Based on the best-selling novel by Rosalie Ham, THE DRESSMAKER is a bittersweet, comedy drama set in early 1950s Australia. Tilly Dunnage (KATE WINSLET), a beautiful and talented misfit, after many years working as a dressmaker in exclusive Parisian fashion houses, returns home to the tiny middle-of-nowhere town of Dungatar to right the wrongs of the past. Not only does she reconcile with her ailing, eccentric mother Molly (JUDY DAVIS) and unexpectedly falls in love with the pure-hearted Teddy (LIAM HEMSWORTH), but armed with her sewing machine and incredible sense of style, she transforms the women of the town and in so doing gets sweet revenge on those who did her wrong.
Series 1: Big landscapes and stunning scenery, this is the Australian outback, specifically the town of Patterson. When two farmhands Marley, a local Indigenous boy and Reese, a backpacker go missing from a cattle station, Indigenous detective Jay Swan (Aaron Pedersen) is sent to this remote town to investigate. Loner Jay must work with smart, tough local cop Emma James (Judy Davis). He also has to deal with the arrival of his daughter Crystal, who's run away from her own trouble at home, and his ex-wife Mary who comes after her. As Jay and Emma investigate Marley and Reese's relationships and secrets they soon find themselves unpeeling the hidden layers of the town s dark history, becoming embroiled in a deep mystery that will send shockwaves through the community. Series 2: Aaron Pedersen (Jack Irish, A Place to Call Home) reprises his signature role as Detective Jay Swan in this visually striking (TV Guide) mystery set in the Australian outback. When a decapitated body is found in the mangroves of a coastal town, Jay teams up with local constable Fran Davis (Jada Alberts, Wentworth) to investigate the crime. Soon a nearby archaeologist (Sofia Helin, The Bridge) makes a find that could help with the case, but she conceals it for fear of shutting down her dig site. Facing obstruction at every turn and a rising body count, Jay must expose the web of corruption plaguing the town. Winner of five AACTA Awards, including Best Television Drama Series, as well as awards from the Australian Directors Guild and the Australian Writers Guild, this acclaimed mystery series is Australia s answer to True Detective (Junkee.com).
Who Dares Wins starring Lewis Collins Edward Woodward and Richard Widmark is an uncompromising and exciting action thriller which dramatises the activities of the SAS. When a British government undercover agent is assassinated a radical anti-nuclear group is held responsible. SAS agent Skellen is called upon to infiltrate the group and put an end to their terrorist activities. However the group raids the American embassy and Skellen from within the residence must use his skill and courage to support and guide his SAS colleagues. It will require the full force of the world's most lethal fighting unit to save the lives of several high-ranking hostages...
It's suspected that a peace/anti-nuke organization in UK has some extremists willing to use terrorism. The action will probably be against an embassy in London. The SAS/Special Air Service try to get the organization infiltrated.
In an uncanny piece of art imitating life, Who Dares Wins came out in 1982 just after the infamous storming of the Iranian Embassy by the legendary British Special Air Services (SAS) unit. The plot builds up to that unshakeable image of black-clad troops abseiling the front of a stately home and smashing through the windows, and pays off expectations with a thrilling finale. Anyone expecting two hours of military instruction will be disappointed however. After the opening 10 minutes with the troops, the almost James-Bond-like story follows Lewis Collins (riding high in those days after TV's The Professionals) as he infiltrates a radical anti-Nuclear society. Operation: Destroy requires him to go undercover with their potentially insane leader Frankie (Judy Davis), ignoring his wife and child. The period detail is often the film's most entertaining feature as Collins tours across 1980s London constantly eluding spies on his tail. Apart from the endless permed hairdos and the fact that the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament hasn't got much to demonstrate about these days, there's the fashions and low-tech gadgetry to enjoy. In the US the film was called The Final Option. The DVD includes a photo gallery, and a history of the SAS. --Paul Tonks
A Passage to India, David Lean's adaptation of EM Forster's mysterious tale of racism in colonial India, turned out to be the master director's final film. Subtle and grand at the same time, Lean's adaptation is faithful to the book, rendering its blend of the mystical and the all-too human with exquisite precision. Judy Davis plays a young British woman travelling in India with her fiancé's mother. While visiting a tourist attraction, she has a frightening moment in a cave--one that she eventually spins from an instant of mental meltdown into a tale of a physical attack that ruins several lives. Lean captures Forster's sense of awe at the kind of ageless wisdom and inexplicable phenomena to be encountered in India, as well as the British tendency to dismiss it all as savage, rather than simply different. --Marshall Fine
The story behind one of the greatest paintings ever created traces the relationship between Dutch master Johannes Vermeer and his lowly maid, Griet.
Kirsten Dunst stars as the ill-fated Queen of France in this lavish epic.
Based upon E. M. Forster's best-selling novel this scintillating period drama follows a rich Edwardian widow (Helen Mirren) who marries a handsome Tuscan dentist (Rupert Graves) but dies in childbirth. Her English family travel to Italy in order to bring the child back home to England but are unprepared for what unfolds.
From the acclaimed director of Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago and The Bridge on the River Kwai, A Passage To India was Sir David Lean's last ever feature film and a winner of two Oscars®.
New York, 1941. Socially conscious script writer Barton Fink (John Turturro) has been a big hit on Broadway. Now Tinsel Town is taking notice. Hired by Hollywood to write a wrestling picture, Barton quits the city smog for movie stardom. L.A. has got the Barton Fink feeling. Barton Fink has got writer's block. Enlisting the help of able assistant Audrey (Judy Davis), and amiable neighbour Charlie Meadows (John Goodman), Fink finds the real-life inspiration he seeks comes from the most sinister of sources. From master movie makers the Coen Brothers (Blood Simple, No Country For Old Men), comes the unanimously acclaimed Barton Fink. The biting, offbeat story of Hollywood heartache, faceless movie moguls and headless corpses.
Judy Davis stars in Gillian Armstrong's breakthrough, a period romance as unconventional as its brash heroine. For her awardwinning breakthrough film, director Gillian Armstrong (Little Women) drew on teenage author Miles Franklin's novel, a celebrated turnofthetwentiethcentury Australian comingofage story, to brashly upend the conventions of period romance. Headstrong young Sybylla Melvyn (Judy Davis, in a starmaking performance), bemoans her stifling life in the backcountry, where her writerly ambitions receive little encouragement, and craves independence above all else. When a handsome landowner (Jurassic Park's Sam Neill), disarmed by her unruly charms, begins to court her, Sybylla must decide whether she can reconcile the prospect of marriage with the illustrious life's work she has imagined for herself. Suffused with generous humour and a youthful appetite for experience, My Brilliant Career is a luminous portrait of an ardently free spirit. Features: New, restored 4K digital transfer, approved by director Gillian Armstrong, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack Audio commentary from 2009 featuring Armstrong New interview with Armstrong Interview from 1980 with actor Judy Davis New interview with production designer Luciana Arrighi One Hundred a Day (1973), a student short film by Armstrong Trailer PLUS: An essay by critic Carrie Rickey
Between Heaven and Hell There's Always Hollywood! John Turturro shines in the lead role in Barton Fink the Coen Brothers' (Miller's Crossing Fargo) hilarious satire set in the 1940s Hollywood. Fink is a New York playwright who reluctantly relocates to Hollywood to write screenplays. Ordered to write a low budget screenplay about wrestling Fink manages to type one sentence and then...nothing! Although his chatty insurance salesman neighbour Charlie (John Goodman) helps out by teaching Fink about wrestling the clock ticks the temperature rises and Fink's life spins more and more out of control. Barton Fink received three 1991 Oscar nominations-(Best Supporting Actor-Michael Lerner Best Art Direction/Set Direction and Best Costume Design) and also won Best Actor (Turturro) and Best Director (Joel Coen) as well as the coveted Palme d'Or at Cannes.
Director Clint Eastwood's 1997 box-office hit stars himself as Luther Whitney, a highly skilled thief who finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, witnessing the murder of a woman involved in a secret tryst with the US president (played by Gene Hackman). Determined to clear his name, Whitney cleverly eludes a tenacious detective (Ed Harris) while investigating a corruption of power reaching to the highest level of government. Adapted by veteran screenwriter William Goldman from David Baldacci's novel, this thriller balances expert suspense with well-drawn characters and an intelligent plot that's just a pounding heartbeat away from real White House headlines. Absolute Power features the great Judy Davis in a memorable supporting role as the White House chief of staff who desperately attempts to cover up the crime. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
The Man Who Sued God defies simple definition, managing to be several types of movie all at the same time. As a theological-romantic-comedy-drama, it's in a somewhat unique category all of its own. Perhaps only Billy Connolly could carry off a central role that combines slapstick with raging anger, puppy-dog disappointment and strong language delivered in his distinctive accent. These facets of performance are used and abused in a tale that feels like it really ought to be based on a true story, but isn't. Connolly's life as a fisherman is sunk by the destruction of his boat by a bolt of lightning. The insurance company won't pay up because it falls under that age-old excuse of being an "Act of God". So Connolly decides to sue the deity. The premise raises issues about how the law and the church have apparently conspired together. But at heart the film is a simple character study, so any pondering on legal or theological implications will have to be done on your own time; the screen is occupied with family issues, underhand dealings and a maybe-maybe romance with Judy Davis. Big Yin fans at least will enjoy the Connolly's composite character. --Paul Tonks
Johnny Worricker (Bill Nighy) is a long-serving M15 officer. His boss and best friend Benedict Baron (Michael Gambon) dies suddenly, leaving behind him an inexplicable file, threatening the stability of the organization. Meanwhile, a seemingly chance encounter with Johnny's striking next-door neighbour and political activist Nancy Pierpan (Rachel Weisz) seems too good to be true. Johnny is forced to walk out of his job, and then out of his identity to find out the truth. Set in London and Cambridge, Page Eight is a contemporary spy film for the BBC, which addresses intelligence issues and moral dilemmas peculiar to the new century.
A collection of classic films from famed British director David Lean. Bridge On The River Kwai (1957): When British P.O.W.s build a vital railway bridge in enemy occupied Burma Allied commandos are assigned to destroy it in David Lean's epic World War II adventure The Bridge on the River Kwai. Spectacularly produced The Bridge on the River Kwai captured the imagination of the public and won seven 1957 Academy Awards including Best Picture Be
Caustic wit gets a full-body workout in this 1994 comedy (known as The Ref in the US), in which a cat burglar (Denis Leary) gets trapped in an affluent Connecticut neighbourhood and is forced to hold a bickering couple hostage on Christmas Eve, only to discover that their Yuletide spirit is anything but cheerful. Caroline (Judy Davis) and her husband, Lloyd (Kevin Spacey), have been at each other's throats for so long that they've developed domestic arguments into an art form, and the would-be kidnapper turns into a reluctant mediator, even after he's got the battling couple wound up in bungee cords. The situation grows even more complicated when the couple's smart-aleck son comes home from military school, but it's not the plot here that's a top priority. Instead it's the sheer pleasure of witnessing a three-way verbal jousting match, written with razor-sharp skill and delivered by actors who are perfect for their roles. The movie's got a dark edge, but it never gets too dark--you know that it's not going to slide into more seriously damaging territory, so you can sit back and enjoy the volleys of scathing insults and sarcasm the way you would a Bill Hicks performance. If that sounds like your idea of entertainment, Hostile Hostages will serve it up with style. --Jeff Shannon
Woody Allen roared back at his detractors with Deconstructing Harry, a bitterly funny treatise about the creative process. Known to mine his often tumultuous personal life for his movies, the embattled writer-director-star didn't bother to make his alter ego likable in this movie: Harry Block (Allen) pops pills, frequents prostitutes and cheats on the women in his life, then writes about their foibles in thinly disguised fiction. No wonder they're all furious with him. As Harry journeys to his alma mater with a hooker, ill pal and kidnapped son, a series of flashbacks unravel, juxtaposing Harry's relationships with their "slightly exaggerated" fictional counterparts. There are amusing cameos throughout, including a humorous turn by Demi Moore as a fictitious ex-wife who "became Jewish with a vengeance" and Billy Crystal as the devil who found Hollywood too nasty for his liking. The humour is dark and caustic but well worth it; Deconstructing Harry is a near-brilliant meditation on the sometimes queasy relationship between art, creator and critic.--Diane Garrett
Critics greeted Woody Allen's 1990 opus Alice with sighs of resignation. Here was yet another of Allen's bemused heroines-at-a-crossroads/crisis, falling prey to all kinds of temptation and fantasy and emerging at the other end a more complete, fulfilled or at least self-aware human being. But, though it's a minor work by his highest standards, it has weathered rather well. This is a softer exploration of territory Allen had previously covered rather more intensely and seriously in Another Woman (1988). It's often very funny and ultimately affirms one of Allen's most persistent themes: however confused you think you are, the answer probably lies somewhere inside you rather than in anybody else. As Alice, Mia Farrow gives one of her most versatile and unmannered performances, revealing a real gift for comedy. However bitter the breakdown of her long personal relationship with Allen, there is no doubt that he took her to new professional heights in their cinematic collaborations. At the start, Alice is little more than a well-heeled housewife and mother, a lady who lunches with bitchy friends. Her dissatisfaction with her marriage (to patronising rich guy William Hurt) leads her into the path of Chinese herbalist Dr Yang, whose potions set her off on a series of experiences which include the affair she has been considering, becoming invisible (cue some great gags, especially one involving a New York cab) and a brief flirtation with opium (here Allen's trademark soundtrack of old standards includes the evocative "Limehouse Blues"). There's also some great dialogue. "He's very deep," says Farrow of her putative lover (Joe Mantegna). "Yeah, and very deep is where he wants to put it", cracks back her visiting muse (a glittering cameo from Bernadette Peters). On the DVD: Presented in widescreen (1.85:1) format with a Dolby Digital stereo soundtrack, Alice on DVD replicates the hallmark intimacy of Allen's films in the cinema with good picture and lush sound quality (the importance of his romantic, referential musical choices should never be underestimated). There are no extras, apart from the original theatrical trailer. --Piers Ford
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