This month’s batch of films deal with people going on a journey.
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou – dir. Wes Anderson
Wes Anderson’s ode to Jacques Cousteau is arguably also the most fun of his films. Bill Murray takes the central role of oceanographer Steve Zissou who goes on a revenge mission to track down the Jaguar Shark who killed his beloved friend Esteban.
The cast is a usual bevy of who’s who, each seem to be relishing their roles no matter how minor and the jokes are beautifully deadpan and off the wall. The Italian backdrops look amazing and the soundtrack – a mix of lush strings, horns and Casio keyboards allied to David Bowie songs sung in Portuguese with some pop and punk songs thrown in – lift nearly every scene of the film.
Tracks – dir. John Curran
Tracks is a beautifully shot and moving drama about an Australian woman, Robyn Davidson played by Mia Wasikowska, who undertakes a 1700 mile trek across the desert with four camels and her dog.
Adam Driver delivers most of the light relief to the movie, playing a National Geographic photographer who’s at once smitten with Davidson and also charged with capturing her journey on film along the way much to her annoyance. The film excels most at capturing all the beauty and harshness the Australian wilderness has to offer. If you enjoyed Wild recently with Reese Witherspoon, you should definitely give this a try.
Into The Wild – dir. Sean Penn
Sean Penn directs Emile Hirsch in the tale of Christopher McCandless, a young man who, after finishing college, sold all his possessions and took all his savings and gave them to charity before setting off and hitchhiking his way to Alaska where he plans to live out in the wilderness.
The film maps his journey and the people he meets along the way, a particular highlight being when he encounters an old man, played beautifully by Hal Holbrook who was Oscar-nominated for his performance.
Lore – dir. Cate Shortland
Lore tells the story of young German girl, a daughter to a Nazi army officer, who as the war is coming to an end is sent off with the task of guiding her younger brothers and sisters to their grandmother’s home on the other side of Germany. Along the way, Lore is confronted by the lies she was brought up on and the harsh realities of the war and her attitudes are changed by the strangers she meets, one in particular.
The film’s pace is quite slow and deliberate but don’t let that put you off. Whilst filmed in Germany and the dialogue is all in German it’s actually directed by an Australian and was thus the Australian entry for the Best Foreign Picture at the Oscars in 2013.
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