Sophie Lee

Sophie Lee

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Bootmen Review


Weak
They're a rough-and-tough gang of incredibly heterosexual Australian steelworkers scraping by in a dying steel town. But all they really want to do is dance. Sadly, Jennifer Beals and her flaming Flashdance welding torch don't make a guest appearance in Bootmen, and that's a shame. Her high kicks and mid-air splits have never seemed more necessary.

Instead, we get Sean (Adam Garcia), the tap-dancing dreamer hoping to get the heck out of Newcastle and make it big in Sydney. He has to work it out with his girlfriend Linda (Sophia Lee) and ignore the insults hurled at him by his Foster's-drinking dad (Richard Carter) and his troublemaking brother Mitchell (Sam Worthington). After getting through all that, he hops on his motorcycle and heads to the big city to make his dreams come true.

Continue reading: Bootmen Review

Muriel's Wedding Review


Good
What is it with Australians and ABBA? First Priscilla, Queen of the Desert took ABBA worship to a new level. Now, Muriel's Wedding seeks to break that boundary with a nearly non-stop ABBA soundtrack. After nearly two hours of exposure, I'm realizing that they weren't too bad of a band.

Muriel's Wedding uses the songs of the Swedish supergroup as a clever link to the thoughts and feelings of Muriel, a young Australian woman obsessed with becoming married as soon as possible. Muriel (Toni Collette) lives with her go-nowhere family in the town of Porpoise Spit, where she spends most of her time in her room, listening to ABBA when her father isn't giving her grief.

Continue reading: Muriel's Wedding Review

The Castle Review


Very Good
In the grand history of Muriel's Wedding and The Full Monty comes The Castle, a working-class comedy set in Melbourne, Australia. Michael Caton stars is a hapless, witless, and simple father of four who lives (literally) on the edge of the Melbourne airport runway. When the airport tries to force him to sell his precious home (the titular castle), he enlists a hapless, witless, and simple lawyer to fight the power. A comedy of epic proportions ensues (though note this is not based on a true story but feels like it is). Does he keep his home? Well, do Aussies like '70s rock music?

Holy Smoke Review


Essential
It's so comforting to see a talented actor recover from the precarious heights of mass-market success. After Titanic, I was perfectly prepared to condemn Kate Winslet to the same pit of has-been obscurity Leonardo DiCaprio belongs in. Fortunately, Winslet didn't sink with the ship.

Holy Smoke is the entrancing story of two zealots on a collision course with fate. Ruth, played by Winslet, is a young Australian who finds what she believes to be the path to enlightenment through the influence of a Guru while on holiday in India. When Mum (Julie Hamilton) gets word, she cooks up a plot to lure Ruth home and hires top cult deprogrammer PJ Waters (Harvey Keitel) to bring her daughter to reason.

Continue reading: Holy Smoke Review

Holy Smoke Review


OK

A dingy, daffy, Australian-flavored comedy about conviction, faith and self-awareness, "Holy Smoke" stars Kate Winslet as a young woman seduced by Eastern religion while traveling in India and Harvey Keitel as the American deprogrammer retained by her panicked, sheltered, suburbanite parents to snap her out of a perceived fog of cult influence.

Directed by Jane Campion ("The Piano," "Portrait of a Lady") with a cheeky bent of absurdist humor, the first act tracks the heroine's fragile, twittering mum (Julie Hamilton) on a trip to India to retrieve her Guru-gripped daughter on the false pretense that her father has had a stroke.

After much conflict (on Kate's part) and consternation (mom's reaction to pretty much everything around her), she returns home, still swathed in a sari and "om"-ing to her heart's content -- only to discover she's been duped. Ruth (Winslet) is escorted to a remote outback cabin where P.J. Waters (Keitel), a cocksure "exit counselor" in snake skin boots and starched jeans, waits to poke holes in her metaphysical hot air balloon.

Continue reading: Holy Smoke Review

Bootmen Review


Weak

Take away the stagey but sensational, industrial-hip tap dance numbers, and all that's left of "Bootmen" is cheap, embarrassingly unoriginal, melodramatic-romantic swill.

An Aussie import about Newcastle steel workers who wish they were Broadway hoofers, the movie is nothing but one-dimensional stock characters trudging through a trite retread plot, waiting for the soundtrack to kick in so they can get jiggy.

Boy-band cute Adam Garcia ("Coyote Ugly") is the mildly rebellious son of long-dead mom and an unsupportive, hard-drinking pop (Richard Carter) who thinks his son should give up his aspirations and resign himself to a blue collar life. "You've never even seen me tap!" Garcia whines.

Continue reading: Bootmen Review

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Sophie Lee Movies

Bootmen Movie Review

Bootmen Movie Review

They're a rough-and-tough gang of incredibly heterosexual Australian steelworkers scraping by in a dying steel...

Advertisement
Holy Smoke Movie Review

Holy Smoke Movie Review

It's so comforting to see a talented actor recover from the precarious heights of mass-market...

Holy Smoke Movie Review

Holy Smoke Movie Review

A dingy, daffy, Australian-flavored comedy about conviction, faith and self-awareness, "Holy Smoke" stars Kate Winslet...

Bootmen Movie Review

Bootmen Movie Review

Take away the stagey but sensational, industrial-hip tap dance numbers, and all that's left of...

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