August 3, 2001 |
"Russian Doll" is a minor and unoriginal comedy from Australia starring--and co-produced by--Hugo Weaving, who came to international attention as the most wistful of the drag queens in "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" and went on to further renown in "The Matrix." Weaving has charm and versatility, and here he's ventured into Hugh Grant territory. But he hasn't quite the looks or star power to pull it off.
January 3, 2003 |
Australia's "The Bank" is a caustic attack on corporate greed in the form of a suspense thriller. Writer-director Robert Connolly has done a dazzling job of working out an intricate plot that involves a formidable knowledge of the possibilities of computer technology and the workings of modern banking, and has balanced it with a firm grasp of character.
December 30, 2002 |
Among the many actors from Down Under who have migrated to U.S. shores to forge successful movie careers -- Mel Gibson, Russell Crowe, Geoffrey Rush and Heath Ledger immediately come to mind -- the name Anthony LaPaglia may not immediately register with the average American moviegoer. But the versatile Adelaide-born Tony Award-winning actor with the Italian name and American accent, who has lived in New York for two decades, is on a roll.
August 22, 2003 |
"Dust" is a bust, a big bad movie of the scope, ambition and bravura that could be made only by a talented filmmaker run amok. Macedonian-born, New York-based Milcho Manchevski, whose first film was the elegiac 1994 "Before the Rain," attempts a Middle Eastern western, a fusion suggesting the timeless universality of chronic bloodlust.
October 21, 2011 |
If ever there was a film that would have benefited from some ripped-from-the-headlines fervor, it is "Oranges and Sunshine," starring Emily Watson, Hugo Weaving and David Wenham. This too-quiet, too-sluggish film tells the nearly unfathomable true story of roughly 130,000 British children, wards of the state in the '40s and '50s, who were told their parents had died and that "oranges and sunshine" awaited them in Australia. Instead, they were shipped Down Under to draconian orphanages where they suffered sexual abuse and were forced into labor.
March 18, 2013 |
"Top of the Lake" is the first miniseries from filmmaker Jane Campion of New Zealand ("The Piano," "Bright Star"). I have seen only the first three of its seven parts, which begin Monday with two episodes on Sundance Channel, and though I suppose there is some chance it all will go off the rails, early signs suggest it will bend toward something even more mysterious, beautiful, unsettling and satisfying than the mysterious, beautiful, unsettling, satisfying...