Review Revue: The QUEEN is on the MONEY

Going to the movies should never, ever be stressful (unless, of course, you’re planning on seeing the latest Lars von Trier flick). You want to see something new and relevant so that you can talk it up with your know-it-all friends. But you don’t want to sit through the one film that everyone thought would be great but… isn’t. So here is our formula, simplifying the should-you-see-it conundrum:
5 new releases x 2 critical samplings = what you should go see.

Simple enough, right? This week we have a Stockholm drug runner, an Indian maiden-in-waiting, feuding New York sisters, a doomed royal court and an immaculate rock ‘n’ roll conception.


Synopsis: Joel Kinnaman (the cutie from LOLA VERSUS, among other things) gets caught up with the wrong crowd in this Euro-fried crime noir caper.

Most typical critique: Alissa Simon, Variety:

Easy Money confirms [Daniél] Espinosa’s directing chops (it also earned him a gig helming Universal’s forthcoming Denzel Washington starrer, SAFE HOUSE). Performances are strong across the board, with even casting of bit parts coming up aces.

The quote not to miss: Stephen Holden, The New York Times:

EASY MONEY builds to a whopping finale that, without seeming to preach, bears out Mr. Espinosa’s statement: “Gangster films should always be moral stories.”

Should you go see it?

If drugs and violence are your bag, definitely. This one seems to be quite superior to, say, last week’s SAVAGES.


Synopsis: Celebrated director Michael Winterbottom returns with this creative take on Thomas Hardy’s classic novel Tess of the D’Urbervilles, with SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE‘s Freida Pinto as the titular Trishna.

Most typical critique: Jim Schembri, 3AW:

[Michael] Winterbottom brings an affecting naturalism to his tragic tale of love and abuse.

The quote not to miss: Leigh Paatsch, Herald Sun:

[Pinto and Ahmed's] lack of screen chemistry actually fits their eternally disconnected characters curiously well.

Should you go see it?

Yes, for the classic references. It’s not every day that a respected filmmaker like Winterbottom (who made 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE) takes on such a classic author. (Or is it? He’s already adapted two of Thomas Hardy’s other novels: JUDE and THE CLAIM.)


Synopsis: Nancy Savoca’s first feature in almost 10 years stars Mira Sorvino (who may be channeling just a bit of Aphrodite) and Tammy Blanchard as loudmouthed New York sisters thrown together after a long separation, and some celebrated theater vets are along for the ride: none other than Patti LuPone and Daphne Rubin-Vega!

Most typical critique: Karina Longworth, Village Voice:

Often feels like an acting exercise documented on video for teaching purposes — lots of unnecessary histrionics and ostentatious zooms, with both the story and the improv-like dialogue predicated on contrivances and glaring improbabilities.

The quote not to miss: Rex Reed, New York Observer:

The actors are so good, though, that they make you want to see what they could do in a better movie than this tedious acting-class experiment.

Should you go see it?

Skip it. Sounds like this one is a mess, even if everyone’s heart was in the right place…


Synopsis: An earthy, subtle French take on the last days of Marie Antoinette in Versailles, starring some undeniably beautiful women (Lea Seydoux of MIDNIGHT IN PARIS fame, as well as Diane Kruger).

Most typical critique: Richard Brody, New Yorker:

[Director Benoît] Jacquot gazes avidly at this closed-in world of women; if his camera pressed any closer to them, it would be subcutaneous.

The quote not to miss: Cole Smithey,

Marie Antoinette takes on the façade of lesbian-rebel-savant in Jacquot’s nuanced cinematic rendition of Chantal Thomas’s novel.

Should you go see it?

This is worth taking a peak at. Though FAREWELL can almost be considered the equally unsatisfying other side of the coin to Sofia Coppola’s MARIE ANTOINETTE of six years ago.


Synopsis: A trippy American fable involving Mormonism, immaculate conception, Rory Culkin and some serious alternative rock music.

Most typical critique: Limara Salt, Empire:

An interesting and catchy take on a traditional tale of repressed teenage rebellion.

The quote not to miss: Nick Schager, Total Film:

Careful, kids – rock ‘n’ roll can get you pregnant. Or that’s what one Mormon teen believes in this cute lo-fi indie from first-timer Rebecca Thomas.

Should you go see it?

So far it would seem that you should. The trailer is intriguing, to say the least!