PREDESTINATION (2014)

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“It’s never too late to be who you might have been.”

Directed and written by The Spierig Brothers (Michael and Peter) and filmed in Australia, this time travel adventure will undoubtedly rattle your brain and get you thinking but not without totally entertaining you. Based on the short story ‘All You Zombies’ by the famous sci-fi writer, Robert A Heinlein, this adaptation sticks very closely to the source material.

Ethan Hawke is The Barkeep who works for the temporal bureau, an agency that stops crimes before they happen; he has a mission that becomes clear as the film progresses. Sarah Snook is The Unmarried Mother who meets Hawke in a bar and begins to tell him her story. The joy in experiencing this story is the in the viewing, so no more plot for you, needless to say time travel is involved.

This sits comfortably with the Primers and Coherences of this world; low budget, whip-smart and very well written and realised.

This film belongs to Snook, who is given a chance to show off her range as a talent that we shall be definitely seeing more of. Hawke is, as usual, dependable and grounds the film with his acting skills and experience. Noah Taylor plays Mr Robertson, Hawke’s boss who keeps his cards close to his chest.

Predestination is a welcome addition to Australian film showing that with a little bit of intelligence, talent and skill, there is a place on the world’s cinema stage for the antipodeans. Of late, the Australian’s have failed to light up the world with anything other than local fare. Filled with American accents, this feels like an American film, albeit without the studio money behind it.

It should only be a matter of time before the big American studios take notice of the sibling directors, and Miss Snook will surely get a look in as well.

If you’re interested in an intelligent film that will both entertain and brush the cobwebs off your brain, then this one’s for you.

4/5

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BOYHOOD (2014)

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12 Years a Boy

Richard Linklater’s magnificent opus about the life of Mason played by Ellar Coltrane (cool surname), from 5 to 18 years old and his sister, Samantha, played by the director’s daughter, Lorelei Linklater took 12 years to film.

This remarkable coming of age drama is an incredibly successful experiment and such a joy to watch, at 165 minutes it never feels long, drawn out or filled with exposition. Linklater elicits wonderful performances from all involved and creates many beautiful moments. He filmed once or twice a year for 12 years and had a script that he kept malleable as he re-watched the previous years’ footage and utilised the actor’s changes and life lessons to inform and add to the constantly adaptable script.

It’s such a unique experience watching the children growing up during the duration of the film and what a joy it is. Already placing on critics ‘best of the year’ lists, this is well deserving of any awards that are and will come its way.

This is his most personal film being loosely based on his own experiences as a child and this comes through with bucketloads of charm and moments of truth and humanity. Starring his long-time collaborator, Ethan Hawke and with Patricia Arquette as Mason and Sam’s father and mother giving honest, truthful performances, Linklater had asked Hawke to take over filming if he died during the period.

Linklater is one of the most interesting directors working today, from his debut with Slacker through Dazed and Confused, School of Rock to the Before trilogy, he has shown himself to be an artist of incredible talent, consistent and constantly creating works of merit and mastery.

A must see.

Read an interview with the star, Ellar Coltrane at thefilmstage.com here

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4/5