Film Screening 27th May, 2016

Poster for 45 Years

45 Years 

7:30 PM, 27th May, 2016

  • M
  • 95 mins
  • 2015
  • Andrew Haigh
  • Andrew Haigh
  • Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay, Geraldine James, Dolly Wells

There have been many good films made from short stories. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Brokeback Mountain and Jindabyne are just some examples from the past decade. 45 Years, adapted from the short story “In Another Country” by David Constantine, is now up there as one of the best.

We are spending a week in the lead-up to the 45th wedding anniversary celebrations of childless contented couple Kate (Rampling) and Geoff (Courtenay) Mercer. At the start of the week, Geoff gets news of the passing of a former girlfriend, and this brings to the forefront the doubts, insecurities and jealousies that lay under the surface of this seemingly ideal relationship.

Director and screenwriter Andrew Haigh brought us the wonderful film Weekend a few years ago. Simplified as ‘the gay Before Sunrise’, this film showed that he had a handle on the beginnings of an intimate relationship. With 45 Years, he shows that he also understands the complexities at the other end. Both Rampling and Courtenay give the best performances of their long and illustrious careers (both won prizes at last year’s Berlin Film Festival for these roles), mainly because Haigh trusts them to deliver without pushing them into histrionics (all the emotions are played out on the actors’ faces). And the ending is absolutely gutting.

There is little doubt that 45 Years will become a classic in years to come, so make sure you catch it early.

Travis Cragg

Poster for 99 Homes

99 Homes 

9:15 PM, 27th May, 2016

  • M
  • 113 mins
  • 2014
  • Ramin Bahrani
  • Ramin Bahrani, Amir Naderi
  • Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon, Laura Dern, Noah Lomax

The Nash family – hardworking young father Dennis (Garfield), his young son (Lomax) and their scatterbrained grandmother (Dern) – have fallen on hard times. Dennis’s construction work has dried up and before he knows it, they are evicted from their home by hard-as-nails property developer Rick Carver (Shannon).

The family moves into a motel, where they meet families in similar circumstances. Spurred on by their desperate situation, a stalwart Dennis starts working for Carver, who recognises and preys on his jack-of-all-trades talent, hardworking nature and loyalty. Determined to do whatever it takes to regain his home and redeem himself in the eyes of his family, Dennis goes about doing unto others (and empty homes) what was done to him and worse: knocking on doors, pinning up eviction notices, stealing and fraud.

Carver is a philandering family man who lives an ostentatious life, with no qualms about anything, and the square-jawed Michael Shannon plays him to perfection. If you haven’t seen Shannon before, then you owe it to yourself to see his many underrated performances in such films as Take Shelter.

Will Dennis turn into Carver’s protégé? Are there any repercussions to the kind of work they do? What types of people get that dreaded knock at their door? Be sure to watch this thrilling and devastating film, and realise how lucky you are and how feeble your values and foundations could be.

Carol Christopher