIE (2013)
(US, 2013) Dir: Kimberly Peirce. Stars Chloe Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore, Gabriella Wild, Portia Doubleday. "The saving grace of the Carrie concept is that it has this serious underlying theme as its anchor, which is instantly recognised by its target market - and beyond . The film hangs on Chloe Grace Moretz as Carrie, who does a wonderful job of balancing her freakishness with her vulnerability," says Andrew.

Movie review:
(Aust, 2013) Dir: Warwick Thornton. Documnetary. "... a case of overpromising and underdelivering ..Thornton adopted some iconic actors to re-tell stories harvested in the search for the film's content. Even though the performances are great, there is a disconnect; they are repeating what happened to someone else," says Andrew.

Movie review:
(France, 2013) Dir: Emmanuelle Bercot. Stars Catherine Deneuve. "A stunning performance by Catherine Deneuve as Bettie is the highlight of this warm, life-embracing road movie in which a cigarette break becomes the trigger for change," says Louise.

Movie reviews:
(UK, 2013) Dir: Kevin Macdonald. Stars Saoirse Ronan, Tom Holland, Anna Chancellor, George Mackay. "... a cross between a poetic Twilight-inspired love affair and a misjudged, idealistic drama," says Louise. "I couldn't until now imagine a perfunctory apocalyptic movie, in which the apocalypse was so underwhelming and undefined, virtually invisible and apparently meaningless," says Andrew.

Movie reviews:
(France, 2012) Dir: Gilles Bourdos. Stars Michel Bouquet, Christa Theret, Vincent Rottiers, Thomas Doret, Romane Bohnringer. "The soft Mediterranean light and the beautiful way in which the film is shot is certainly its strength. It is a pity that its tempo and story structure is not more engaging," says Louise. "Michel Bouquet's wonderful characterisation of Auguste Renoir remains the shining achievement of this delicate, reverential and sometimes gobsmackingly beautiful film," says Andrew.

[Coming next week, Kill Your Darlings, starring Daniel Radcliff, Dane DeHaan, Jack Huston, Ben Foster. "Words, drugs and sex form the pulse to the literary revolution canvassed in John Krokidas's debut film, when The Beat Generation drums and murder is skewed on the menu," says Louise. "There are some great moments, some lively sexual scenes and lots of intellectual posing," says Andrew.]
Calendar of films releasing in November

Saving Mr Banks, stars Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson;
American Hustle, stars Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams;
Philomena, stars Judi Dench, Steve Coogan;
Chinese Puzzle, stars Romain Duris, Audrey Tautou, Cecile De France;
Her, stars Joaquin Phonix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Scarlett Johansson;
Nebraska, stars Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb;

At a glance:
TOP 20
Short and sweet (or not) opinions on the most popular current releases. An easy reference for choosing which movie to see tonight or tomorrow or right now! (Occasionally we also slip in a few of the editors' favourites if they don't make the top 20)

Stars Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, Rob Lowe, Dan Aykroyd, Debbie Reynolds. "The way Soderbergh changes the tone as the story elements evolves brilliantly, encapsulating the richness of the film's emotional heart. I had tears in my eyes," says Louise.

Stars Viggo Mortensen, Soledad Villamil, Daniel Fanego, Javier Godino. "..the screenplay seems underdeveloped, as do the key characters of Pedro and Agustin, and there is little about the story that is engaging as a result," says Andrew.

Stars Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, Toni Collette, Amanda Peet. "It's real and engaging, with humour and sadness seasoning the action like salt and pepper to a stew of assorted ingredients," says Louise.

Stars Hugh Jackman, Famke Janssen, Will Yun Lee, Svetlana Khodchenkova. "All the technical work is superb, but there is a sense of story-stretch as the plot elongates without adding substance," says Andrew.

Stars Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly, Lily Collins, Logan Lerman. "an involving and likeable film that relies on its script and there are top performances from its hand-picked cast," says Andrew.

Competition winners:
To win tickets courtesy Umbrella Entertainment, we asked: Describe one of your most memorable trips and why it was memorable? David Harris: My first trip to Venice to visit family. Memories of the fog on the water and Mahler's No 5 symphony going through my head, but no fear this would be my Death in Venice.

Every Australian film we have ever reviewed (film / DVD / video release), or have reported from the set, or featured in any way, is listed here, going back to films made even before the launch of Urban Cinefile, such as The Piano, Romper Stomper, Muriel's Wedding, The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Kieran Darcy-Smith's Wish You Were Here, stars Joel Edgerton, Felicity Price (pic) and dozens more. Over 500 films.

The first Australian to visit, Andrew L. Urban explores the Tyrolean village resort of Pertisau and its unique stone oil. (Photos by Louise Keller)

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