War: a conflict carried on by a force of arms, is a state or period of armed hostility. Most of us in Australia, if we are honest, do not want to know about or ever encounter.
It is about the struggle to achieve a goal, which can have noble intent, although mostly it’s a dastardly conflict likely to result in death.
French Canadian director and writer Denis Villeneuve has certainly crafted a thought-provoking thriller with the new Lionsgate movie Sicario, one that will keep you riveted to the action and then stay with you long after leaving the theatre.
Giants in their field, the trio of actors who take the lead roles give truly phenomenal performances, each at the top of their game.
Puerto Rican actor Benicio del Toro as the perplexing Alejandro, packed full of pain and frustration, for me was a stand out; beyond good.
Sicario means ‘hit man’ in Mexico, where kidnapping and the war on drugs is a daily struggle.
This is a politically aware intellectual thriller, one where there are no heroes at all, only victims.
Smart, stylish, gritty and gruesome, with a brilliant music score and quite outstanding cinematography, Sicario will test your perceptions about the line between right and wrong as you are faced with decisions that need to be made, despite the reality you are in being riddled with ambiguity.
The difference between those wanting to live in the light rather than those who choose darkness is the massive morally guided gray area in between.
This can be a movable feast dependent on your attitude or point of view.
The world’s largest consumer of cocaine is the USA and what happens in Sicario will cause you to challenge your own ideas of right and wrong as it reveals just how far some members of society, once they start straying from a moral pathway, will go.
It’s not a pretty scene. Those involved in the drug trade are seduced by power, more money and riches and don’t have a moral conscience or value for human life as they strive to achieve their goals.
The aftermath of the violence they use can be profound.
We meet Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) an idealistic, hard, lean, confident and vulnerable FBI agent working near the border area of the US and Mexico.
She is trained to work with a team of Swat members to rescue hostages and when they raid a house in a housing development on the outskirts of a sprawling suburban town, they discover that things are not as they seemed.
Quite unbelievingly they find over 40 people murdered and packed in plastic within the walls of the house, including those they were sent to save.
Victims of the violent drug war, it’s a gruesome find, one that affects them all.
Particularly when two of the team are subsequently blown to smithereens when they attempt to enter a padlocked cellar.
Kate finds however suddenly finds herself with an opportunity to cross over into the world of drugs to help take down the leaders.
She jumps at the chance, not knowing what is to come.
Dramatically descending not only into the dark, but also a place where tension packed gripping moments of madness occur on a daily basis, Sicario is more than ruthless.
We move through an enormous depth of misery and despair, heightened by the portrayal of victims on both sides.
Premiering at Perth in Western Australia at the Black Swan State Theatre Company on November 11, 2015 following three previews will be the highly original, brave and breath-taking musical Next to Normal.
The Pulitzer Prize winner for Drama and three time Tony Award winning rock musical is currently enthralling audiences on Broadway in the USA where the Black Swan State Theatre Company Director Adam Mitchell believed the “New York Times got it right calling Next to Normal an original, brave, breathtaking musical…
…he explained how it is a story for our time “… it deals with the fallout of a mum… losing her battle with mental illness. It‘s gritty, incredibly touching, funny and it’s full of hope.” Adam Mitchell said.
Other reviews have called it ‘heart-melting and sensitively crafted’ with beautiful songs that get to the heart of a deceptively complex story of a suburban family struggling to cope with crisis.
Receiving Tony Awards in 2009 for Best Score and Best Orchestration by Tom Kitt Next to Normal is the story of Diana Goodman, loving wife and mother who would like nothing more than for her husband Dan and their two children to get along like one big happy family.
They all live in a seemingly perfect suburban neighbourhood, but their struggles, like most families, are anything but normal.
Who can believe it’s that time again, and the Spring Racing Carnival has just started here in Australia.
I know it’s only early October, but a girl needs to get organized for the trifecta of race meets.
Derby Day, Oaks Day and the big one, Melbourne Cup Day, all held at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, will be upon us in less than a months time.
So I thought it was time to pull together some key looks for the most fashionable days.
There are rules for the races, and I for one quite like to keep a little tradition in our world.
Then we have The Cup, where anything goes.
The BBC First British Film Festival returns for its third year, presenting a wonderful variety of new films to enjoy as well as a retrospective, featuring great British movies from each decade of the twentieth century. It will be showing 27 October to 18 November, 2015 at Palace Cinemas around Australia
The opening night event this year is Youth starring veteran actors Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel, both of whom have won Academy Awards. With Rachel Weisz and Jane Fonda as part of the cast, this story of an elderly retired composer, will be a highlight of the festival. Director Paolo Sorrentino’s second foray into English-language film, its all about two friends vacationing at a prestigious hotel in the Swiss Alps as the composer muses on his life.
On Closing Night The Man Who Knew Infinity features Jeremy Irons and Dev Patel, telling the fascinating story of mathematical genius Indian born Srinivasa Ramanujan at the turn of the early twentieth century and the friendship he formed with Cambridge Professor G.H. Hardy based on mutual respect.
Monty Python fans will be delighted that Absolutely Anything will feature the reunion of the decade, all living Monty Python Members together again with Simon Pegg added to the list. At the other end of the scale, Suffragette the landmark new movie about the feminist movement should attract the crowds, along with Spooks: The Greater Good the first full length film based one the popular television series.
The list of movies for the festival are impressive. Love Actually: A Century of British Romance 1900 – 1990 is a special segment presenting famous vintage movies once again on the big screen. Ryan’s Daughter, The Go-Between, Women in Love, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, A Matter of Life and Death, A Town Like Alice, Two for the Road, Sunday Bloody Sunday, My Beautiful Laundrette and Four Weddings and a Funeral. BOOKINGS
Giants in their field actors Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro and James Brolin starring in Sicario all give truly phenomenal performances, at the top of their game
Pulitzer Prize winner for Drama and three time Tony Award winning rock musical Next to Normal will be at Black Swan State Theatre Company Perth in November 2015
Tit for tat, chapeau, crown, Panama, Stetson, tam, topper, wimple, beanie, bearskin, bonnet, beret, busby or bowler wearing hats has evolved since ancient times
Mirusia the Angel of Australia, will tour her solo program This Time Tomorrow in the Netherlands and Australia in 2016, starting with a preview in November 2015
BBC First British Film Festival at Palace Cinemas Australia in October, November presents great British movies old and new including Youth, Suffragette and more