CLOSE and TO LESLIE review by EO

CLOSE

The innocence of childhood adventure, the brutality of intense emotions and the confusion and compelxity that arises when these two worlds are combined is so purely and intimately put together Lukas Dhont’s film. The way he weaves the charcaters through such devastating and confronting issues is seamless, yet intricate and measured. Each abrupt edit adds as a visual reminder of the bombastic nature of life as it ebbs and flows, whilst also lingering on the truly personal scenes, allowing for the characters silences to say more than their words ever could. Although the films contant and subject matter is difficult to watch (you will not leave this film happy) this is a film you should see before it’s time at The Pivotonian comes to a close. EO

TO LESLIE

A bitingly realistic and unapologetically raw story, To Leslie perfectly shows the the dark side of the American Dream and the low lows and cruelty that that life style can be. Oscar nominated Andrea Riseborough is a revelation in this highly underrated and underappreciated performance. This moving piece of cinema feels like a documentary at times, which is aided by the use of no huge name actors and very simple and lifelike production design with sets like the hotel and various houses correctly personifying the low socio-economic demographic displayed. This films low box office earnings means very few people have seen this, be amongst the lucky ones and see this beautiful film! EO

TÁR and THE WHALE reviews by EO

THE WHALE

The ‘Brenaissance’ is here! The return and rise of Brendan Fraser’s acting is in full display in The Whale. This film does have other areas to praise; like the interesting social commentary on the importance of feeling and spreading love and director Darren Aronofsky’s ability to keep the audience engaged given its one cramped and drab location, but the real powerhouse of this film is Fraser’s performance. Almost unrecognisable under all the convincing, Oscar nominated, make-up, Fraser deserves all the acclaim he has received. It truly is the favourite and most deserved winner of the Best Actor Oscar. Take the tissues if you see this film, you will have a wail of a time. EO

TÁR

After a long break from directing, Todd Field returns with this slow moving, yet riveting and intimate look into the mind of a determined musician. You may find yourself hating the titular character at times, but there’s no denying that you’ll love Cate Blanchetts performance of Lydia Tar. All of the awards our Aussie girl has won in the build up to the Oscars are absolutely warranted given her powerhouse of an orchestral performance. It would be disappointing if she was to lose the Academy Award. On a technical side of things, Tar’s cinematography is second to none. The angles aren’t too elaborate and the set ups aren’t too flashy, but it’s documentary like nature allows to feel fully invested in its slow moving build of a film. If you get the chance to conduct yourself to see this on the big screen, you must! EO

BANSHEES and TRIANGLE reviews by EO

THE TRIANGLE OF SADNESS

A bitingly realistic depiction of the world of modelling and the rich who dominate it, Triangle of Sadness is an oddly comical, yet profound must watch film. Winner of the Palme D’or at the Cannes Film Festival and nominated for three Academy Awards including Best Picture, Ruben Ostlund’s latest film weaves such outlandish and lavish charcaters through a perfectly paced ‘cruise’ of a film. The films confined spaces put you right in amongst the wild world of the rich and allows you to understand the charcaters on a much more personal level, both for better and for worse. Although perhaps not the favourite to win in any of the categories its nomineted in, it is definitely a noble inclusion. A wonderful film that leaves an impression long after the credits roll. EO

THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN

Never has the lush Irish landscape been captured so beautifully in film as it has in Martin McDonagh’s latest gem, The Banshees of Inisherin. To have it used as a backdrop to such a heartbreakingly human film feels somewhat ironic. What seems like such a simple synopsis of a friendship coming to an abrupt end, unravels into something so much more challenging and thought provoking, even existential at times. You would be hard pressed to find a film with more outstanding performances from an entire ensemble, with all of its four acting Oscar nominations very well deserved. A strong contender to take home the Best Picture Academy Award, if not the top contender. A highly recommended, well constructed, masterpiece that you must see before it leaves the cinema. EO

THE AZURIAL WINES presents… THE NIGHT OF THE 12TH

SPECIAL PRE-RELEASE SCREENING includes Glass of Wine on arrival

Sooner or later, every police investigator comes across a case that remains unsolved and that haunts him.

For Yohan, Clara’s murder proves to be that case. What starts as a thorough investigation into the victim’s life soon turns into a nagging obsession. One interrogation follows another, there is no shortage of suspects and Yohan has more and more doubts.

Only one thing is sure, the crime occurred on THE NIGHT OF THE 12th

Season commences daily from 27th October…

6th UKRAINIAN FILM FESTIVAL

OLGA Australian Premiere

Using real-life gymnasts to land his debut on solid ground, director Elie Grappe presents a compelling psychological portrait of a dedicated young athlete on the cusp of great success. Olga, which played at Critics Week in Cannes, packs in too much plot – the film would have vaulted home with far less. But there’s a grounded authenticity in this hermetically-sealed world of elite sports which should see the arresting Olga travel through festivals, making a name for its director and co-writer on the way. Perfectly timed with this year’s Olympics and the well-documented mental issues affecting the gymnasts there, Olga could catch itself on the bars of the zeitgeist and make a bid for theatrical exposure. Grappe’s film doesn’t feel a world away from last year’s Cannes Label title Slalom, although the threat to the lonely female athlete here – 15 year-old tough-as-nails Ukrainian gymnast Olga (Anastasia Budiashkina) – isn’t a sexual predator. Instead it’s her very identity: who is Olga, and what will she lose in order to take her shot at success? She’s so absurdly dedicated, and so breathtakingly talented, her teammates call her a robot. But she drives herself too hard, and there’s a breaking point.
Trailer viewable HERE


PAMFIR Direct from Cannes 2022

Leonid, nicknamed “Pamfir” – ‘stone’ – is a family man trying to live an honourable life in the Carpathian forest borderland between Ukraine and Romania, where smuggling seems to be the only real living. From working in Poland, Pamfir returns to his home village during the Malanka festival to see his wife Olena and teenage son Nazar, who misses him so much that he commits an act of extreme vandalism to keep his dad around. Now Pamfir’s in debt to the mob – and as he embarks on a fateful ‘last’ job, things are about to get primal in this Wild West–like corner of Ukraine. Coming to Melbourne from its stunning Directors’ Fortnight debut at Cannes, Pamfir announces a startling new talent in Ukrainian director Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk. Combining sardonic humour with oppressive atmosphere, the film skilfully borrows from the western, neo-noir and action genres. But it’s the specifically local textures – the children’s folk choir, the straw costumes, the scary wooden masks – that make it so much more satisfying and cinematically magnificent than your average Euro-crime thriller, presenting an unvarnished view of the country we’ve not seen until now.
Trailer viewable HERE


107 MOTHERS Direct from Cannes 2022
Merging reality with fiction, this Venice prize-winning film captures the challenges of life and motherhood as experienced by a Ukrainian prison’s female inmates, who are separated from their young children. Pregnant Lesya kills her husband and enters Odessa Correctional Facility Number 74 to serve a seven-year sentence. She gives birth inside, where the law permits her to keep her son, Kolya, for three years, after which he’ll be sent to an orphanage or to live with a willing relative. As Kolya’s third birthday approaches, a sympathetic prison warden – relentlessly criticised by her mother for being single and childless – encourages Lesya to mend her relationship with her own mother to avoid losing her son forever. Premiering to acclaim at the 2021 Venice International Film Festival, where it won the Orizzonti Award for Best Screenplay, this startling film is built on the real-life stories of 107 incarcerated women; Maryna Klimova, who plays Lesya, is the only professional actor in this female-only space. Blending documentary with performance, director Peter Kerekes (Velvet Terrorists) reveals a world of quiet routine that is authentic and uncompromising. 107 Mothers is bold and visionary, never sacrificing the human story at its core: one of maternal devotion, in its many guises, and the essential power of love.

Trailer viewable HERE


REFLECTION Direct from Cannes 2022

Ukraine, 2014. In the wake of the Maidan Revolution and the retaliatory Russian occupation of Crimea and the Donbas, taciturn surgeon Serhiy signs up to fight on the front line alongside his ex-wife’s macho new husband. On the battlefield, Serhiy attempts to use his medical expertise to save his comrades – often in vain. And after he is captured by separatist forces, he must bear witness to a waking nightmare of violence. When he is eventually released, Serhiy must reconcile his traumatic experiences with a return to everyday middle-class comfort and parenthood. Nominated for Venice’s Golden Lion, Valentyn Vasyanovych’s exquisite follow-up to his award-winning film Atlantis (MIFF 2020) is rendered through a series of vivid tableaux, whose splendour is tempered by the potent subtlety of lead actor Roman Lutskyi’s performance. While the film was completed prior to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, it is nonetheless achingly relevant to the country’s current plight, unflinchingly confronting the lingering psychological scars inflicted by war and its accompanying brutalities.
Trailer viewable HERE


HOME GAMES
With her addict stepfather spending his child support money on alcohol, 20-year-old Alina shoulders the responsibility for her young half-brother and half-sister. Alina’s mother and grandmother aren’t in any state to help, either. There’s never any cash, and they all live together in a shabby, cramped apartment in Kiev. Alina is a talented soccer player who practices in worn-out cleats that she’s sewn back together herself. When her mother dies, Alina’s cherished dream of a place on the national women’s soccer team becomes even more remote. Director Alisa Kovalenko skillfully maneuvers her camera around the apartment, staying close to this incredibly resilient young woman. Given the circumstances, it’s astonishing how much patience Alina has for her family, and how lovingly she cares for her little brother and sister—even when she has no choice but to take them with her to a training camp, or sell her own belongings to support them. Despite it all, she fights to keep her soccer dream alive.
Trailer viewable HERE


MR. JONES

1933: Gareth Jones is an ambitious young Welsh journalist who gained fame after his report on being the first foreign journalist to fly with Hitler. Whilst working as an advisor to Lloyd George, he is now looking for his next big story. The Soviet “utopia” is all over the news, and Jones is intrigued as to how Stalin is financing the rapid modernisation of the Soviet Union. On leaving his government role, Jones decides to travel to Moscow in an attempt to get an interview with Stalin himself. There he meets Ada Brooks, a British journalist working in Moscow, who reveals that the truth behind the regime is being violently repressed. Hearing murmurs of government-induced famine, a secret carefully guarded by the Soviet censors, Jones manages to elude the authorities and travels clandestinely to Ukraine, where he witnesses the atrocities of man-made starvation – millions left to starve – as all grain is sold abroad to finance the industrialising Soviet empire. Deported back to London, Jones publishes an article revealing the horrors he witnessed. But the starvation is denied by Western journalists reporting from Moscow, all under pressure from the Kremlin, including Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Walter Duranty. As death threats mount, Jones has to fight for the truth. Meeting a young author by the name of George Orwell, Jones shares his findings to inspire the great allegorical novel Animal Farm.
Trailer viewable HERE


NEVER GONNA SNOW AGAIN

One grey, foggy morning, a mysterious young man, Zhenia (Alec Utgoff, Stranger Things), crosses the border from the Ukraine into Poland, carrying only a massage table. When faced with a staid official at Warsaw’s immigration office, he secures the necessary residence permit by simply taking the man’s head in his huge, soft hands and massaging him into a trance. Zhenia soon establishes himself with the well-to-do residents of a suburban gated community of identical white McMansions, where his unique talents quickly become in demand. Among the clientele are Maria (Maja Ostaszewska), who finds a calm in Zhenia that her hostile children and husband don’t provide; derisive widow Ewa (Agata Kulesza, Ida) who lusts after the masseur in more ways than she’ll dare admit; a woman obsessed by her three bulldogs who pleads for them to also be treated, and Wika (Weonika Rosati), who has invested the last hopes for her cancer-stricken husband (Lukasz Simlat, Corpus Christi) in Zhenia’s seemingly magical fingertips. But as he navigates through the affairs, drinking, drug-taking and games of neighbourly one-upmanship, no one thinks to ask Zhenia about his own concerns, least of all his mysterious origins… Anchored by Utgoff’s utterly magnetic central performance, Szumowska and Englert’s study of class and modern malaise astutely blends magic realism with dark humour and stunning production design to often jaw-dropping effect. Following Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War and Jan Komasa’s Corpus Christi as Poland’s official entry to the Academy Awards, NEVER GONNA SNOW AGAIN is a striking jewel worthy of equal attention.
Trailer viewable HERE

Coming Soon: May-June 2022

ELVIS (from 23rd June)

A HERO (from 9th June)

THE DROVER’S WIFE (from 2nd June)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBDLRvjHVOY
SUNDOWN (from 2nd June)

EVERYTHING WENT FINE (from 26th May)

TO CHIARA (from 26th May)

HOW TO PLEASE A WOMAN (from 19th May)

WHEEL OF FORTUNE & FANTASY (from 12th May)

PETIT MAMAN (from 5th May)

Coming Soon: April-May 2022


TO CHIARA (from 26th May)
https://vimeo.com/664108716/de9fefd783
HOW TO PLEASE A WOMAN (from 19th May)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZLv4v4odkE
WHEEL OF FORTUNE & FANTASY (from 12th May)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pL1NL821Kb8
PETIT MAMAN (from 5th May)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdORAHCydyY
WASH MY SOUL IN THE RIVER’S FLOW (from 28th April)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuqPWTEONSA
I T H A K A (from 28th April)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKOu8ej0ewQ

Films in January 2022

THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD

Julie (Renate Reinsve) is turning thirty and her life is an existential mess. She is struggling to find her career path and her older boyfriend, Aksel (Anders Danielsen Lie) – a successful graphic novelist – is pushing for them to settle down. One night she gatecrashes a party and meets the young and charming Eivind (Herbert Nordrum). Before long she has broken up with Aksel and thrown herself into yet another new relationship, hoping for a new perspective on her life. But she will come to realise that some life choices are already behind her. Winner of the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival, THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD is a smart, sexy and funny coming-of-age drama from famed Norwegian director Joachim Trier.
Trailer viewable HERE


THE FRENCH DISPATCH

Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch brings to life a collection of stories from the final issue of an American magazine published in a fictional 20th-century French city. Written and directed by Wes Anderson, the film stars Benicio del Toro, Frances McDormand, Jeffrey Wright, Adrien Brody, Timothée Chalamet, Léa Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Mathieu Amalric, Lyna Khoudri, Stephan Park, Owen Wilson, Bill Murray, Liev Schrieber, Elisabeth Moss, Edward Norton, Willem Dafoe, Lois Smith, Saoirse Ronan, Christoph Waltz, Cécile de France, Guillaume Gallienne, Jason Schwartzman, Tony Revolori, Rupert Friend, Henry Winkler, Bob Balaban, Hippolyte Girardot, and Anjelica Houston.
Trailer viewable HERE


DELICIOUS
Writer/director Éric Besnard’s mouth-watering new historical comedy indelibly pairs Grégory Gadebois and Isabelle Carré as a gifted chef and his unlikely protégé, who must find the resolve to free themselves from servitude. In 1789 France, just prior to the Revolution, gastronomy is strictly the domain of the aristocrats; indeed, the prestige of a noble house is entirely dependent on the quality and reputation of its table. So, when the talented but prideful cook Manceron (Gadebois) serves an unapproved dish of his own creation at a dinner hosted by the self-entitled Duke of Chamfort (Benjamin Lavernhe), the repercussions are brutal, and he is promptly dismissed. The wounded Manceron swears off his passion and retreats with his son to a regional inn visited only infrequently by travellers, and where vegetable soup is the common meal. But when a mysterious woman (Carré) arrives and offers to pay to become his apprentice, the stage is set for a wildly enjoyable tale of reignited passion, mentorship and revenge… and of the creation of France’s very first restaurant. Joining the ranks of films such as ‘Big Night’, ‘Chocolat’ and ‘Babette’s Feast’ in its joyous depiction of the preparation and love of fine cuisine, DELICIOUS is just that.
Trailer viewable HERE

LICORICE PIZZA

From director Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood, Magnolia) LICORICE PIZZA is a coming of age comedy set in early 1970s California. Starring Alana Haim, Cooper Hoffman (son of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman), Bradley Cooper, Sean Penn, Tom Waits and Benny Safdie, Anderson’s latest feature is an awards season favourite.
Alana Kane (Haim) meets teenage actor and entrepreneur Gary Valentine (Hoffman) while working as a photographic portrait assistant during the dying days of the age of Aquarius. Drawn to the smooth-talking Gary’s confidence, Alana soon discovers a mature soul who’s well connected across the San Fernando Valley. Joining forces on a new business venture, their new friendship blossoms in unexpectedly positive ways.
Trailer viewable HERE


L I M B O

Nominated for two BAFTA® awards for Best British Film and Best Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer, LIMBO is a funny and poignant cross-cultural satire that subtly sews together the hardship and hope of the refugee experience.
Omar is a promising young musician. Separated from his Syrian family, he is stuck on a remote Scottish island awaiting the fate of his asylum request, and wanders the epic landscape searching for answers to a complex past and unknown future.
He may be stuck, but he is not alone. Omar and his new flatmates attend hilariously misjudged ‘cultural awareness’ classes. They binge the Friends boxset, debating whether Ross and Rachel were on a break. And Freddie Mercury-obsessed Farhad tries to convince Omar to participate in the local open mic night.
LIMBO deploys pitch perfect wit and crisp observation to shine a light on the hearts and lives of those at the centre of a crisis that most of us only experience through headlines.
Trailer viewable HERE


SPENCER
The marriage of Princess Diana and Prince Charles has long since grown cold. Though rumours of affairs and a divorce abound, peace is ordained for the Christmas festivities at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate. There’s eating and drinking, shooting and hunting. Diana knows the game. But this year, things will be a whole lot different. SPENCER is an imagining of what might have happened during those few fateful days.
SPENCER is directed by Pablo Larraín and stars Kristen Stewart, Timothy Spall, Sean Harris, Sally Hawkins, Jack Farthing.

Trailer viewable HERE

Now Showing: December ’21


THE FRENCH DISPATCH

Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch brings to life a collection of stories from the final issue of an American magazine published in a fictional 20th-century French city. Written and directed by Wes Anderson, the film stars Benicio del Toro, Frances McDormand, Jeffrey Wright, Adrien Brody, Timothée Chalamet, Léa Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Mathieu Amalric, Lyna Khoudri, Stephan Park, Owen Wilson, Bill Murray, Liev Schrieber, Elisabeth Moss, Edward Norton, Willem Dafoe, Lois Smith, Saoirse Ronan, Christoph Waltz, Cécile de France, Guillaume Gallienne, Jason Schwartzman, Tony Revolori, Rupert Friend, Henry Winkler, Bob Balaban, Hippolyte Girardot, and Anjelica Houston.
Trailer viewable HERE


MARJORIE LAWRENCE: THE WORLD AT HER FEET

Marjorie Lawrence was born in 1907 and grew up in Winchelsea, country Victoria, Australia, dreaming of becoming an opera star. She went to Paris to study singing in 1928 and became the greatest Wagnerian Soprano in France, before being lured to the USA to perform at the Metropolitan, where she famously rode her horse Grane into Siegfried’s pyre in a performance of Wagner’s Gotterdammerung. She also performed Salome at the Met, delivering an enticing “Dance of the Seven veils” that shocked and delighted New York audiences, winning critical acclaim. At the height of her career, Marjorie was tragically cut down by polio at the age of 33. Remarkably she partially recovered from the illness and continued singing in a wheelchair. In 1955 M-G-M made a movie of her life, “Interrupted Melody” starring Glenn Ford and Eleanor Parker, which won an Academy Award.
Trailer viewable HERE


BLUE BAYOU

From award-winning writer/director Justin Chon, Blue Bayou is the moving and timely story of a uniquely American family fighting for their future. Antonio LeBlanc (Chon), a Korean adoptee raised in a small town in the Louisiana bayou, is married to the love of his life Kathy (Alicia Vikander) and step-dad to their beloved daughter Jessie. Struggling to make a better life for his family, he must confront the ghosts of his past when he discovers that he could be deported from the only country he has ever called home.
Trailer viewable HERE


Z O L A
From acclaimed writer/director Janicza Bravo, Zola’s stranger than fiction saga, which she first told in a now iconic series of viral, uproarious tweets, comes to dazzling cinematic life. Zola (newcomer Taylour Paige), a Detroit waitress, strikes up a new friendship with a customer, Stefani (Riley Keough), who seduces her to join a weekend of dancing and partying in Florida. What at first seems like a glamorous trip full of “hoeism” rapidly transforms into a 48-hour journey involving a nameless pimp, an idiot boyfriend, some Tampa gangsters and other unexpected adventures in this wild, see-it-to-believe-it tale.

Trailer viewable HERE


THE POWER OF THE DOG
Severe, pale-eyed, handsome, Phil Burbank is brutally beguiling. All of Phil’s romance, power and fragility is trapped in the past and in the land: He can castrate a bull calf with two swift slashes of his knife; he swims naked in the river, smearing his body with mud. He is a cowboy as raw as his hides.
The year is 1925. The Burbank brothers are wealthy ranchers in Montana. At the Red Mill restaurant on their way to market, the brothers meet Rose, the widowed proprietress, and her impressionable son Peter. Phil behaves so cruelly he drives them both to tears, reveling in their hurt and rousing his fellow cowhands to laughter – all except his brother George, who comforts Rose then returns to marry her.
As Phil swings between fury and cunning, his taunting of Rose takes an eerie form – he hovers at the edges of her vision, whistling a tune she can no longer play. His mockery of her son is more overt, amplified by the cheering of Phil’s cowhand disciples. Then Phil appears to take the boy under his wing. Is this latest gesture a softening that leaves Phil exposed, or a plot twisting further into menace?

Trailer viewable HERE

Now Showing & Tickets

View our calendar and buy tickets to our upcoming movies on our Now Showing page.