Happy New Year and welcome to our 984th weekly edition; Thursday January 14, 2016

Movie review:
(UK/US, 2015) Dir: Todd Haynes. Stars Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara. "The storytelling is sublime, as is the look of the film. It is a work of sheer beauty ... Blanchett is breathtaking in the title role," says Louise.

NEWS: Gossip-free zone;
* Movies Now - new series starts February 3. Book now;
* The project In Vitro, in development by Australian writers Will Jaymes, Talia Zucker and Tom McKeith, has been selected for the 2016 Screenwriters Lab (Jan. 15 - 20) at Robert Redford's Sundance Resort in Utah, as one of 12 projects from around the world;
* The Independent Cinema Association of Australia has launched My Cinema Select, a new program to support greater audience access to limited release Australian and independent titles, especially in regional areas across Australia;
* David Bowie tribute screenings at Sydney's Orpheum: Fri. Jan 29, 9pm, Labyrinth (G) & Sun. Jan. 31, 7pm, The Man Who Fell to Earth (R18+), $15.

Reports & charts every Monday & Thursday (after 4pm)

Win one of 20 double inseason passes to THE BIG SHORT, starring Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt, courtesy Paramount Pictures. Copyright 2015 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved. Only at the movies January 14.

Movie reviews:
(US, 20165 Dir: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. Stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson. "If suffering on screen gets you an Oscar, Leonardo Di Caprio certainly deserves one. He spends almost his entire time on screen as Hugh Glass, in pain: badly mauled by a grizzly bear in Canada's remote frontier, buried alive, painfully crawling towards safety, tumbled down a wintry waterfall, stabbed in the hand ... and all the while mourning the murder of his half caste son," says Andrew. "Inarritu's film is cinematic, powerful and raw," says Louise.

Movie reviews:
(US, 2015) Dir: Adam McKay. Stars Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt. "Filled with bravado, this edgy, darkly cutting film about greed, corruption and the 2008 financial crisis left me feeling outraged and terrified. Terrified about the system; human nature; the future," says Louise. "It's a riveting film, depressing in its critique of a system that was built on greed and fraud - and rebuilt after the crash with taxpayers' money, only to continue its brazen practices today," says Andrew.

Movie review:
(US, 2015) Dir: Jason Moore. Stars Amy Poehler, Tina Fey. "There's no shortage of comedic talent on screen, yet Sisters plays a bit like a raunchy stand up routine, loosely stitched together by a narrative that begs for more than crass, out-to-shock verbal torrents," says Louise.

The Martian won its Golden Globe for being the Best Comedy (who knew?) with Matt Damon voted Best Actor in a Comedy and The Revenant took the Globe for Best Drama, with Leonardo di Caprio voted Best Actor in a Drama. Jennifer Lawrence in Joy was Best Actress (Comedy) but the surprise was Brie Larson's win for Room. No surprises, though, in host Ricky Gervais' signature bad taste humour, a signature the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has come to embrace, giving him another chance to ridicule his audience. (Pic. The Revenant director, Alejandro Inarritu)

[Coming in February, Brooklyn, stars Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson. "It's not just the story, although that is vital; it's how it's told and what it tells us about humanity," says Andrew.]
Calendar of films releasing in January

Concussion, stars Will Smith, Alex Baldwin;
Steve Jobs, stars Michael Fassbender;
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, stars John Stamos, Rita Wilson, Nia Vardalis;
Zoolander 2, stars Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell;
Spotlight, stars Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams;
The Danish Girl, stars Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander;

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 our favourites if they don't make the top 20)

Stars Ryan Corr, Craig Stott. "It's devastatingly sad and we know from the outset where the story is heading, but Armfield has managed to remove the distance between the audience and the screen, enabling us to embrace and experience something we will not forget," says Louise.

Voices Ryan Kwanten, Richard Roxburgh. "It's a colourful, high spirited tale with endearing characters, non stop action and plenty of heart, as Australia's favourite koala embarks on a grand Outback adventure in search of his missing father," says Louise.

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, Beautiful Kate (pic) and dozens more. Over 570 films.

It's a steep walk from Gruyeres railway station to the historic Swiss hilltop village of Gruyeres, world famous for its cheese. But Gruyeres (population 300) has a dark secret which only the most curious - or well informed - will discover: the gallery of H. R. Giger, Oscar winning designer of the alien in Ridley Scott's Alien (1979) and other things similarly subversive, erotic, fantastic and out of this world. Andrew L. Urban reports.

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