Summer in Perth means life lived outdoor and this includes cinemas. The recent proliferation of movies and new cinemas can make it hideously hard to decide what to see. Here are a few picks from me, based on some of the movies I’ve already seen, and others I missed but hope to catch this time around.
The Children Act
First up has to be the incredibly moving The Children Act. Based on a true story, the movie focuses on 17 year old Jehovah’s Witness Adam Henry (Fionn Whitehead) who’s in hospital ignoring doctors orders for a blood transfusion. Only months away from his 18th birthday he’s trapped underneath his parents wishes. Lucky for him his parents agree with his decision. Unlucky for him the medical team don’t. Consequently the Henry family, Kevin (Ben Chaplin) and Naomi (Eileen Walsh), find themselves in court.
Justice Fiona Maye (Emma Thompson) is a judge of the High Court. Her decision represents life or death for the young man. As Maye grapples with the decision her own marriage is badly in need of it’s own life support. Husband Jack (Stanley Tucci) is tired of coming second. Who will Maye focus her attention on? Which will be saved a marriage or a young mans life?
The Children Act is deeply moving and should not be missed. If Thompson doesn’t get nominated for an award there’s something wrong.
King of Thieves
Also part of the British Film Festival this crime caper is an homage to all those old British robbery movies we’ve grown up with. The movie is based on the true story of the Hatton Garden jewellery heist of 2015, undertaken by a group of retired criminals who regrouped for one last robbery. It explores the notion of honour among thieves. All in their senior years, the parts are played by a clutch of gorgeous old British actors. Sir Michael Caine, Jim Broadbent, Tom Courtenay, Michael Gambon, Ray Winstone, Paul Whitehouse and Tom Courtenay. They prove that sometimes a team of superstars can pull off a star performance. It was a delight to see Caine snarl again and to see Gambon in a totally different light. Make sure you watch the last scene when you’ll get a nice surprise flashback.
The Old Man and The Gun
Career criminal Forrest Tucker (Robert Redford) has managed to amass an unbelievable number of heists, his targets usually describing him in glowing terms. A soft, polite gentleman. This makes it even harder for Detective John Hunt (Cassey Affleck) to track him down. Also in the mix is love interest Jewel (Sissy Spacek) who’s quickly charmed by Tuckers way even though she senses something unspoken. Aside from being a great story, played out beautifully by Robert Redford, the movie marks a delightful end to Redford’s excellent career. True fans of his will see the similarities, after all he began in crime capers such as The Sting plus Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Can You Ever Forgive Me
One time best selling author Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy) hasn’t been published for a while and her agent isn’t answering her calls. As the bills mount and her cat gets sick desperation sets in. When she discovers the lucrative memorabilia market for famous authors letters, she heads down a slippery slop. Along the way she is aided by down on his luck, Jack Hock (Richard E Grant). Grant does what he does best, revisiting a character we’ve all seen him do before, but still you will love him for it. The depth and range of emotions he displays in one small scene will have him stealing your heart. I really do wish I could hang out with either Hock or Grant. If you’ve only seen McCarthy in comedies this will be a nice surprise for you. This delightful comedy is a must for all writers. It’s based on the true story of how far a desperate author will go, in Israel’s case it was 400 fake letters.
Ladies In Black
Ladies in Black is the tale of one young woman’s coming of age while working in a department store. The take on immigration is interesting given current events. This is a perfect Sunday afternoon movie that will have you reminiscing about old W.A., particularly if you, like many Perth students, grew up working in Myers or David Jones. I’m sure we all had a bristling Miss Cartwright (Noni Hazelhurst). Ryan Corr adds to his already robust cv, as the smooth Rudi. Shane Jacobson and Susie Porter play delightful suburban parents to Rachael Taylor as the naive Fay. But it is gorgeously exotic Magda (Julia Ormond) who captures the eye and heart as she teaches young Fay the ropes.
The following movies will be some I want to see as I missed them the first time around – The Girl In the Spider’s Web; Boy Erased; Bad Times At The El Royale; Fantastic Beasts. Beyond these also keep an eye out for Swimming With Men.
For more information and the programs go to Luna Cinemas for both the Camelot or Luna Outdoor cinemas.