The Wellington Film Guide

Places to stay

Radio NZ Widescreen
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 6   N O V E M B E R  -
  W E D N E S D A Y   2   D E C E M B E R   2 0 1 5  

t h e   f i l m s

n e w s   c l i p s

  • The Wellington Film Society, 6.15pm Monday 30 November: AUNT JULIA AND THE SCRIPTWRITER (Jon Amiel, USA 1990).
    Like a faraway radio station that taunts a traveler's dial, this slips in and out of range, variously overpowered by static or clear as a whippoorwill's call. A tri-layered tale of love, creative impulses and dial-spinning, it comes and it goes, evocative and a little bit magical, flawed but forgivably so. Peter Falk, in all his crumpled, cockeyed ingenuity, has the pivotal role of Pedro Carmichael, an eccentric scriptwriter who turns WXBU's genteel, ratings-starved soap opera, Kings of the Garden District, into New Orleans' most-listened-to afternoon delight. Though he thinks of himself as a great genius, Pedro plagiarizes the privacy of those around him, writing his soap opera in their very words. - Rita Kempley, Washington Post.
    A rare (these days) 35mm print. Final screening of the year. Members Only. Memberships available before the screening starts.

  • Nga Taonga Sound and Vision. Screening on Friday and Saturday: Mathurin Molgat's SONG OF THE KAURI NZ 2012. For more, check out Nga Taonga's calendar of screenings and events.

  • Film Festivals to note:
  • French Film Festival 2016 Embassy 17 February-6 March. Keep checking for details.
  • 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.
    If you are looking for a new web host, by using the Host Bee link at the foot of this page, the small commission we receive will help offset the cost of hosting this website.

    For comments and movie news, contact the Cinemaster at

    s t a r t s   t h i s   w e e k!

    SLEEPING WITH OTHER PEOPLE - A brittle, bawdy, frequently funny romcom that might be too smart for its own good. Like several other new-generation romantic comedies it spikes the sugary structure of the genre with salty-sour notes that take it right to the edge of unpalatable for some mainstream tastes. Starring Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie as ex-lovers struggling to stay just friends, it gets down and dirty about contemporary relationships but still keeps its bra on for the sex scenes.

    5 TO SEVEN - Aspiring novelist Brian Bloom earns coy encouragement from a beautiful French woman he spies smoking on a New York sidewalk. There's just one catch: She's married, and the couple can only meet between the hours of 5 and 7, which isn't nearly enough to satisfy this smitten scribbler. Courageously sentimental in an age of irony, Victor Levin's refreshingly articulate film delivers romance of the sort thought lost since the days of Audrey Hepburn, for those who appreciate such finery. And who doesn't?

    HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 - Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez and company welcome Mel Brooks into the not-so-frightening fold in this amusing sequel. This time around, greater attention has been paid to story and character development (while scaling back on all the sight gags) and the substantial results give the ample voice cast and returning director Genndy Tartakovsky more to sink their teeth into, with pleasing results. Advance screenings this weekend. Also Empire, Roxy, Readings, Queensgate and Coastlands.

    MISTRESS AMERICA - Midway through Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig's movie, it arrives at a long, zany setpiece so inspired and brilliantly sustained that it alone would be worth the price of admission. But there's much else to admire, which finds the crown prince of New York intellectual self-loathing and his ebullient co-writer/muse returning to the terrain of their 2012 Frances Ha - intense female friendships and eager young people trying to find their places in the world - while pushing even closer to full-tilt screwball farce.

    THE PROGRAM - Ben Foster plays Lance Armstrong: a rare case of the actor being less attractive than the subject. He does it brilliantly: pumping himself up into a coiled muscle of rage which exhibits as swagger. Yes, hes affected by that near-fatal testicular tumour at 21, but he starts out as a nasty piece of work, too, simply getting worse as his success seems to necessitate. And Stephen Frears finally decides to be merciless about his subject, happy to allow the audience to abandon sympathy. Also Empire, Lighthouse and Reading Courtenay.

    LOVE THE COOPERS - This is pretty formulaic as far as Christmas dramedies go, but there are always going to be those movies that just get to you - despite, perhaps, your best judgment. Here four generations of an upper middle class family go about their day separately before gathering for their annual Christmas Eve dinner at the family home. Most are dreading it. Perhaps it's the soothing, storybook quality of Steve Martin's narration, or the predictable third act turn, but it does come together in the end. Also Reading Courtenay, Queensgate and Coastlands.

    CREED - Sylvester Stallone doesn't get back in the ring here, but he still comes away as a big winner in this far-fetched but likeable offshoot of the geriatric Rocky series, as he may be more appealing playing the aging Rocky Balboa than he's been since the beginning of his 40-year career. Essentially taking on the role of Burgess Meredith's old trainer Mickey character from the series' early days, the veteran actor delightfully registers as a paisano from the old neighborhood, a man of the streets who's lived his life, fought his battles and has no more scores to settle. Also Queensgate and Reading Porirua.

    u p c o m i n g   f i l m s
    IN THE HEART OF THE SEA Dec 03 Readings
    YOUTH Dec 03 Lighthouse
    THE NIGHT BEFORE Dec 03 Readings
    GOOSEBUMPS Dec 03 Readings
    Dec 17 Readings


    Affordable, Reliable Website Hosting for New Zealanders. Use this link to join and offset out own hosting costs

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