The Wellingtonista

Random stuff about Wellington since 2005

Cinephilia: Opening This Week

by Dan on October 18, 2007 in Film

Atonement posterThe best grown-up film of the year opens today. Atonement is directed by up-and-comer Joe Wright (Pride & Prejudice) and is adapted from the acclaimed novel by Ian McEwan. 12 year old Briony Tallis (played by Saoirse Ronan from Peter Jackson’s forthcoming The Lovely Bones) tells a terrible lie, condemning family friend Robbie Turner (James McAvoy) to prison and disgrace and her sister Cecilia (Keira Knightley) to heartbreak and loss. It takes a lifetime for Briony to atone. Atonement is playing at the Embassy, Readings, Penthouse, Lighthouse Petone and the Empire Island Bay.

New Zealand vampire thriller Perfect Creature gets a long-awaited cinema release, more than two years after completion. Directed by Glenn Standring (The Irrefutable Truth About Demons) and starring imports Dougray Scott and Saffron Burrowns along with locals Scott Wills and Robbie Magasiva, Perfect Creature offers us an alternative New Zealand known as Nuovo Zelandia where vampires and humans peacefully co-exist – until the balance is challenged by a renegade vampire known as Edgar (Leo Gregory). Readings, Embassy and Sky City Queensgate.

A kinder, gentler option is provided by Conversations With My Gardener from director Jean Becker (Children of the Marshlands). Daniel Auteuil plays an artist who returns to the family home to escape a messy divorce and renews a friendship with the old school mate (Jean-Pierre Darroussin) who tends his veggie garden. Penthouse and Lighthouse Petone.

Finally, the Italian Film Festival kicked off with a gala shindig at the Paramount last night. It runs for a fortnight and there’s plenty to keep you entertained.

Atonement and Conversations With My Gardener are reviewed at Funerals & Snakes, to be joined next week by Perfect Creature.

Dan Slevin

A refugee from Thatcher's Britain, 30 years ago Dan Slevin produced and hosted the Radio Active guide to cultural Wellington, Asleep At The Wheel. Since then he has bounced around various creative endeavours including co-owning and managing the Paramount between 2002 and 2005. For six years he was the Capital Times film reviewer and is now a regular contributor to RNZ on the Widescreen movie page and on Jesse Mulligan's afternoon programme. His collected film reviews can be browsed free of charge at Funerals & Snakes. His day job is Marketing and Communications Manager for Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School.

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