NZ Film Festival Special: 5 Festival Picks
Metro arts editor Frances Morton selects five more films she’s specially looking forward to.
1. Director Richard Linklater has already demonstrated his ability to probe the passage of life with his swoony yet stinging Before Midnight (and other times) series starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. Now he presents Boyhood, a movie shot over 12 years in which the lead character ages from six to 18. I’m expecting a brilliant version of those mash-up YouTube videos where parents take a picture of their kid every day, with way more story and more Ethan Hawke (Linklater’s close collaborator).
2. As a long-time fan of Auckland actor Morgana O’Reilly, I’m excited to see her star in Housebound as a convicted crim under home detention in a possibly haunted house. The tight premise is the ingenious idea of director Gerard Johnstone, who made the film through the Film Commission’s super-low-budget Escalator scheme. Housebound got a warm reception when it premiered at SXSW and has already picked up a distribution deal in the States. It also features Glen-Paul Waru, another local actor I’d love to see more of.
3. With its glossy mansions and sparkling beaches, Waiheke is begging for the big-screen treatment. A cliff-top glass box makes a stunning location for this tense-looking drama in which three kids break into a house and hold its owner captive. Orphans and Kingdoms is another product of the Escalator scheme, this time from a pair of experienced actors, director Paolo Rotondo and producer Fraser Brown.
4. There’s a very strong Australian line-up in the festival, with new films by Warwick Thornton (Samson and Delilah) and Rolf de Heer plus a documentary from the duke of dark beauty, Nick Cave. I’m welcoming the second feature by David Michôd, whose chilling debut Animal Kingdom was one of my festival highlights in 2010. In The Rover, Michôd teams up again with Guy Pearce for a post-apocalyptic road movie (because where better than Australia to shoot one of those?) Oddly, Robert Pattinson also stars.
5. It’s a puzzle why there are so few complex female roles in cinema when you see the force of an actress like Marion Cotillard in motion. She was brilliantly fierce in Rust and Bone a couple of years ago and now, in Two Days One Night, she plays a French factory worker who has a weekend to convince her colleagues to forfeit their bonuses so she can keep her job.