‘Wild Tales’

Wild-Tales-ImagesSix subversive tragi-comic unconnected tales of revenge – exhilarating filmmaking that is, at times, genuinely funny. But, like reading a book of short stories, it left me suspended and a tad dissatisfied – little depth or character development. Crammed into two hours, the tales are brief – and a little relentless (maybe one too many?).

But its anarchic humour, albeit verging on the sick, is laugh-out-loud, described perfectly by one critic as a mix of Almodovar (the producer) and Tarantino. From the frustrations of dealing with bureaucracy over an illegally parked car through to the road rage standoff or wedding celebrations with an edge, director Damián Szifron (On Probation, The Bottom of the Sea) never lets up the pace.

Nominated for best foreign language film Oscar, 2015 (won the corresponding BAFTA Award).

Rating: 69%


mmt709-flat-packshot-masterWith its bleak, melancholic Eastern European aesthetic (shot partly in Georgia), this post-war, dystopian feature exploring the concept of the culture of cult and child assassins is disturbing and obscure.

Art and production design are standouts and, as a result, Partisan looks stunning. But, observational in approach, the film is ultimately unsatisfying. It cried out for more depth, a stronger direction of purpose. But Partisan, with its international cast including Vincent Cassel (Black Swan, Mon roi), remains a very radical approach to filmmaking in Australia from first-timer Ariel Kleiman.

Rating: 54%

‘Woman in Gold’


In the possession of the Belvedere Gallery in Vienna, Portrait Of Adele Bloch-Bauer I (now known simply as Woman in Gold) by Gustav Klimt was one of five works claimed by the New York-based Maria Altmann as belonging to her family. And she believes she has a strong case for restitution.

Pedestrian, characterless and emotionless, Woman in Gold is a majorly disappointing telling of an extraordinary story.

Even Oscar-winning Helen Mirren (The Queen, Gosford Park) cannot save the bland, formulaic approach to the David and Goliath story of Maria Altmann taking on the Austrian government for the restitution of her family’s art seized by the Nazis and held by Austria ever since.

Rating: 44%