Tagged: Hayley McElhinney

Summary:  When her all-male house-cleaning business gets out of control, a mature woman must embrace her own sexuality, if she is to make a new life for herself.

Year: 2022

Cinema Release Dates:  19th May 2022 (Australia), 22nd July 2022 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA.

Country: Australia

Director: Renee Webster

Screenwriter: Renee Webster

Cast: Nicola Bartlett (Prue), Caroline Brazier (Sandra), Emily Rose Brennan (Alice), Ying Chu (Officer Lim), Troy Coward (Harry), Cameron Daddo (Adrian), Hannah Day (Officer Tremby), Sam Dudley (Detective Noakes), Alexander England (Tom), Andrea Gibbs (Detective Elliott), Liam Graham (Officer Mason), Milu Green (Officer Cooper), Julia Hales (Kylie), Roz Hammond (Claudia), Megan Hollier (Molly), Emma Jackson (Bree), Lee Jankowski (Officer Levi), Ryan Johnson (Anthony), Priscilla Le (Alia), Monica Main (Adrianna), Katherine Marmion (Nerida), Hayley McElhinney (Hayley), Maggie Meyers (Maggie), Catherine Moore (Fiona), Takia Morrison (Mandy), Ben Mortley (Gary), Claire Munday (Jules), Fraser Murray (Officer Trent), Alexandra Nell (Biatta), Dan Paris (Mike), Sally Phillips (Gina), Myles Pollard (Richard), Suesha Rana (Wendy), Alexandria Steffensen (Pamela), Erik Thomson (Steve), Josh Thomson (Ben), Sherrilee Walsh (Amanda), Tasma Walton (Monique), Oliver Wenn (Brett), Asher Yasbincek (Chloe), Nina Young (Jane)

Running Time: 107 mins

Classification: TBC (Australia)

OUR HOW TO PLEASE A WOMAN REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ How To Please A Woman Review:

Often when people talk about the Australian cinema industry they will pull out the old line “oh we make great cult films.” Well as an industry I have to say we do more than just that. We also make some pretty intense dramas and we’ve made some classic comedies over the years as well. Actually when I really think about it we have made some brilliant comedies over the years – films like The Castle, Crocodile Dundee and Crackerjack that have all become classics and could only have been created with that unique Australian sense of humour.

That tradition of good Australia comedy continues with brand new film How To Please A Woman – a film that sees director/screenwriter Renee Webster (The Heights) deliver a film I found to mix just the right amount of comedy and drama.

The film centres around Gina (Sally Phillips – Bridget Jones’s Diary) a middle-aged woman who finds herself stuck in a sexless marriage with her husband, Adrian (Cameron Daddo – Hope Island), and fired from her job which she excels at.

Her friends from the local swimming club decide to spice things up for her on her birthday and hire her a male giggalo, Tom (Alexander England – Gods Of Egypt). However, when the awkward Gina decides that she doesn’t want to have sex with him but would love for to clean her house an idea forms in her mind. Then when she discovers that Tom works for a removalist company that is about to close down she suddenly comes up with an idea for a new business where she would hire Tom and his colleagues Steve (Erik Thomson Somersault), Anthony (Ryan Johnson – Son Of The Mask) and Ben (Josh Thomson – The New Legends Of Monkey).

What I found I enjoyed most about this film was that Webster found the perfect tone for the film. Yes at the heart of this film is a comedy but also the more dramatic elements of the film explore a lot of topics that are often taboos to be talked about in society. The film explores middle-aged women wanting to have sex in a tasteful way, it also looks at women being fired from their jobs because of their age and also what happens when a long-lasting marriage starts to fizzle out.

Male audience members also shouldn’t feel like they are going to be left out while watching the film. Through the character of Steve it explores the depression that can sink in when a middle-aged man loses both his marriage and his business and it respectfully looks at how many men have no idea how to pleasure a woman when it comes to sex (through no fault of their own) and the looming cloud of unemployment in modern society.

One part I especially loved is the fact that the film also doesn’t make Gina out to be a flawless character, in fact there is one touching storyline that sees Gina judge one of her colleagues and why she isn’t one of the ones losing her job only too later find out not only has she body-shamed the women but also judged her intelligence and worth because of her looks.

I hope though what I have said here makes you feel that How To Please A Woman is a film that will bog you down with serious tones because that simply isn’t the case. There are a lot of comedic moments to be found throughout the film but Webster is a gifted enough filmmaker to fit them in amongst the film’s message in a well-written and subtle manner.

When it comes to the acting side of things Sally Phillips and Erik Thomson steal the show. Phillips matches the tone of the film well knowing the right time to deliver comedy and really delivering when she is called to act out the more dramatic moments of the film. Erik Thomson also delivers a solid performance alongside Phillips while Alexander England is almost guaranteed to land some Hollywood work off the back of this film.

How To Please A Woman is a pleasurable drama-comedy that reveals a new talent in Australia’s filmmaking alumni with the arrival of Renee Webster in a big way. Thoroughly delightful from start to finish with a really important message at its core.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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Summary: Two warring sheep farmer brothers must decide whether they want to work together or not when a severe virus threatens both their flocks.

Year: 2020

Cinema Release Dates: 29th October 2020 (Australia), 5th February 2020 (UK), 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: Australia

Director: Jeremy Sims

Screenwriter: Jules Duncan, Grimur Hakonarson (based on a film by)

Cast: Wayne Blair (Lionel), Michael Caton (Les), Leon Ford (De Vries), Asher Keddie (Angela), Hayley McElhinney (May), Travis McMahon (Fergo), Will McNeil (Jackson), Sam Neil (Colin), Miranda Richardson (Kat), Kipan Rothbury (Frenchie), Asher Yasbinek (Sally)

Running Time: 115 mins

Classification: PG (Australia), 12A (UK), PG-13 (USA)

OUR RAMS REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Rams Review:

There was a period of time in Australian cinema where the funding bodies decided that the way forward was for Australian film-makers to make outrageous comedies. If you discussed the idea with them it would always come back to them talking about films like The Castle. The thing they seemed to miss though was that The Castle was a very different film to something like You And Your Stupid Mate.

While the latter was idiotic to the point of stupidity The Caste mixed comedy and drama and above all had heart. If you look at the comedies that Australians have loved over the years, films like Muriel’s Wedding and Priscilla: Queen Of The Desert, they are all movies that have heart as their major ingredient.

Somewhere along the line it feels like somebody has listened because it clearly looks like Rams will be Australia’s highest grossing local product of 2020 and having viewed the film I can say that it uses The Castle recipe to a tee. It is a film that a majority of Australians can relate to and it does indeed have heart.

A localised remake of a Scandinavian film Rams is set in a remote Western Australian town that is known for its unique bloodline of award-winning sheep. While many of the town’s local farmers, such as the determined Angela (Ahser Keddie – X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and the kind-hearted Lionel (Wayne Blair – The Sapphires) try their best to win awards for their flocks the prizes normally go to brothers Colin (Sam Neil – Jurassic Park) and Les (Michael Caton – Last Cab To Darwin).

However the relationship between the two brothers is not as it should be. They haven’t spoken to each other for decades, despite the fact they share the same farm and dog, and go out of their way to avoid each other. That war though becomes tested after local vet Kat (Miranda Richardson – The Crying Game) detects a rare disease in the sheep that leads to them having to be destroyed.

With the Government moving in and the town and its major industry on its knees Colin and Les might have to find a way to overcome their anger towards each other to ensure that their farm survives.

Despite its Scandinavian heritage there is something uniquely Australian with director Jeremy Sims’ (Beneath Hill 60) version of the film. Aided by first time feature screenwriter Jules Duncan’s screenplay the film explores the trials and tribulations of a country community in such way that as audience member I found myself laughing at one moment and close to tears the next. That screenplay gives city folk an inside look at how devastating an event like this can be on a country town in a way that we rarely get to see on the screen.

While the film does try to infuse some storylines into the film for the periphery characters the main interest here lies in the relationship between Colin and Les and the betrayal Colin feels when Kat reports the outbreak to the Government. The tension generated between those relationships carry the film along in such a way that you never lose interest in it.

Enhancing the film even further are the performances of Neil and Caton. Caton is in award winning form as he portrays the emotionally broken and alcoholic Les, while Sam Neil is at his best portraying a character that is a mess of emotion throughout the film… not that he would ever show that publicly.

Rams is easily one of the best film of 2020. It has emotion, it has heart and knows the perfect time to replace its humour with touching dramatic scenes. Jeremy Sims has just released a film that is destined to become an Aussie favourite alongside Babe and The Castle.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

IMDB Rating:

Rams (2020) on IMDb

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Trailer:

The Babadook

Summary: “Do you want to die?” seven-year-old Samuel asks his stressed-out single mother, Amelia. She wonders if his question is a threat or a warning. After dealing with Samuel’s frantic tantrums his entire life, Amelia suspects that her son has begun directing his violent misbehavior toward her. However, after a dark and foreboding children’s book called Mister Babadook mysteriously appears on Samuel’s bookshelf, Amelia must decide if her son is truly deranged, or if there really is a bogeyman lurking in their darkened halls at night.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 22nd May, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: Australia

Director: Jennifer Kent

Screenwriter: Jennifer Kent

Cast: Cathy Adamek (Prue), Craig Behenna (Warren), Essie Davis (Amelia), Daniel Henshall (Robbie), Chloe Hurn (Ruby), Hayley McElhinney (Claire), Jacqy Phillips (Beverly), Tim Purcell (The Babadook), Bridget Walters (Norma), Barbara West (Mrs. Roach), Benjamin Winspear (Oskar), Noah Wiseman (Samuel)

Runtime: 95 mins

Classification: M

OUR THE BABADOOK REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Greg King: You can check out Greg’s The Babadook review on www.filmreviews,net.au

Stars(3.5)

 

David Griffiths:

Australia has always been a country known for its cult horror. Whether it be the older Oz-ploitation films like Fair Game that inspired a young Quentin Tarantino or more modern films like Storm Warning, it seems Aussies know their horror. Need further proof? Well the filmmakers behind the original Saw series… also from the land down under. Now comes the latest Aussie horror flick, the low budget The Babdook and once again the Aussies have got it 100% right.

The flick follows hard working widow Amelia (Essie Davis – Burning Man, TV’S The Slap) who tries all she can do to be a good mother to her awkward son Samuel (Noah Wiseman – The Gift). However, things are not always easy for her and as her son’s behaviour seems to push more and more people away things become increasingly worse for them.

Things then turn even more serious when a children’s book mysteriously turns up in the house. After reading the book once to Samuel Amelia realises how dark and disturbing it is. However no matter how she tries to get rid of it the book keeps returning and even worse still is the fact that the horror it speaks about, Mr. Babadook (Tim Purcell – newcomer) now haunts their home in a potentially deadly manner.

Some people may look at the low budget of The Babadook and decide to give it a wide berth but doing so will mean they miss out on one of the best horror films to surface this year. This is a film that really announces Jennifer Kent as a director to watch. Kent has grown up living and breathing horror films her whole life and it certainly shows here. This is clearly the best ‘creepy kid’ horror since Let The Right One In and it blows most of the blockbuster horrors we’ve seen in recent years right out of the water.

Kent knows that it takes more than just a creepy soundtrack and some ‘bumps and screams’ on the audio track to really frighten an audience. Here she combines so good old fashioned psychological terror with one of the creepier characters we’ve seen in the horror genre over recent years. While his name might sound like something out of a Lewis Carroll adventure the Babadook himself is a pretty good horror nasty. The fact that he isn’t afraid to attack children or maim and torture a mother shows that he means business. He along with the suspense of not knowing if any of the characters in the film are suffering from mental means the audience is often on the edge of their or jumping out of them… the two things they should be doing during a horror film.

As a director Kent also gets the best of her cast. She puts both Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman through the ringer throughout this film. Davis has been a star-on-the-rise for awhile now and this really confirms that she is among the most talented actresses in Australia at the moment while Wiseman shows that he is a child actor with a big future ahead of him. For him to constantly deliver on the screen when he is playing a gruelling role and is on screen for nearly every minute of the film really shows just how talented he is.

If you are a horror fan then you won’t want to miss The Babadook. Once again an Australian filmmaker delivers a horror film that is destined to become a cult classic.
Stars(3.5)

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(3.5)

 

IMDB Rating:  The Babadook (2014) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘The Babadook′: For our full The Babadook review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #80

Trailer: