As winter's cruel fingers force politicians from Canberra and the rest of us onto ski-fields and in front of cosy fireplaces, film studios are releasing an enticing selection of films to pry Aussies away from warm homes and into warm cinemas. Feel the special joy of your first choc-top of the season, savoured from the plush, red leather seats facing a screen large enough to display our national debt. This month, colourful fish, a friendly giant, an historic heroine and a few good Americans offer your best bet for a 2-hour weekend escapade in June.
13 years after Finding Nemo, the story of a colourful fish and his adventures with equally colourful characters was released, the sequel will arrive. Nemo is still the best-selling DVD of all time and the next chapter promises to captivate a new generation of CGI-cartoon fans. Dory, voiced by Ellen deGeneres, helped rescue Nemo, the comical clownfish with much of the action occurring in Sydney Harbour. She returns now to find her own family, exploring the coastline of California. The new edition also features an outstanding cast of voice talent, including Diane Keaton (Annie Hall), Willem Dafoe (The Hunter), Sigourney Weaver (Avatar, Aliens), Idris Elba (Luther) and Kaitlin Olson (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia).
Queen of the Desert (image by Atlas Distribution Co.)
Gertrude Bell's life exceeds the most vivid imaginations of many authors of fictional adventures. In her 57 years of earth, she was a writer, traveller, political officer, administrator, spy and archaeologist. During her exploits in the Middle East, she rivalled T.E. Lawrence as a powerful and positive influence in the region. Her sharp intelligence focused via piercing blue-green eyes, shaped the modern state of Iraq in the 1920s and created a bond of trust with the locals that few foreigners have replicated, before or since. One of her archaeologist peers, D.G. Hogarth, described her legacy: No woman in recent time has combined her qualities – her taste for arduous and dangerous adventure with her scientific interest and knowledge, her competence in archaeology and art, her distinguished literary gift, her sympathy for all sorts and condition of men, her political insight and appreciation of human values, her masculine vigour, hard common sense and practical efficiency – all tempered by feminine charm and a most romantic spirit."
Queen of the Desert brings her story to the cinema. Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge) has been praised for her portrayal of Gertrude, joined by Damien Lewis (Homeland), James Franco (127 Hours) and Robert Pattinson (Twilight), with Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man) directing.
BFG – June 30 The magic of Roald Dahl's classic childhood tale of the Big Friendly Giant is finally arriving at the cinema, directed by Steven Spielberg (E.T.) and released by the vast Disney studios. While his peers actually eat children, the BFG is too kind-hearted, forming an unlikely friendship with Sophie to stop the evil giants. The BFG is played by Mark Rylance (Thomas Cromwell in Wolf Hall and Rudolf Abel in Bridge of Spies).
Money Monster – June 2 Continuing the genre of claustrophobic thrillers including Panic Room, Phone Booth, Buried and The Negotiator, Jodie Foster (Panic Room, Contact, Taxi Driver, Silence of the Lambs) directs Money Monster, a tense financial struggle acting as psuedo-therapy for anyone burnt by the GFC or the Big Banks. George Clooney (Michael Clayton) and Julia Roberts (Pretty Woman) star as host and producer of a financial news and analysis show. George's tips for the stock market lead a tragic investor to recoup his losses, live on TV. Even though they're missing the gang of A-listers from the Ocean's trilogy, recent publicity at Cannes highlights how much Julia and George enjoyed filming, hopefully resulting in a worthy addition to the genre.
Independence Day Resurgence (image by 20th Century Fox)
Independence Day: Resurgence – June 23 20 years ago, Independence Day was released on July 4, becoming one of the most successful blockbuster sci-fi films in history. Reminiscent of H.G. Wells' classic novel, The War of the Worlds, the film is about a group of survivors responding to an alien invasion. The sequel arrives in June, featuring another more advanced alien attack despite humanity's enhanced defence capabilities. Will Smith starred in the original but an Aussie, Liam Hemsworth (Home and Away, The Hunger Games), will lead the fight this time. He's joined by Bill Pullman (Spaceballs), guaranteed to give another stirring presidential speech, rivalling the best oratory of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Vivica Fox (Kill Bill), Jeff Goldblum (The Fly) and Brent Spiner (Star Trek: The Next Generation).
Went to see the Movie "Queen of the Dessert" - it was the worst movie I have seen for a very long time. Nicole Kidman is a tragically bad actor. Why on earth do Directors continue to use her. The male supporting actors were very weak and a mixed bunch. Do yourself and the world a favour and give your money to a homeless person rather than waste your time going to this movie. TERRIBLE.