Australian Book Review

Australian Book Review is not a Tomatometer-approved publication. Reviews from this publication only count toward the Tomatometer® when written by the following Tomatometer-approved critic(s): Anwen Crawford, Lauren Carroll Harris, Philippa Hawker, Tara Judah
Rating Title/Year Author
2.5/5 Judy & Punch (2019) Anwen Crawford The sense that we're watching events occur outside a real time or place distances us from them. The film's main achievement is in visual design. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2019
3/5 Little Woods (2018) Anwen Crawford Like so many American stories, Little Woods is a drama about personal agency, but it's also a dramatisation of what it means, in material terms, to have very little agency to exercise. EDIT
Posted May 16, 2019
2.5/5 Loro (2018) Anwen Crawford ...why render it all over again, especially when the whole scenario is left to fizzle out, and is never revived? EDIT
Posted Jan 11, 2019
3.5/5 Lean on Pete (2017) Anwen Crawford Plummer plays the part with an emotional discipline that belies his youth. EDIT
Posted Nov 30, 2018
3.5/5 Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot (2018) Barnaby Smith Though dubious aspects cannot be ignored, this is ultimately an extremely affecting study of atonement and fulfillment. EDIT
Posted Oct 26, 2018
3/5 You Were Never Really Here (2017) Anwen Crawford You Were Never Really Here feels much more remote and unreal in its scenario, and though it has been compared several times already to Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver (1976), I'm not sure that the comparison holds weight. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2018
5/5 BlacKkKlansman (2018) Anwen Crawford Some viewers may feel that Lee is being didactic, or literal, but I think that BlacKkKlansman is a vital film arriving at a critical moment. EDIT
Posted Aug 15, 2018
3/5 Looking for Grace (2015) Eloise Ross Looking For Grace has a touching dénouement, moving but unsentimental - one of Brooks's specialties - but it comes too late after the uneven dialogue and the flat humour. EDIT
Posted Jul 10, 2018
5/5 Moonlight (2016) Whitney Monaghan Moonlight - ground-breaking cinema - is both expansive and deeply personal; a must-see for all lovers of the silver screen. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2018
3/5 Joe Cinque's Consolation (2016) Jake Wilson This imperfect but unusual film suggests understanding might finally be out of reach - to the point where it is hard to draw any certain moral. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2018
4/5 Measure of a Man (2018) Philippa Hawker The accumulating power of The Measure of a Man is in its small details and undemonstrative approach. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2018
2.5/5 The Bookshop (2017) Jake Wilson There is something dismaying about a film that purports to champion books yet verges on being a sentimental betrayal of its own source. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2018
4/5 Women He's Undressed (2015) Eloise Ross Women He's Undressed is a wonderful documentary, with Armstrong revealing some real gems about a man we should all be proud to call Australian. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2018
3.5/5 The Lost City of Z (2016) Jake Wilson There is a tricky balance here, which Gray does not quite successfully maintain. EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2018
3.5/5 The One I Love (2014) Eloise Ross This is the film's final strength and a knowing twist on the title, adverting to the film's core concern: how well can you really know the one you love? EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2018
2.5/5 Mary Shelley (2017) Barnaby Smith [An] occasionally charming, mostly guileless, and ultimately patchy film... EDIT
Posted Jul 9, 2018
2/5 The Second (2018) Lauren Carroll Harris ...the plotline unfolds with such a lack of clarity that it is hard to know what The Second saying about the sexual power, or disempowerment, of teen girls. EDIT
Posted Jul 5, 2018
3/5 Brother's Nest (2018) Lauren Carroll Harris It's quite touching, in a demented way, despite the feeling that the script could have dug deeper and more drolly into the moral ambiguity of toxic bonds, family trauma, and parental failure. EDIT
Posted Jun 20, 2018
3/5 Disobedience (2017) Anwen Crawford Lelio's real strength is as a director of actors... Both Weisz and McAdams are committed and convincing. EDIT
Posted Jun 13, 2018
5/5 BPM (Beats Per Minute) (2017) Anwen Crawford As the film moves fluidly between protests, meetings, club nights, and affairs...we are left with the impression of a time and a place in which nothing, not even death, seems inevitable. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2018
4/5 Loveless (2017) Anwen Crawford Something vital, his films intimates, has been lost in Russia, and perhaps not only in Russia - some warmth of the soul, a sense of civic accountability. As with the child, no one even noticed it slipping away. EDIT
Posted Apr 25, 2018
3.5/5 The Death of Stalin (2017) Anwen Crawford The Death of Stalin is obviously a farce, in the best sense; the primary aim is never verisimilitude. The film shares something of the attitude and atmosphere that pervades a work like Dario Fo's. EDIT
Posted Mar 27, 2018
4.5/5 Lady Bird (2017) Anwen Crawford First time writer-director Greta Gerwig, an experienced actor, is attuned to the mix of munificence and selfishness that makes up the adolescent heart. EDIT
Posted Feb 14, 2018
0.5/5 Wonder Wheel (2017) Lauren Carroll Harris Autobiographical readings can be a lazy, obvious way to interpret the work of an artist, but with its triangular love affairs with stepdaughters and lost women in distress, it is impossible to read Wonder Wheel as anything but. EDIT
Posted Dec 7, 2017
3/5 The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017) Anwen Crawford The emotional stakes are lowered in Lanthimos's world, but the operation of power is much the same as it ever was. EDIT
Posted Nov 16, 2017
1.5/5 Three Summers (2017) Lauren Carroll Harris A feel-good film about racism? Okay. EDIT
Posted Nov 2, 2017
Saving Mr. Banks (2013) Tara Judah Much like the morals in his movies, apparently Walt Disney can melt the heart of even the hardest villain. So says the global brand of myth and fairy tale, our greatest source of hearsay and speculation. EDIT
Posted Oct 14, 2017
Tracks (2013) Tara Judah As a version of her adventures, Tracks navigates its way to the big screen safely enough; its bearings are only slightly off compass. EDIT
Posted Oct 14, 2017
Here I Am (2010) Jake Wilson If a picture is usually worth a thousand words, there is a shelf-full of history here. EDIT
Posted Oct 14, 2017
Carnage (2011) Jake Wilson Without being obtrusive about it, [Roman] Polanski uses every cinematic trick at his command to increase tension: viewed through distorting wide-angle lenses, the characters appear to gain and lose stature from shot to shot. EDIT
Posted Oct 14, 2017
The Turning (2013) Jake Wilson The Turning resembles an epic round of the surrealist game Exquisite Corpse, in which players separately draw parts of a human figure on a sheet of paper which is then unfolded to reveal the bizarre whole. EDIT
Posted Oct 14, 2017
Fallout (2013) Jake Wilson Fallout offers a valuable new account of both book and film, placing both in the context of a historical moment when nuclear annihilation seemed a more than plausible threat. EDIT
Posted Oct 14, 2017
Half of a Yellow Sun (2013) Jake Wilson [Biyi] Bandele seizes every opportunity to build atmosphere with heightened colours and streaked lighting patterns. It helps that the cinematographer John de Borman, shoots on 35-millimetre film rather than digitally, nowadays an increasingly rare choice. EDIT
Posted Oct 14, 2017
The Invisible Woman (2013) Jake Wilson The strength of the film lies in the sense that [Ralph] Fiennes has set out to capitalise on these absences, using Tucker's prosaic, BBC-style screenplay as the basis for something more experimental and oblique. EDIT
Posted Oct 14, 2017
3/5 Consolation (2010) Jake Wilson This imperfect but unusual film suggests understanding might finally be out of reach - to the point where it is hard to draw any certain moral. EDIT
Posted Oct 14, 2017
() Rebecca Harkins-Cross Redfern Now strikes a laudable balance between the personal and political, presenting an urban Indigenous experience that we have seen too rarely on our television screens. EDIT
Posted Oct 14, 2017
Trishna (2011) Philippa Hawker Alec d'Urberville, the wayward idler who seduces Tess, and Angel Clare, the compulsively virtuous youngman she loves, 'the earnestest man in Wessex', have been distilled [in this adaptation] into a single, somewhat problematic figure. EDIT
Posted Oct 14, 2017
4/55 The Measure of a Man (2015) Philippa Hawker The accumulating power of The Measure of a Man is in its small details and undemonstrative approach. EDIT
Posted Oct 14, 2017
4/5 Love & Friendship (2016) Anwen Crawford Love and Friendship is very funny, funnier still for its absence of moral reckoning. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2017
2/5 High-Rise (2015) Anwen Crawford High-Rise has no shortage of vivid images to tempt the eager filmmaker, from a ransacked supermarket to an Afghan hound floating dead in a swimming pool. What's harder to convey is that distinctive Ballardian tone. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2017
3.5/5 A United Kingdom (2016) Anwen Crawford Though A United Kingdom has an emotional arc that is too predictable, its resurrection of a widely forgotten piece of twentieth-century history is worthy. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2017
4.5/5 Manchester by the Sea (2016) Anwen Crawford [Michelle] Williams has only a few scenes but makes her mark in all of them. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2017
1.5/5 Berlin Syndrome (2017) Anwen Crawford The naïveté of the main character feels far less credible. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2017
4/5 Things to Come (2016) Anwen Crawford Things to Come is a rare and welcome film for not suggesting that a woman is unnatural or unfeeling to care for her work as much as for her family. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2017
3.5/5 A Quiet Passion (2016) Anwen Crawford A Quiet Passion, like most films about writers, sticks to the life that can be dramatised, rather than the writing process, which can't. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2017
4/5 God's Own Country (2017) Anwen Crawford [Francis] Lee allows more optimism into his film, including the suggestion that agriculture itself might still have a future in England. EDIT
Posted Sep 12, 2017