In this episode of The Popcorn Conspiracy Dave Griifiths and Kyle McGrath take a look at this year’s Australian respresentative at The Academy Awards Buoyancy.
Originally slated to land in Australia for the very first time this Valentine’s Day, American comedian and musician Creed Bratton has unfortunately been forced to reshuffle his Australian tour dates to June.
Due to unforeseen circumstances outside of the artist or promoters control, Creed’s variety show tour – which had already sold out its Melbourne date at The Corner – will now take place in early June, and will also include two special shows in New Zealand, in Wellington and Auckland, due to public demand.
“Since I first came up with the idea for this variety tour a few years ago” Said Creed Bratton “I’ve always wanted to head Down Under and perform it for Australian audiences. I couldn’t be happier to announce that I’m finally making my way there”
Having been performing solo shows for over decade, Creed Bratton, who played an over the top version of himself, as the mysterious, quality-assurance director that smells like mung-beans, lives for scuba diving and can’t tell the difference between an apple and a potato, is now heading to both Australia and New Zealand.
The variety show – which includes live music, stand-up comedy and untold stories from both his life and time on ‘The Office’ – will land in capital cities around Australia, including Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra and Perth.
While many will know Creed Bratton as the mysterious, eccentric and hilarious character
from the hit TV series ‘The Office’ (US) and for roles in comedic hits like The Mask, the US comedian is also an established musician, with a career in music that spans nearly five decades.
As lead guitarist for legendary American rock group the Grass Roots, Creed played on the band’s first four albums, shaping their folk rock/psychedelic pop sounds, before breaking away in the 1970’s to pursue a solo career and comedic work.
In addition to live music from Bratton’s longstanding career, the live show will also include annecdotes from Creeds time on set of ‘The Office’ as well as the highs and lows of a careers that has to be heard about first-hand to be believed.
AN EVENING OF MUSIC & COMEDY WITH:
From The Office
Tuesday 02 June – San Fran – Wellington, New Zealand [New Show]
Wednesday 03 June – Neck of the Woods – Auckland, New Zealand [New Show]
Friday 05 June – Corner – Melbourne, VIC [50 Tickets added]
Saturday 06 June – Factory – Sydney, NSW
Sunday 07 June – The Triffid – Brisbane, QLD
Tuesday 09 June – The Basement – Canberra, ACT
Thursday 11 June – Freo Social – Perth, WA
Last night saw the 2020 Australian Film Critics Assocation (AFCA) Awards held in Melbourne at the beautiful Classic Cinemas. The Awards were presented by AFCA Chairman Adam Ross.
Here are the list of nominees and winners.
WINNER: The Nightingale
NOMINEES: Buoyancy, Hotel Mumbai, Judy & Punch, The King
WINNER: Jennifer Kent (The Nightingale)
NOMINEES: Mirrah Foulkes (Judy & Punch), David Michod (The King), Rodd Rathjen (Buoyancy), Thomas H Wright (Acute Misfortune)
WINNER: Baykali Ganambarr (The Nightingale)
NOMINEES: Dev Patel (Hotel Mumbai), Sarim Heng (Buoyancy), Damon Herriman (Judy & Punch), Daniel Henshall (Acute Misfortune)
WINNER: Aisling Franciosi (The Nightingale)
NOMINEES: Lupita N’yongo (Little Monsters), Teresa Palmer (Ride Like A Girl), Miranda Tapsell (Top End Wedding), Mia Wasikowska (Judy & Punch)
WINNER: Sam Claflin (The Nightingale)
NOMINEES: Joel Edgerton (The King), Damon Herriman (The Nightingale), Ben Mendelsohn (The King), Sam Neil (Ride Like A Girl)
WINNER: Magnolia Maymuru (The Nightingale)
NOMINEES: Tilda Cobham-Hervey (Hotel Mumbai), Greta Scacchi (Palm Beach), Yvonee Strahovski (Angel Of Mine), Ursula Yovich (Top End Wedding)
WINNER: Jennifer Kent (The Nightingale)
NOMINEES: John Collee & Anthony Maraus (Hotel Mumbai), Mirrah Foulkes (Judy & Punch), David Michod & Joel Edgerton (The King), Rodd Rathjen (Buoyancy)
WINNER: Radek Ladczuk (The Nightingale)
NOMINEES: Adam Arkapaw (The King), Stefan Duscio (Judy & Punch), Michael Lathan (Buoyancy), Ben Nott (Danger Close)
WINNER: The Australian Dream
NOMINEES: 2040, Island Of A Hungry Ghost, Mystify: Michael Hutchence, Suzi Q, The Eulogy
WINNER: The Irishman
NOMINEES: Joker, Knives Out, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Marriage Story
NOMINEES: Burning, Pain & Glory, Portrait Of A Lady On Fire, The Guilty
WINNER: Apollo 11
NOMINEES: For Sama, Free Solo, Hail Satan, Pavarotti
Tonight saw the 2020 Academy Award winners announced. Here are all the major winners:
WINNER: Brad Pitt (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood)
NOMINEES: Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day In The Neighbourhood), Al Pacino (The Irishman), Joe Pesci (The Irishman), Anthony Hopkins (Two Popes)
WINNER: Toy Story 4
NOMINEES: How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, I Lost My Body, Klaus, Missing Link
WINNER: Hair Love
NOMINEES: Dcera (Daughter), Kitbull, Memorable, Sister
WINNER: Bong Joon Ho & Han Jin Wor (Parasite)
NOMINEES: Rian Johnson (Knives Out), Noah Baumbach (Marriage Story), Sam Mendes (1917), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood)
WINNER: Taika Waititti (Jo Jo Rabbit)
NOMINEES: Steve Zaillan (The Irishman), Todd Phillips & Scott Silver (Joker), Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Anthony McCarten (Two Popes)
WINNER: The Neighbour’s Widow
NOMINEES: Brotherhood, Nefta Football Club, Saria, A Sister
WINNER: Barbara Ling and Nancy Haigh (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood)
NOMINEES: Bob Shaw and Regina Greaves (The Irishman), Ra Vincent and Nora Sopkova (Jo Jo Rabbit), Dennis Gassner and Lee Sandales (1917), Lee Ha Jun and Cho Won Woo (Parasite)
WINNER: Jacqueline Durran (Little Women)
NOMINEES: Sandy Powell and Christopher Peterson (The Irishman), Mayes C. Rubeo (Jojo Rabbit), Mark Bridges (Joker), Arianne Phillips (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood)
WINNER: American Factory
NOMINEES: The Cave, The Edge Of Democracy, For Sama, Honeyland
WINNER: Learning To Skateboard In A War Zone (If You’re A Girl)
NOMINEES: In The Absence, Life Overtakes Me, St. Louis Superan, Walk Run Cha-Cha
WINNER: Laura Dern (Marriage Story)
NOMINEES: Kathy Bates (Richard Jewell), Scarlett Johansson (Jojo Rabbit), Florence Pugh (Little Women), Margot Robbie (Bombshell)
WINNER: Donald Sylvester (Ford vs Ferrari)
NOMINEES: Alan Robert Murray (Joker), Oliver Tarney and Rachael Tate (1917), Wyllie Stateman (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood), Matthew Wood and David Acord (Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker)
WINNER: Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson (1917)
NOMINEES: Gary Rydstrom, Tom Johnson and Mark Ulano (Ad Astra), Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Steven A. Morrow (Ford vs Ferrari), Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic, Tod Maitland (Joker), Michael Minkler, Christian P. Minkler, Mark Ulano (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood)
WINNER: Roger Deakins (1917)
NOMINEES: Rodriego Prieto (The Irishman), Lawrence Sher (Joker), Jarin Blaschke (The Lighthouse), Robert Richardson (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood)
WINNER: MichaeL McCusker and Andrew Buckland (Ford vs Ferrari)
NOMINEES: Thelma Schoonmaker (The Irishman), Tom Eagles (Jojo Rabbit), Jeff Groth (Joker), Yang Jinmo (Parasite)
WINNER: Guillaume Rocheron, Greg Butler and Dominic Tuohy (1917)
NOMINEES: Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Matt Aitken and Dan Sudick (Avengers: Endgame), Pablo Helmann, Leandro Estebecorena, Nelson Sepulveda-Fauser and Stephanie Grabli (The Irishman), Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Elliott Newman (The Lion King), Roger Guyett, Neal Scanlan, Patrick Tubach, Dominic Tuohy (Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker)
WINNER: Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan and Vivican Baker (Bombshell)
NOMINEES: Nicki Ledermann and Kay Georgiou (Joker), Jeremy Woodhead (Judy), Paul Gooch, Arjen Tuiten and David White (Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil), Naomi Donne, Tristan Versluis and Rebecca Cole (1917)
NOMINEES: Corpus Christi, Honeyland, Les Miserables, Pain And Glory
WINNER: Hildur Guonadottir (Joker)
NOMINEES: Alexandre Desplat (Little Women), Randy Newman (Marriage Story), Thomas Newman (1917), John Williams (Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker)
WINNER: ‘(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again’ – Elton John and Bernie Taupin (Rocketman)
NOMINEES: ‘I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away’ – Randy Newman (Toy Story 4), ‘I’m Standing With You’ – Diane Warren (Breakthrough), ‘Into The Unknown’ – Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (Frozen II), ‘Standing Up’ – Joshuah Brian Campbell and Cynthia Erivo (Harriet)
WINNER: Bong Joon Ho (Parasite)
NOMINEES: Martin Scorcese (The Irishman), Todd Phillips (Joker), Sam Mendes (1917), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood)
WINNER: Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)
NOMINEES: Antonio Banderas (Pain & Glory), Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood), Adam Driver (Marriage Story), Jonathan Pryce (Two Popes)
WINNER: Renee Zellweger (Judy)
NOMINEES: Cynthia Erivo (Harriet), Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story), Saorise Ronan (Little Women), Charlize Theron (Bombshell)
NOMINEES: Ford v Ferrari, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Little Women, Marriage Story, 1917, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
This June, from the biggest animated franchise in history and global cultural phenomenon, comes the untold story of one 12-year-old’s dream to become the world’s greatest supervillain, in Minions: The Rise of Gru.
In the heart of the 1970s, amid a flurry of feathered hair and flared jeans, Gru (Oscar nominee Steve Carell) is growing up in the suburbs. A fanboy of a supervillain supergroup known as the Vicious 6, Gru hatches a plan to become evil enough to join them. Luckily, he gets some mayhem-making backup from his loyal followers, the Minions. Together, Kevin, Stuart, Bob, and Otto—a new Minion sporting braces and a desperate need to please—deploy their skills as they and Gru build their first lair, experiment with their first weapons and pull off their first missions.
When the Vicious 6 oust their leader, legendary fighter Wild Knuckles (Oscar winner Alan Arkin), Gru interviews to become their newest member. It doesn’t go well (to say the least), and only gets worse after Gru outsmarts them and suddenly finds himself the mortal enemy of the apex of evil. On the run, Gru will turn to an unlikely source for guidance, Wild Knuckles himself, and discover that even bad guys need a little help from their friends.
Teeming with Illumination’s signature subversive humour, pop-culture sophistication, full-hearted emotion, bold music sensibility, and over-the-top action, Minions: The Rise of Gru features a thrilling new cast of stars, including, as members of the Vicious 6, Taraji P. Henson as cool and confident leader Belle Bottom, Jean-Claude Van Damme as Jean Clawed, Lucy Lawless as Nunchuck, Dolph Lundgren as Svengeance and Danny Trejo as Stronghold. The film also features Russell Brand as Dr. Nefario, an aspiring mad scientist, Michelle Yeoh as Master Chow, an acupuncturist with mad Kung Fu skills, and Oscar winner Julie Andrews as Gru’s maddeningly self-absorbed mom.
Steered by the franchise’s original creators, Minions: The Rise of Gru is produced by visionary Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and his longtime collaborators Janet Healy and Chris Renaud. The film is directed by returning franchise filmmaker Kyle Balda (Despicable Me 3, Minions), co-directed by Brad Ableson (The Simpsons) and Jonathan del Val (The Secret Life of Pets films), and features the iconic voice of Pierre Coffin as the Minions and a killer ʼ70s soundtrack courtesy of legendary Grammy-winning music producer Jack Antonoff.
A sadistic mastermind unleashes a twisted form of justice in SPIRAL, the terrifying new chapter from the book of SAW. Working in the shadow of an esteemed police veteran (Samuel L. Jackson), brash Detective Ezekiel “Zeke” Banks (Chris Rock) and his rookie partner (Max Minghella) take charge of a grisly investigation into murders that are eerily reminiscent of the city’s gruesome past. Unwittingly entrapped in a deepening mystery, Zeke finds himself at the center of the killer’s morbid game.
SPIRAL stars Chris Rock, Max Minghella, Marisol Nichols, and Samuel L. Jackson, and is produced by the original SAW team of Mark Burg and Oren Koules. The film is directed by Darren Lynn Bousman and written by Josh Stolberg & Pete Goldfinger.
Cloudy River, a modern romantic drama about a couple, one of them pansexual, whose open relationship is put to the test when they move in together, will premiere at the Queer Screen Mardi Gras Film Festival on February 19 before launching on SBS On Demand on February 20.
This visually sumptuous, bold film is of the moment, but differs from other films and series about open relationships because it focuses on young adults on the cusp of deciding who they are. Co-written and co-directed by acclaimed author Sophie Hardcastle (Breathing Under Water, Running Like China) and her former romantic partner and enduring creative collaborator, ARIA Award nominated filmmaker Charlie Ford, it is inspired by their own real-life experience of an open relationship, giving the show searing authenticity.
The film stars an upcoming cast including Rebecca Robertson and Rowan Davie (That’s Not Me) and was produced by Belinda Dean. Belinda produced the multi-award winning Create NSW & SBS funded short film Joy Boy, which had its international premiere at Palm Springs Shortfest and was shortlisted for the prestigious Iris Prize. She conceived and produced the documentary The Funny Ones for ABC ME celebrating aspiring young female comedians.
Charlie Ford has enjoyed success across his short films, commercial work and narrative-based music videos for acclaimed artists Courtney Barnett, Vance Joy and Dan Sultan among others. His videos have been viewed over 25 million times on YouTube. Charlie’s short films have been played on SBS, screened at various film festivals including The Melbourne International Film Festival and various music video festivals.
Sophie Hardcastle is an author, artist, screenwriter and scholar. In 2018, she was one of the first two Australians to be awarded a Provost’s Scholarship in English literature by Worcester College at the University of Oxford. Sophie’s forthcoming novel, Below Deck will be published in March in Australia and NZ, with the UK, Germany, France, Belgium and The Netherlands to follow.
“Cloudy River celebrates love in all forms and we made it because we wanted to show that love can be more diverse than what we were told growing up. This show defies traditional conceptions of what it means to love and be loved. Our protagonists are simply abandoning old ideals in search of a love that is multifaceted, dynamic and unapologetically honest,” Charlie and Sophie said.
Cloudy River’s soundtrack features independent artists from the UK, France, Mexico and Australia, and also features original music by co-creator Charlie Ford’s band PLANTS and indie songstress Indigo Sparke.
The film received principal production funding from Screen Australia in association with Queer Screen and will be distributed internationally by Escapade Media.
Poised to thrill audiences around the nation, the Alliance Française French Film Festival has today unveiled the full line-up for its eagerly anticipated 31st season at www.affrenchfilmfestival.org
Spreading its cinematic stardust across 8 cities and 4 satellite locations, the Festival, which is proudly presented by the Alliance Française in association with the Embassy of France in Australia, Unifrance Films and screening partner, Palace Cinemas, will commence its national tour from 10 March until 19 April and is set to thrill audiences with a stupendous selection of 49 contemporary and classic French films, many enjoying their Australian premiere.
We’re also delighted to announce that dynamic filmmaker, Justin Kurzel (The Snowtown Murders, Macbeth, True History of the Kelly Gang), who has long taken inspiration from French cinema, will be the 2020 Festival Patron.
Additionally, acclaimed director/actor, Zabou Breitman, whose lyrical, animated drama, The Swallows of Kabul (Les hirondelles de Kaboul), has won plaudits from critics and audiences alike on the international film festival circuit, will be visiting Melbourne to introduce a screening of this, her latest feature, which she directed with Éléa Gobbé-Mévellec. This special Festival event is slated for the evening of Tuesday 17 March at Palace Cinema Como, and will be followed by a filmmaker Q&A.
On a more sombre note, this year has already experienced horrific bushfires ravaging our land and robbing so many of their lives and homes. The Alliance Française, and venue partners thereby invite you to join us in helping those impacted by this tragedy by supporting special previews of How to Be a Good Wife and In the Name of the Land (both screening courtesy of Palace Films) to be held in all capital cities on 9th and 10th of March. 100% of tickets sales for these sessions will be donated to the Australian Red Cross Bushfire Appeal and Rural and Remote Mental Health.
And in celebration of mankind’s great capacity for kindness and compassion – which often comes to the fore in times of crisis – the Festival will launch the 2020 season with The Extraordinary (Hors normes), one of the most gloriously uplifting films to emerge from France in recent years, which will screen courtesy of Madman Entertainment.
The latest feature from renowned filmmakers Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano (who delighted with The Intouchables and C’est la vie!), The Extraordinary is inspired by a true story and was honoured as the Closing Night Feature at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. For twenty years, Bruno (Vincent Cassel) and Malik (Reda Kateb) have run two separate non-profit organizations where they train young people from underprivileged areas to be caregivers for autistic youth abandoned by the state system. But the authorities, concerned that they’ve never sought certification and that many of their carers aren’t ‘officially’ qualified, decide to mount an investigation.
The result of two years’ immersion in the lives of the two associations, The Extraordinary is a crowd-pleasing charmer, which will have viewers experiencing a gamut of emotions as they fall in love with a host of extraordinary characters in exceptional circumstances. It’s a testimony to the great things that can be achieved when people support one another in the face of adversity.
And concluding the 2020 season, on a deliciously whimsical note, will be The Bare Necessity (Perdrix), the directorial debut of Erwan Le Duc, starring Swann Arlaud, Maud Wyler, Fanny Ardant and Nicolas Maury. Set within a tiny town nestled in the woody mountains of Vosges, this sweetheart of a movie, which delighted hardened cynics when it premiered in Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes 2019, looks at the romantic mayhem that ensues when an enigmatic young woman forces a stagnant family to re-define their boundaries and begin to truly live.
With so many highlights bursting from this year’s programme, it’s impossible to list every film, but read on for some of the delights to be savoured:
Director: Daniel Cohen
Cast: François Damiens, Vincent Cassel, Bérénice Bejo
In this delicious tale of tested loyalties, the close friendship of two long-time couples is put at risk when one of the two wives unexpectedly becomes a best-selling author, upsetting the intricate balance of this formerly close-knit quartet.
AZNAVOUR BY CHARLES (Le regard de Charles)
A Film by Charles Aznavour, Directed by Marc di Domenico
Narrator: Romain Duris
Crooner, Charles Aznavour, beguiled his legions of fans with a dream of romance. But his life beyond music was even more extraordinary. An actor, political activist, diplomat and filmmaker, this enthralling documentary, with rare footage, reveals a complicated, multi-talented man who entertained for the greater part of a century.
DEERSKIN (Le daim)
Director: Quentin Dupieux
Cast: Jean Dujardin, Adèle Haenel, Albert Delpy
With his life in disarray, Georges might not be able to control his circumstances but he can control his wardrobe. Believing that the deerskin jacket of his dreams is the answer to all of his problems, Georges’ delusions gradually increase each time he wears it, edging his obsession closer to a violent delirium.
Director: Alexis Michalik
Cast: Thomas Solivérès, Olivier Gourmet, Mathilde Seigner, Dominique Pinon
Paris, 1897. Although not yet thirty and clearly gifted as a writer, Edmond Rostand already has two children, many anxieties, but scant literary success. When given three weeks to write a play for a mercurial star of the stage, all he has is the title, Cyrano de Bergerac. Can he accomplish the impossible?
Director: André Téchiné
Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Kacey Mottet Klein
Muriel, a respected member of her idyllic local community, is horrified to discover that her visiting grandson, who claims to be heading to Canada for work, has in reality been radicalised by Islamist extremists. His plans to fight for ISIS in Syria expose this ordinary woman to a moral dilemma of heart-breaking proportions.
HOUSE OF CARDIN
Directors: P. David Ebersole, Todd Hughes
Synonymous with glamour, refinement and sophistication, this documentary provides a rare glimpse into the world of a 20th century icon. Allowing unprecedented access to his personal archives, we follow Cardin from his birth in the Italian countryside circa 1922, to his move to France where he made his name in fashion.
HOW TO BE A GOOD WIFE (La bonne épouse)
Director: Martin Provost
Cast: Juliette Binoche, Yolande Moreau, Noémie Lvovsky, Edouard Baer
In 1968 amidst the lush regions of Alsace, the head of a housekeeping school that transforms teenage girls into ideal housewives, has her pristine life implode when she encounters her long-lost first love whilst simultaneously learning that her business is on the brink of financial ruin.
IN THE NAME OF THE LAND (Au nom de la terre)
Director: Edouard Bergeon
Cast: Guillaume Canet, Veerle Baetens, Anthony Bajon
Returning to France in the late 70s, Pierre marries his sweetheart and takes over his father’s farm. But twenty years onwards, Pierre is exhausted. With mounting debt, what was once satisfying begins to take an insidious toll on his family who risk being torn apart by the property that binds them, in this powerful tale of resilience.
LA BELLE ÉPOQUE
Director: Nicolas Bedos
Cast: Daniel Auteuil, Guillaume Canet, Doria Tiller
Disillusioned, his long-term marriage on the rocks, a man is given a second chance when he encounters a company offering a unique theatrical service that enables customers to revisit memories through carefully orchestrated re-enactments, thus allowing him to return to 1974 and the peak of his happiness.
THE LOST PRINCE (Le prince oublié)
Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Cast: Omar Sy, Bérénice Bejo, François Damiens
Djibi, a devoted single father, transforms into a heroic Prince in the nightly fairy-tales he tells his beloved 7 year-old daughter, Sofia. But as the years pass, Sofia is ready for her own stories with different heroes. But is the Prince ready to become just a memory of his daughter’s childhood?
LOVE AT SECOND SIGHT (Mon inconnue)
Director: Hugo Gélin
Cast: François Civil, Joséphine Japy, Benjamin Lavernhe
After waking in a parallel universe, Raphaël finds his wife, Olivia, is nowhere to be seen and his professional achievements have vanished. Without Olivia, his life is empty, but winning her back proves harder than he could have imagined – especially when he realises she doesn’t even know who he is!
Director: Yvan Attal
Cast: Yvan Attal, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Eric Ruf
Henri, a writer in the depths of a mid-life crisis who hasn’t released a successful book in 25 years, strikes-up an unconventional friendship with a stray, bad-mannered dog who inspires him and his dysfunctional family to re-examine their lives and attitudes towards each other.
THE MYSTERY OF HENRI PICK (Le mystère Henri Pick)
Director: Rémi Bezançon
Cast: Fabrice Luchini, Camille Cottin, Alice Isaaz
The late Henry Pick, in life an unassuming Breton pizza marker, is celebrated as a brilliant author when a lost manuscript, attributed to him, becomes a literary success. But one outspoken intellectual thinks the whole thing is a sham, and, after losing his wife, his job and his prominence due to his opinion, decides to uncover the truth.
ONLY THE ANIMALS (Seules les bêtes)
Director: Dominik Moll
Cast: Denis Ménochet, Laure Calamy, Damien Bonnard
Set in an isolated town in the lush, wintery mountains of southern France, the film opens with the departure of Evelyne, a local woman whose disappearance during a snowstorm soon reveals itself as murder. This act of violence gradually unveils the hidden agendas of several locals, setting the unexpected into motion.
Director: Alice Winocour
Cast: Eva Green, Zélie Boulant- Lemesle, Matt Dillon
As the only woman in the European Space Agency astronaut-training program, single mother Sarah struggles with guilt over the limited time spent with her young daughter, which escalates when she’s invited upon a year-long space mission – Proxima – forcing her to choose between her work and her child.
ROOM 212 (Chambre 212)
Director: Christophe Honoré
Cast: Chiara Mastroianni, Benjamin Biolay, Vincent Lacoste
After Maria reveals a long history of affairs to her husband, she opts to spend the night at a hotel opposite their home. But this is a “magical night”, and it’s not long before time collapses upon itself opening a window into the past where young passions are revisited and the very concept of love, questioned.
Director: Justine Triet
Cast: Virginie Efira, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Gaspard Ulliel
Dissatisfied with her life, Sibyl, a psychiatrist, decides to pursue her dream of becoming a writer. Casting professional ethics aside, she secretly uses the private sessions of her actress patient, Margot, as inspiration for her novel, a decision that irreversibly impacts upon both their lives.
SPREAD YOUR WNGS (Donne-moi des ailes)
Director: Nicolas Vanier
Cast: Jean-Paul Rouve, Mélanie Doutey, Louis Vazquez
Christian, a visionary scientist, studies wild birds. For his son, a teenager obsessed with video games, the idea of spending a vacation with his father in the middle of nature is a nightmare. However, father and son soon bond over a daring project to save an endangered species, which takes them on an incredible journey.
THE SWALLOWS OF KABUL (Les hirondelles de Kaboul)
Directors: Zabou Breitman, Éléa Gobbé-Mévellec
Voice: Simon Abkarian, Zita Hanrot, Swann Arlaud
Based on the cherished novel of the same name, this critically acclaimed, animated drama follows two couples living in the Afghan capital during the 90s and the impact Taliban rule has on each relationship. Through their individual love stories, unforgettable characters emerge amid the devastating impact of armed combat.
THE TRANSLATORS (Les traducteurs)
Director: Régis Roinsard
Cast: Lambert Wilson, Olga Kurylenko, Riccardo Scamarcio
Nine language experts, hired to translate the final book of a bestselling trilogy, are in lockdown within a luxurious bunker. But when the top-secret manuscript’s first ten pages appear online, their dream job implodes. The culprit has to amongst them and the publisher is ready to do whatever it takes to unmask who it is.
TWO OF US (Deux)
Director: Filippo Meneghetti
Cast: Barbara Sukowa, Martine Chevallier, Léa Drucker
In this emotionally compelling tale, pensioners Nina and Madeleine have hidden their deep and passionate love for many decades, but their bond is tested when circumstances trigger a series of events, preventing them from moving freely between each other’s apartments.
Director: Cathy Verney
Cast: Romain Duris, Céline Sallette, Florence Thomassin, Julie Fournier
When Vernon Subutex, an unemployed former owner of a once legendary record shop, is evicted from his flat, he’s helped by old friend rock star Alex Bleach. But Bleach’s sudden death makes Vernon a deadly target when it’s discovered that he’s in possession of 3 mysterious videotapes owned by Bleach.
WE’LL END UP TOGETHER (Nous finirons ensemble)
Director: Guillaume Canet
Cast: François Cluzet, Marion Cotillard, Gilles Lellouche, Laurent Lafitte
About to turn 60, nearly broke and estranged from his former friends, restaurateur Max embraces solitude at his soon-to-be-sold beach house. So when his ex-buddies arrive for a surprise celebration, he turns them away. But this cannot be – something has to be done! The sequel to 2010’s star-studded comedy, LITTLE WHITE LIES.
Director: Bertrand Bonello
Cast: Louise Labèque, Wislanda Louimat, Adilé David, Ninon François
Haiti, 1962…A man is resurrected from the dead and trapped in a nightmare of slavery. Modern-day Paris…Haitian teen Mélissa, the new girl at an elite school, is invited to join a secret ‘literary sorority’. But the incendiary family secret she harbours becomes a source of fascination to others, who exploit her heritage with shocking results.
National dates and venues for the 2020 Alliance Française French Film Festival are:
10 March – 8 April
Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona, Chauvel Cinema, Palace Central & Hayden Orpheum Cremorne
11 March – 8 April
Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Westgarth, Kino Cinemas & The Astor Theatre
11 March – 8 April
Palace Raine Square, Cinema Paradiso, Luna on SX,
Windsor Cinema & Camelot Outdoor Cinema
12 March – 8 April
Palace Electric Cinema
17 March -14 April
Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas, Palace Nova Prospect Cinema
18 March -14 April
Palace Barracks & Palace James Street
19 – 28 March
19 March – 1 April
Avoca Beach Picture Theatre
26 – 29 March
Riverside Theatres Parramatta
31 March – 12 April
Palace Byron Bay
17 – 19 April
17 -19 April
You hear the saying ‘it was a dream come true’ used a lot about young actors and actresses. But never is it more appropriate then when you talk about young star Daisy Axon landing the lead role in the new Australian film H Is For Happiness. As Subculture found out when we sat down to talk to Axon she was a fan of the novel that the film was adapted from before she even had a chance to audition for the film.
“I knew the book a few years prior to when I knew it was going to be turned into a film,” the young star tells us. “Because my sister had the book at primary school and she lent it to me. So they ended up being quite special between us. I had read it and really loved it because I found that I related to the characters a lot. So when the email came through that said that it was being turned into a movie and that I would have the opportunity to audition for it I was pinching myself because I couldn’t believe it. I told my sister straight away.”
As we talk about what it is like winning the role of a character that you already love Axon said it didn’t make her more nervous. “I think it actually made me more confident if that makes sense,” she says. “I knew the character way more before the actual audition so it felt like her character was really clear to me, so it felt like I had really known for awhile, and that felt nice. When we actually got into filming of course I had nerves but I felt like I had Candace’s back and she had mine because she had been inside for such a long time.”
Candace of course is the character that Axon plays in the film – a character whose family have gone through a massive trauma and she is the win that feels like she can try and save her family from complete destruction. “Candace is a very unique character,” she explains. “She is full of optimism and she has a very unique view of the world compared to other people her age. She is able to see things in a very different light to her family who are under a very dark cloud. Her personality is one of the reasons that she is so headstrong and why she believes that she can fix her family. She has optimism, she is strong and she believes that she can do it. Plus she has her honesty which is a great personality trait, it does get her into trouble but it also makes the audience laugh and it is who she is so I wouldn’t change that.”
Of course the fact the film revolves around a family who are dealing with the loss of a child makes the performance for a young actress like Axon a lot harder. “I think from reading the book I had seen her traumas and her family’s grief,” explains Axon when I ask whether or not she had done any research into young people who had lost a sibling. “Naturally going onto set and seeing her room and where everything was going to be played out helped, especially the scene where Candace is asking her Mum if Douglas can come to the cemetery – when we practiced that scene it really felt like I got into her shoes and they helped me feel the grief that she was feeling.”
“I know you can play it both ways,” she says continuing. “That can be more of a light but because of the emotions that were running through me that day it made me feel like I wanted to just let loose and do what comes naturally. I think from the book and through the pre-production I was actually able to get some really interesting facts and those were things that I really did help me on set. But I think at other times I just let myself see what came naturally to Candace as a character as well.”
There is little doubt after watching H is For Happiness that Daisy Axon is going to be an actress with a huge future ahead of her. In performances here and in the amazing Judy & Punch suggest an actress that has maturity well beyond her years and the talent to make it big both in Australia and overseas.
H Is For Happiness opens in cinemas on February 6th.
The past twelve months may have been called the Year Of The Father for Australian actor Richard Roxburgh. From playing a father-like figure in Go-Kart drama Go! through to playing a father placed in a terrible predicament in Angel Of Mine. Now comes H Is For Happiness which once again sees Roxburgh play fatherly duties, this time he plays a damaged father whose family is being ripped apart by the trauma of losing a child. Meanwhile he is also in a bitter feud with his brother and it seems like the only person who wants to help the family is his very own daughter.
“I play a character called Jim Phee,” explains Roxburgh when he sits down to talk to Subculture about the film. “He is married to Emma Booth’s character and we are the parents of a twelve-year-old girl played by Daisy Axon and we have had a terrible incident in our life where one of our daughters, the younger sister to Daisy, has died. It does sound quite gloomy but it is incredibly funny and it is a beautiful big-hearted film and it is told pretty much through the eyes of Daisy’s character who is a kind of crazy optimist.”
As Roxburgh talks about the events that happen in the film we start to talk about the fact that while this is a film about a very dark period in the family’s life there is also an incredible light that shines through with the film as well. “Yeah, I think that is the point that it shows that kids kind of deal with grief, difficulty and adverseness in life in a very different way to we do,” he explains. “And I think that the film essentially brings that to life and shows this girl desperately trying to solve this puzzle of the sadness of her parents through the way that she sees the world – which is this incredibly vibrant and dynamic place which is full of larger than life characters.”
While the discussion goes on we begin to talk about the father roles that Roxburgh has played over the last twelve months and how he prepares himself to play fathers going through such traumatic experiences. “I guess it is not so much about research for a role like that,” he says after thinking about for a few seconds. “I am the father of three children myself so for a very large part of it I try to draw on my own experience and your own terrain – especially your emotional terrain as a parent and a father. You try to imagine what that would be like – having said that though there are always significantly different personalities so there is always that kind of work to do but that is the work that you do every time you do an individual new piece.”
Of course one of the major themes of H Is For Happiness is family and Roxburgh says the cast did get a little bit of time to bond to help out the younger actors as they prepared for the film. “We did get a little bit of time together,” he says. “It was a thirty day shoot so we didn’t get a lot of time but these kids were so, so great, they were such fabulous kids and they were so great to be around. I love working with kids because I just love their energy, so we had a short time to bond but I guess really it was just goofing off and having fun and making sure that they are okay with stuff.”
With some of the deep themes and emotional scenes in this film I asked Roxburgh how important it is for more experienced actors like himself to make sure that the young cast are dealing with it all. “It is always something to be reckoned with when you are working with kids,” he says after a deep breath. “You always want to them to be drawing on the thing that is really natural to them so that for them it doesn’t feel like they are acting because they are really drawing on the close version that they have of themselves, but in a really emotional scene, and in a scene that really counts you don’t really know as the director or one of the other actors that is in the scene how exactly it is going to go. But John Sheedy was a really wonderful director and he was great with the kids – he managed to really guide them through that stuff with great care.”
H Is For Happiness is one of those film that will make you laugh and it will make you cry but at the end of the day this is one of the most powerful movies you will see in 2020.