John Maynard

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Sweetie Review


Good
Jane Campion's directorial debut features squabbling sisters and general family dysfunction. But the focus is on the girls played by Geneviève Lemon and Karen Colston, only one of whom has progressed (barely) into adulthood. The other, affectionately known as Sweetie, is still a full-on child, and the movie culminates with her sequestering herself in a treehouse, naked except for a thick layer of mud caked over her voluptuous body. Sweetie says something about family dynamics and growing up, but I'm not quite sure what. The script is all over the map, filled with tangents and odd fantasy sequences... and hair-pulling galore.

Sweetie Review


Good
Jane Campion's directorial debut features squabbling sisters and general family dysfunction. But the focus is on the girls played by Geneviève Lemon and Karen Colston, only one of whom has progressed (barely) into adulthood. The other, affectionately known as Sweetie, is still a full-on child, and the movie culminates with her sequestering herself in a treehouse, naked except for a thick layer of mud caked over her voluptuous body. Sweetie says something about family dynamics and growing up, but I'm not quite sure what. The script is all over the map, filled with tangents and odd fantasy sequences... and hair-pulling galore.

An Angel At My Table Review


Excellent
In the right director's hands, the life of the guy who sold you your last toaster could be both a box office hit and an Academy Award nominee. This shouldn't be a revelation to anyone whose followed film in the last couple decades, but it's still an interesting idea. If you slap "based on a true story" on anything, you will have successfully baited the hook. Janet Frame might not be the most interesting character in the world, but Jane Campion has the good sense and poet's eye to know a good story when she sees it.

An Angel at My Table was originally planned as a miniseries but was given the go-ahead to be released in theaters, still split into three separate sections. The film lets us into the world of Janet Frame, the famed poet and novelist from New Zealand who suffered eight years in a mental hospital and went through roughly 200 rounds of electro-shock therapy. Thankfully, her collection of short stories, The Lagoon, was published and that sped her exit from the hospital and saved her from a lobotomy. Soon after, Frame became quite a big deal and traveled through Europe, ultimately ending up back in New Zealand.

Continue reading: An Angel At My Table Review

The Bank Review


Extraordinary
Australians don't have much faith in their financial institutions at all. That explains all the beer drinking and the Abba.

The Bank plays out like a tribute to the great master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, complete with a string-heavy soundtrack. The story follows an intricate game of stock speculation, personal vendettas, paranoid delusions, and computer hacking within the corporate world of financial institution Centrabank. The company has recently hit some rough spots and CEO Simon O'Reilly (Anthony LaPaglia) -- an arrogant, cold, bastard of a businessman -- spends most of his days closing branches, laying people off, and getting heat from the board. To relieve the pressure, Simon hires math genius Jim Doyle (David Wenham) to help predict the stock market gyrations and thus put the bank back in the black. Of course, Simon knows Jim's software could not only save Centrabank's bottom line but will also deliver financial omnipotence to its owner.

Continue reading: The Bank Review

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The Bank Movie Review

The Bank Movie Review

Australians don't have much faith in their financial institutions at all. That explains all...

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