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Sandy’s Film Reviews

About me: John OShea at the Onslow College Film Club helped open my eyes to quality movies in the early 60s. Since then I was a regular at the Auckland Film Festival and later the Wellington Film Festival from 1983. My taste is very wide; currently documentaries (truth is very edgy), including blues music & other popular genres. Great films seen include the Iranian film The Separation and Marcel Ophuls Memory of Justice...and many more!
My website: Takaro.

601 Films have been rated or reviewed by Sandy.

11.611.6 (2013)
1 star (Turkey) Neither intelligent nor funny.
DVD $29.95
Like Father, Like SonLike Father, Like Son (2013)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Wealthy city–folk living well on a single income (unlike NZ) vs humble working–class folk from Okinawa. Complex & unpredictable – therefore interesting. Very sensitive interactions. More about the dysfunctional adults than about the swapped children.
Heiresses, TheHeiresses, The (2018)Recommended
1 star (Turkey) Gloomy, slow–moving & rather depressing.
DVD $29.95
Chaperone, TheChaperone, The (2018)
4 stars (Very Good) Much more than just froth! Norma Carlisle (Elizabeth McGovern)–the "Chaperone"–is complex, subtle & unexpectedly convincing. Louise Brooks' character is interesting & progressive. An interesting film about women's lives–privileged, but unhappy.
DVD $24.95
Two LivesTwo Lives (2012)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Slightly awkward pace reduces gripping plot. But so lovely to see the great Liv Ullman, acting since the 60s, here as Ase. Story is made overly complex by somewhat incoherent flashbacks. Better on a 2nd viewing.
DVD $29.95
Amazing GraceAmazing Grace (Amazing Grace: Aretha Franklin) (2019)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) Young Aretha at the height of her powers singing gospel in church at LA with her father and mentor there. Regarded as the finest–ever film on Aretha by far, but she refused to release it during her lifetime. Top quality reprocessed sound and visuals.
DVD $24.95
Jacquot De NantesJacquot De Nantes (1991)
1 star (Turkey) Remarkably well–dressed 1930s working–class kids play around lots of flash cars with unworn tires. As with so many French movies today, the decoration diverts the theme, if any.
Human TracesHuman Traces (2017)
1 star (Turkey) Tubbs discerns the theme of this appalling film as profound, instead of obvious. This incoherent melodrama should never have been funded. Partly shot on Campbell I, other fauna is thrown in willy–nilly. A silly distortion of interesting reality.
Wild RoseWild Rose (2018)Recommended
5 stars (Exceptional) Outstanding British movie, terrific acting & a powerful story, not simplistic. A hard drama on the lives of women, realistic, no romance. Overall a really great movie on all levels. Producer Faye Ward & writer Nicole's extras esp. interesting.
DVD $24.95
Sometimes Always NeverSometimes Always Never (2018)
5 stars (Exceptional) Extremely clever. Much more than just a comedy but about how people of different ages see the same events and cope in their different ways. Very quiet, very English & intense. A great minimalist movie, complex & subtle. I loved Nighy's jersey!
DVD $24.95

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