What a couple of weeks it has been! 2015’s Melbourne International Film Festival saw some of most intriguing and groundbreaking films from Australia and around the world. A diverse range of some of the best cinema of the year delighted crowds in Melbourne with everything from ambitious documentaries to indie darlings to studio pictures getting a run throughout the city. As many of the films that we saw will be released in time full reviews will be held for release, but why not have a look at a few of our top picks from MIFF 2015.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, assistant director on Oscar winner Argo, brings this Jesse Andrews novel and screenplay to the big screen with absolutely brilliant results. Led by a budding young class including Thomas Mann as Greg Gaines, the socially awkward high schooler just trying to get through life, and Olivia Cooke as Rachel otherwise known as “the Dying Girl”. With a great supporting cast including Nick Offerman and Jon Bernthal, you get the entire emotion spectrum from its sharp 105 minutes. A true stand out of the festival and a must see when it is widely released.
As a follow up to 2009’s The Cove, Louie Psihoyos has delivered yet another eye opening depiction of the human influence on our planet. Relentlessly captivating Racing Extinction depicts how we are negatively impacting earth, from what we eat to how we survive. Psihoyos goes from one strength to another and shows what utter passion and determination to make a difference can produce. What comes of this is a documentary that will stand the test of time, providing a sensational and horrifying truth into the human impact on the world from food production to transport.
Jason Schwartzman and Adam Scott play two entirely different men whose families come together after meeting at the park with their children. A friendly dinner turns into a transformative night for Alex (Scott). Despite Emily’s (Taylor Schilling) calls for the night to maybe wind up, the mind and body expansion continues with hilarious results. Schwartzman and Scott play off each other perfectly, one of comedies most eccentric and exuberant performers along with possibly the industry’s best comedy straight man; the perfect combination. A real winner that shows that the sex-comedy can still be fresh and fun.
The Diary of a Teenage Girl
One of those bold, almost awkward films that will make you squirm in your seat. The Diary of a Teenage Girl is mature and thought provoking, funny when you don’t think it should be and just uncomfortable to watch. Marielle Heller’s debut film is daring and its cast including Alexander Skarsgård, Kristen Wiig and second time feature of Bel Powley, are fantastic in making everything that is wrong about this movie as good as it is. It also manages to get some thoroughly deserved Christopher Meloni points, any Elliot Stabler sighting is a winner for me.
Stay tuned throughout the next couple of months for full reviews as many MIFF films get full releases and our full review. Thanks again to the festival for allowing us to cover our favourite time of the year!