The Light Between Oceans comes as a new drama film and sees the themes of love and loss explored throughout its emotional narrative. Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender) and Isabel (Alicia Vikander) are a couple who are living off the coast of Australia post World War I and are very much in love. However tragedy strikes when Isabel loses the child that she is carrying, which leads to an emotional torture that leaves them both heart broken. In this mist of sadness, a light of hope comes in the form of a baby girl, who is washed up on their beach in a boat with her dead father. Isabel sees this as a gift from God and pleads to Tom that they should raise her as their own child.
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While this atmospheric Australian Outback thriller has plenty of edgy action, it's also meandering and arty, refusing to fill in the details until filmmaker David Michod is good and ready. This makes it feel rather slow and uneven, although it's at least consistently fascinating. And as a story of tenacity and survival, it's also a gripping drama.
The story is set 10 years after "the collapse", so there's little sense of law and order in the Outback. When his car is stolen by three outlaws (Scoot McNairy, Tawanda Manyimo and David Field), the strong-silent Eric (Guy Pearce) goes in pursuit. Along the way, he picks up the injured Rey (Robert Pattinson), brother of one of the thugs, who knows where they're headed. As they hit the road, Eric and Rey have a series of encounters with people who are alternatively helpful and menacing, from an inquisitive brothel madam (Gillian Jones) to a nervous doctor (Susan Prior) to an in-over-his-head soldier (Anthony Hayes). There are also plenty of marauding thieves and trigger-happy commandoes who don't hesitate before blowing away anyone who looks odd. But as Eric and Rey begin to bond, they still find it impossible to trust each other.
While the overarching plot is fairly simple, the film plays out in a series of set-pieces as Eric responds a variety of tense situations. The big question hovering above everything is of course why he's so determined to get his car back (the odd answer comes at the very end). Michod's style of filmmaking is more interested in provoking thought than fully satisfying the audience, so scenes are packed with inconclusive twists and turns, vaguely undefined characters and situations, and elements that clearly have some sort of meaning but feel rather impenetrable. Pearce's performance fits this style perfectly; Eric is a man who says very little, letting a steely glare convey more than any number of words would. In jarring contrast, Pattinson's Rey is a hyperactive mess, a simple-minded guy who never stops moving and talking.
Continue reading: The Rover Review
'The Rover', directed by award winning director David Michôd (Animal Kingdom), is a dystopian crime drama set in the near future, where crime is commonplace and there is no authority to stop it. This has drawn Mad Max comparisons. Michôd wrote the film with Joel Edgerton, who featured in Michôd's highly acclaimed Animal Kingdom.
Staring Guy Pearce (who's previously worked with Michôd in Animal Kingdom, as well as staring in Memento), Robert Pattinson (Remember Me/Cosmopolis) and Scoot McNairy (12 Years A Slave/Argo). 'The Rover' sees former Australian soldier Eric (Pearce) give up on the world after seeing society fall, but when his only possession is stolen, he sets out to hunt down the ones responsible. Reynolds (Pattinson) was with the thieves, but is abandoned by them in a car accident, so Eric uses him to help track down the thieves. Eric has nothing left to lose and will therefore do anything in his power to retrieve what is precious to him.
'The Rover' will be released in UK cinemas through Entertainment One on August 22nd 2014.
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An extraordinary true tale of perseverance set against the deplorable backdrop of government-sanctioned racism in 1931 Australia, "Rabbit-Proof Fence" is a stirring film about three kidnapped Aboriginal girls who run away from an indoctrination camp and walk 1,500 miles across the Outback to return to their native village.
The story takes place at a time when it was Aussie government policy to remove "half-caste" children (fathered by white men) from their Aborigine families and re-educate them to be adopted by white families, and director Philip Noyce makes no bones about showing the dismay induced by the enforcement of these laws. In one of the film's first scenes, 14-year-old Molly (Everlyn Sampi), her 8-year-old sister Daisy (Tianna Sansbury) and their 10-year-old cousin Gracie (Laura Monaghan) are ripped from their mothers' arms at a remote trading post near a tribal community called Jigalong, leaving the women sobbing and wailing in the dust kicked up by government cars.
Dragged to the a compound on the other side of the continent where dark-skinned children have the Bible beaten into them and their native languages and customs beaten out by missionaries and nuns, the girls suffer at the hands of the policy that "in spite of himself, the native must be helped."
Continue reading: Rabbit-Proof Fence Review
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