The Wellington Film Guide

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Funerals and Snakes
Cinemas of New Zealand

 T H I S   W E E K   I N   W E L L I N G T O N

T H U R S D A Y   2 2   J A N U A R Y  -
  W E D N E S D A Y   2 8   J A N AU A R Y   2 0 1 5  

t h e   f i l m s

n e w s   c l i p s

  • Wellington Film Society members are enjoying discounts at most cinemas in the city over the Summer break. The 2015 season will commence at the Paramount on Monday 2 March. Most of the schedule has now been confirmed and can be found on the website. A brochure describing the new programme and containing an application form will be launched mid-February.

  • Nga Taonga Sound and Vision. At the Mediatheatre until Saturday 7 February, Curtis Vowell's FANTAIL (NZ 2013). For more details, check out the calender of screenings and events.

  • Film Festivals to note:
  • The French Film Festival 2015, Embassy 11-29 March.
  • If your festival is not listed here, please advise the Cinemaster

    This site relies on the various cinemas having their own websites up to date to access their screening times. The paragraphs describing the films starting this week are in most cases adapted from the linked reviews.
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    For comments and movie news, contact the Cinemaster at

    s t a r t s   t h i s   w e e k!

    FORCE MAJEURE - A biting satire that plays out with almost crystalline precision in the rarefied, thin-air environs of an upscale ski resort, Swedish director Ruben Ostlund's fourth feature took the Jury (runner up) prize in the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes, but also, more importantly, took the coveted honor of being The Film We'd Heard Nothing About Prior That Gained So Much Buzz While There We Had To See It. And so our last Sunday in Cannes found us calculating shuttle journeys and negotiating potential airport strike delays to squeeze in the catch-up screening, and we're so glad we did: This is a brutally smart and original film that capped off our Cannes in bracing style - it's edge is so keen, and its movements so deft that it's not till you're out the cinema and up the road that you realize how cutting it was. From the International Film Festival. Also Penthouse.

    STILL ALICE - With some 36 million worldwide living with Alzheimer's disease, this warm, compassionate but bitingly honest film will touch home for many people. The toll the disease takes on the life of a brilliant linguistics professor is superbly detailed by Julianne Moore in a career-high performance, driving straight to the terror of the disease and its power to wipe out personal certainties and identity. Written and directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, the screenplay is faithful to Lisa Genova's best-selling novel which has a fan base of its own. Also Lighthouse.

    A THOUSAND TIMES GOOD NIGHT - A Norwegian-made, English-language film set in Ireland, Kenya and Afghanistan, and starring French luminary Juliette Binoche, would seem to wear its internationalism on its sleeve. Yet globe-trotting, at least to war zones, forms the central conflict in Erik Poppe's gripping tale of a dedicated photojournalist torn between passionate involvement with her work and commitment to her worried family. Deftly sidestepping both melodrama and family-values messaging, Poppe imbues the film with enormous emotional resonance, brilliantly grounded by his leading lady.

    UNBROKEN - Angelina Jolie's sophomore outing as director breaks no new ground, but manages to convey its real-life odyssey with a largely agreeable, celebratory tone. At over two hours, the movie's galvanizing spirit grows weary. But Jolie keeps the narrative afloat thanks to first-rate craftsmanship, a few well-honed moments of bonafide suspense, and a terrifically restrained Jack O'Connell in the lead role. While it only hints at the sweeping epic that never fully materializes, this offers further proof that Jolie's directorial instincts pass muster alongside her other talents. Also Readings, Lighthouse, Queensgate and Coastlands.

    THE WEDDING RINGER - A raunchy, rude bromance in which pretty much every character is putting up a front. The film is so wildly un-PC, it's sure to annoy many, some with reasonable arguments. But whether gleefully treading where fools rush in or subjecting characters to surprising harm for laughs, the thing is funny, at times very funny. Respect is not something viewers will find much of, nor propriety, nor any of those things that make for respectable family viewing. Also Queensgate, Reading Porirua and Coastlands.

    u p c o m i n g   f i l m s
    WILD Jan 29 Readings
    PROJECT ALMANAC Jan 29 Readings
    LAND HO! Jan 29 Penthouse
    MORDECAI Jan 29 Penthouse
    SELMA Feb 05 Readings
    BIG EYES Feb 05 Penthouse
    ME, MYSELF AND MUM Feb 05 Penthouse


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    Classic and contemporary cinema from around the world, from NZ's only non-profit network of film exhibition