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MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2018

THE REVIEWS

FESTIVAL FEATURE
LATEST REVIEWS
By Charlie David Page
29th July 2018

Celebrating its 67th year, The Melbourne International Film Festival has a jam-packed 2018 program. Featuring 254 feature films, 120 shorts and 19 virtual reality experiences, the festival will include 27 world premieres and 168 Australian premieres over 18 action-packed days of cinema.

The SWITCH team have done some of the hard work and checked out the best of this year's offerings. Take a look through our reviews below, and check back regularly as we add more throughout the festival.

Ava - Teenage self-discovery and sexual awakening in Southwest France
AVA
As a confrontational female coming-of-age tale, ‘Ava’ is a strong first film from Léa Mysius. It's visually stunning, and delivers a powerful indication of what is to come from the young director
The Field Guide to Evil - An uneven assortment of international terrors
THE FIELD GUIDE TO EVIL
The quality of the film is nebulous, and difficult to trace into patterns and arcs: a horror-dream or a familiar nightmare composed of images you’ve never seen before but that feel strangely familiar.
Hearts Beat Loud - An incomplete medley
HEARTS BEAT LOUD
All the elements are there - the cast, the music, the story - it just doesn’t know what to do with them. There's a beautiful heart and loveable characters, but not much else.
Mirai - A magical journey through childhood
MIRAI
As family entertainment, ‘Mirai’ is a leap ahead of most other animated films in cinemas.
Leave No Trace - Overflowing with hope and compassion
LEAVE NO TRACE
Simultaneously haunting and yet overflowing with hope, this is a beautiful film that offers something deeply compassionate: a story of a father and daughter that speaks truths about some large things.
The Insult - A brilliant examination of the nature of conflict
THE INSULT
Using masculine aggression as an allegory for escalating conflict, ‘The Insult’ raises interesting (and timely) questions that resonate well beyond the Middle East.
Wrath of Silence - Action-filled mystery and scathing social critique
WRATH OF SILENCE
If you’re looking for a clever noir mystery with plenty of brawling, with a script that tears into China’s social fabric, keep your eyes and ears peeled for ‘Wrath of Silence’.
Hard Paint - A colourful addition to cinema's queer comeback
HARD PAINT
It captures the isolation and loneness with its dark, ominous and vast yet isolated shots, and is magnified by newcomer Shico Menegat’s quiet, fresh and beautiful performance.
Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist - Punk's not dead
WESTWOOD: PUNK, ICON, ACTIVIST
A truly inspirational and fascinating look into a style icon, this is the story of her life, and it is a fascinating life to witness.
West of Sunshine - Struggle in the suburbs
WEST OF SUNSHINE
This is a little Australian film with an enticing story that falls flat in its execution. What could have been a gritty, poignant drama of life in the suburbs becomes a dry, dragging drudge.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post - A glimpse into a rarely-explored corner of darkness
THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST
A fascinating glimpse into a rarely-explored corner of darkness. Chloë Grace Moretz’s honest performance escalates this film into a formidable drama with revealing insight.
Thoroughbreds - A darkly amusing look at millennial dissatisfaction
THOROUGHBREDS
Everything about Cory Finley’s fiendishly clever, savagely funny directorial debut is precise: the words, shots, cuts, and the stealthily gliding movement of the camera.
The Night Eats the World - The horrors of loneliness
THE NIGHT EATS THE WORLD
This zombie film is not an action-packed gore-fest. Instead, it poses questions about the nature of humanity and loneliness.
The Cured - Melancholic social commentary, plus zombies
THE CURED
A suspenseful and intelligent horror movie with an enjoyably slow pace and melancholic palette.
Holiday - A sun-kissed and extremely brutal sociological thriller
HOLIDAY
An exploration of sexuality, threat and male violence from a female perspective, ‘Holiday’ is an extremely shocking, sociological thriller and an incredibly impressive debut.
Dark River - A haunting psychodrama
DARK RIVER
‘Dark River’ is a beautifully crafted, thoughtful film, with exceptional performances bolstering its gritty, albeit slightly grim, drama.
Three Identical Strangers - Triple the twists and turns
THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS
The story of these three men is remarkable and the film matches it, right until the last frame. It will have you hooked - it's simply unmissable.
First Reformed - A meticulous drama simultaneously stunning and ominous
FIRST REFORMED
For cinema with great impact, this is an impressive experience. With the dedication shown by Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried, it's an ominous contemplation on faith far beyond the realm of religion.
Undertow - Diving into the depths of obsession
UNDERTOW
A thoughtful, well-shot psychological drama that uses the natural beauty of its coastal setting to provide scope for symbolic interpretation and pull viewers down into its dark depths.
Cage-A-Thon - Ranking Nicolas Cage throughout the ages
CAGE-A-THON
Ready for more Nicolas Cage than you can handle? MIFF is holding a Cage-a-Thon for dedicated fans, showcasing his acting "skills" old and new - and SWITCH has rated each of the films included.
1% - A gang drama void of stakes
1%
This film is missing any real stakes, any real anticipation, any real tension. It’s an outdated concept of Australian storytelling, and audiences deserve much better.
Good Manners - Far from 'Twilight'
GOOD MANNERS
If bizarre, gruesome, sometimes lesbian, supernatural Brazilian films are your thing, ‘Good Manners’ will probably be right up your alley.
Lean on Pete - A journey to uncover love and connection
LEAN ON PETE
This film offers an all-too realistic glimpse at the struggles of life through the eyes of a fifteen-year-old boy. Delicately handled, it shows great control from a skilled cast and crew.
The Girl Without Hands - A dreamily animated survival story
THE GIRL WITHOUT HANDS
With an ethereal score and the deep, dark, dream logic of the Grimm fable upon which it is based, ’The Girl Without Hands’ is unlike any adult animated film you have seen before.
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