The Big Issue : Edition 535
FILM 38 THEBIGISSUE21APR–4MAY2017 Before Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) comes home to meet the parents of his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams), he has to ask one thing: “Do they know I’m black?” Where Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967) probed the limits of white liberalism with hokey melodrama, this clever contemporisation uses the set-up to maske a horror show. There are cracks in the veneer of the Armitage family’s country manor. Hackles are raised as Dad (Bradley Whitford) cringeworthily shows he’s cool with it, while Mum (Catherine Keener), a steely psychiatrist, seems more concerned with curing Chris’ smoking habit. Rose has also forgotten an annual family function, which sees the house swarming with WASPs, waited on by Stepford Wives-esque black hired help, whom Chris is assured are “like part of the family”. Writer/director Jordan Peele delivers requisite jumps and gore, but the real horror comes from revealing the seething maelstrom of the white unconscious. Get Out is fresh, funny and destined for classic-dom. REBECCA HARKINS-CROSS COLOSSAL Fans of the acclaimed TV series will enjoy this big-screen sequel. Writer Samantha Strauss delivers soapy triumphs and disasters, and plenty of rehearsal and performance sequences. Director Jeffrey Walker enlivens the familiar tropes of teen ballet movies with vivid, Black Swan-esque close-ups of dancers’ bodies. Eighteen months after a catastrophic spinal injury, gifted ballerina Tara (Xenia Goodwin) is slumming it as a Sydney Opera House waiter, watching her frenemy Abigail (Dena Kaplan) dance with the National Ballet. Nudged by company director Madeline Moncur (Miranda Otto) into attempting a comeback, Tara heads to New York. Once her pop-n -lockin’ boyfriend Christian (Jordan Rodrigues) justifiably tires of her sooking, Tara discovers new passion for choreography with her ex, Ben (Thomas Lacey). Surprisingly perceptive, Dance Academy understands both the joy of movement and how hollow childhood dreams can seem once you’re grown up. MEL CAMPBELL DANCE ACADEMY GET OUT GONE ARE THE days when a journalist spent weeks with their celebrity subject. Could anyone write something as iconic as Joan Didion’s ‘John Wayne: A Love Song’ today, where she roamed the set of the cowboy’s 165th film? Even prestige publications get nothing more than a quick slot on a tightly controlled press merr y-go-round these days. My sympathies usually reside with the embittered writers, but not always. A recent interviewer of Jake Gyllenhaal in The Guardian tried turning a trainwreck into a hatchet job. Repeated questions about the notoriously private actor’s dalliance with Taylor Swift sees the actor imploring the reporter to watch his films. What’s posited as Gyllenhaal’s self-importance actually says more about the interviewer’s tactlessness. I’ll be adding it to my personal pantheon of bad profiles, alongside such stinkers as Anthony Lane’s portrait of Scarlett Johansson for The New Yorker, where the normally wry film critic summoned up vomitous descriptions like, “ Then came the laugh: dry and dirty, as if this were a drama class and her task was to play a martini”. It’s closely rivalled by Rich Cohen’s profile of Margot Robbie for Va n it y Fair, whose in-depth research concluded that “Australia is America 50 years ago, sunny and slow, a throwback, which is why you go there for throwback people”. Unsurprisingly, this kind of half-baked claptrap is normally reserved for female actors. How to pen compelling stories without becoming just another cog in PR machine can be a tricky task. Still, it’s one we would do well to ponder. REBECCA HARKINS-CROSS > Film Editor Forced to return to her childhood home after her New York boyfriend Tim (Dan Stevens) throws her out for her boozy lies, unemployed freelance writer Gloria (Anne Hathaway) struggles to readjust to small-town life. Schoolmate-turned-bar-owner Oscar (Jason Sudeikis) welcomes her into his slightly seedy social circle, which gives her a nightlife and free drinks. But what’s Gloria’s link to that giant monster trashing Seoul? The monster connection is no metaphor, and the straightforward way this treats its fantasy elements is a lot of fun. The depth lies in the performances: both Hathaway and Sudeikis make full use of the script’s subtleties to flesh out their flawed characters, Hathaway giving heart to someone whose antics suggest deeper issues while Sudeikis layers menace under the charm of a “nice guy”. Putting aside the workmanlike genre trappings, this is a small-scale film about bad relationships and the damage people – okay, it’s mostly men – do. It’s just that sometimes those people are 30 storeys tall. ANTHONY MORRIS CINEMA RELEASE STREAMING JAKE GYLLENHAAL JUST WANTS YOU TO WATCH HIS MOVIES.