Thursday, September 24, 2020
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MOVIE: Four films explore the four elements

EARTH, Water, Air and Fire. There’s something for everyone at the movies this week.

Top of an impressive pile is ‘Dark Waters’ starring Mark Ruffalo as a battling attorney who takes on US corporate giant, DuPont, in a terrifyingly true, real life story of the little guy taking on big business. 

DuPont are famous for making the non-stick material Teflon, which unfortunately is an extremely toxic compound that now resides in the bloodstream of almost everyone on the planet. 

The film is both well acted and directed, and if you don’t rush home to pull out your pots and pans, you weren’t really paying attention. We award it a review score of four, non-stick stars. 

‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’ comes a close second, and is a superbly shot and observed French period piece about a young female portrait artist who is sent to capture the likeness of someone (her reluctant client) who doesn’t want to be painted. 

Directed and written by Celine Sciamma, think ‘Little Women’ with story, nudity and depth. 

For the element of earth we must travel to the sun scorched land of the Australian outback and ‘The True History of the Kelly Gang’ starring the excellent George MacKay of ‘1917’ fame. 

It’s a story that’s been told many times before, but this is a fresh and anarchic punk version with a kicking soundtrack and a striking visual. 

Top performances from Nicholas Hoult and Russel Crowe also make this offering well worth the ticket price.

And finally to the hot air of Steve Coogan’s character in ‘Greed’, a Michael Winterbottom film about the excesses of capitalism and the obscene nature of wealth versus poverty. 

Coogan plays fictional billionaire clothing tycoon Richard MacCreadie, who is planning his 60th birthday on a Greek Island where some unfortunate immigrants have simultaneously managed to wash up. 

It could have struck the wrong tone between comedy and social commentary, but it just about manages to deliver the jokes while making a strong statement on sweatshop labour as well. An entertaining watch in a week full of quality films.

Paul O’Rourke

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