Welcome to our 17th Anniversary (1997-2014) - weekly edition No. 886; Thursday, February 27, 2014

EDITORIAL: Murder by the prosecution - clues in a film.

Movie reviews:
(Chile/Spain, 2012) Dir: Sebastián Lelio. Stars Paulina García, Sergio Hernández. "A knock-out performance from Paulina García as Gloria anchors this insightful portrait of a life-loving woman searching for fulfilment," says Louise. "The humour comes mostly from painful places, our recognition of painful truths and/or just the authenticity of responses by the characters, sometimes delivered as nothing more than a glance or a thin smile. It's all those subtleties that make the film a joy," says Andrew.

NEWS: Gossip-free zone
* Blood Pulls A Gun at SXSW;
* Space Odyssey 2001 & stars on stage;
* Szkubiesewski scores digital release;
* Advance Australian Film will have its world premiere at Byron Bay filmfest;
* War Witch to screen at NFSA, with panel;
* FEATURED PREVIEW: ALL IS LOST - Man vs Ocean in J.C. Chandor's bravura movie, starring Robert Redford. Opens March 6, 2014.

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

Win one of 20 double inseason passes to Tracks, starring Mia Wasikowska as Robyn Davidson, Adam Driver as Rick Smolan and directed by John Curran (Praise, We Don't Live Here Anymore, The Painted Veil), courtesy Transmission Films. "Breaktaking" -Hollywood Reporter. Tracks is in cinemas nationally 6 March 2014.

Movie review:
(US, 2014) Dir: Jaume Collet-Serra. Stars Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Michelle Dockery. "Liam Neeson, with his towering frame and credible persona, is an asset to any film and here, he does his best to counter a script that's as frenetic as the camerawork. It's not all bad and there are moments of genuine tension....(but) the scenario might have had legs, had it not been thwarted by too many distractions by way of character overload and red herrings." says Louise.

Movie review:
(Japan, 2013) Dir: Hayao Miyazaki. Voices of Hideaki Anno, Miori Takimoto, Hidetoshi Nishijima. "The revered anime director Hayao Miyazaki has paid a respectful tribute to one of Japan's great sons, Jiro Horikoshi, who engineered Japan's fabulously elegant and efficient fighter planes in World War II... The story is not intended for a family audience, being rather more concerned with meticulous detail about Jiro's development as an engineer," says Andrew.

Movie review:
(Aust, 2013) Dir: Warwick Thornton. Documentary featuring Deborah Mailman, Sacha Horler, Aaron Pedersen, Bryan Brown, Claudia Karvan. "Sad to say this film is a case of overpromising and underdelivering, a misplaced concept for cinema that should have been recognised as such early on. As with hearing someone's dreams, the listener has no visual references or images and interest is hard to maintain," says Andrew. (Releasing in Vic, WA, ACT)

FCCA Awards 2014:
The only category for which it is eligible in which The Great Gatsby is not nominated is Best Actress, in this year's Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards, but it has two nominations in the best Supporting Actress category - and Hugo Weaving is nominated as Best Supporting Actor for both Mystery Road and The Turning.

[Coming in March, The Monuments Men, starring George Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett. "It's a story with scale, texture and layers and whatever it lacks in grit and tension (required for a story based on fact) is compensated by chutzpah, as the specially commissioned team of art scholars and specialists locate, save and champion the world's art masterpieces from destruction or Hitler's clutches," says Louise.]
Calendar of films releasing in February

All is Lost, stars Robert Redford;
Godzilla, stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen;
The Grand Budapest Hotel, stars Saoirse Ronan, Jude Law, Ralph Fiennes;
Half a Yellow Sun, stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton;
Noah, stars Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly;

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)

(US, 2013) Stas Sandra Bullock, George Clooney. "Gravity is what gravity does - it draws you, grips you and doesn't let go, a unique, two hander disaster movie that is astonishing in both conception and execution," says Andrew. "We feel as though we are living the experience," says Louise.

(Australia, 2014) Stars Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Rose Byrne. "In this unique work, a team of collaborators have made a cinematic patchwork quilt that is textured and challenging, unpredictably varied in style and in its approach to Tim Winton's written word," says Andrew.

(France, 2012) Stars Diane Kruger, Dany Boon. "It is ironic that for a film that champions spontaneity, its main flaw is the lack of it... But having said that, the combination of the irrespressible Dany Boon and lovely Diane Kruger is often enough to charm us into submission," says Louise.

Documentary featuring Sarah Polley. "The facets, the secrets and the different perspectives of love are put under the microscope in this deceptively simple yet devastatingly complex portrayal of a family," says Louise.

Competition winners:
To win DVDs courtesy Roadshow Entertainment, we asked: Who among family and friends has achieved success in a surprising field or career? Emily Mclaughlan (VIC) I have a friend that has found success with a YouTube channel which has a quarter of a million followers an taker her around the world for free and given her lots of great opportunities.

To win complimentary passes to the 25th Alliance Francaise French Film Festival, we asked: What is your favourite French thing / place / person and why? Terrence Healey (SA): My favourite thing is when my wife dresses down into her French underwear; Ooo-la-la!

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, Baz Luhrmann's Strictly Ballroom (pic), Romper Stomper, Muriel's Wedding, The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and dozens more. Over 500 films.

Finding the Hotel Carramazza almost by accident, Andrew L. Urban meets the man whose family has lived there for 430 years - enough time to accumulate many secrets. The hotel is now gone, but the secrets remain.

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