Silver Screen Queens

Reviewing movies and the culture that surrounds them.

This podcast is no longer in production.

194: A United Kingdom

Published 1 February 2017 • 39 minutes, 24 seconds

After a promising debut with Belle, Amma Assante is back with another little-told piece of black history. The real-life story of Seretse Khama, a prince and ruler of Botswana, and his white English wife Ruth Williams, it features the excellent David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike and makes the most of its glorious African location. Unfortunately, like Belle, it suffers a bit from under-done pacing and storytelling.

193: Jackie

Published 25 January 2017 • 51 minutes

Natalie Portman’s second Oscar campaign is afoot, for this portrayal of former US First Lady Jackie Kennedy in the minutes and days following her husband’s assassination. The acting is top notch, and some moments in the film are extremely effective in capturing shocking, traumatic grief, but it does start to drag towards the end, as the amount of material struggles to fill it’s short run time.

192: Moonlight

Published 18 January 2017 • 36 minutes, 23 seconds

This gentle, beautiful film has been generating a lot of buzz, and it’s absolutely justified. It’s the story of a boy, Chiron, dealing with some pretty tough circumstances and overwhelming feelings as a child, a teenager and as a young adult. Born to an abusive, addicted mother, and in love with his (male) best friend, this immersive story puts you right in Chiron’s shoes, delivering a transportive experience.

191: La La Land

Published 11 January 2017 • 33 minutes, 22 seconds

The early awards season favourite LA LA LAND arrived in Australia on Boxing Day, and being big musical fans, we were there for it. While it isn’t the masterpiece some people seem to think, it does have its moments. It is helmed by the technically dazzling Damien Chazelle (WHIPLASH) and features the talented John Legend in a small role. It’s let down, however, by the lack of singing and dancing skills of its otherwise charming and charismatic leads.

190: Moana

Published 4 January 2017 • 30 minutes, 38 seconds

Disney’s latest animated adventure finally arrived in Australia on Boxing Day 2016, and we were first in line to see it. It turns out, however, that we kind of disagree on this one, apart from the magnificence of The Rock, who puts in a star turn as the demi-god, Maui. It’s fun, cute and you should definitely take your kids to see it over the holidays, but it’s probably not the same modern classic that Frozen has become.

189: Lion

Published 28 December 2016 • 41 minutes, 56 seconds

We caught an early screening of Nicole Kidman’s latest Oscar bait. This movie has some good elements (the acting is excellent, and it’s not only Kidman who should be in contention), but is let down by un-engaging storytelling. It’s notable for its focus on the story of the adoptee rather than his parents, and doesn’t shy away from the more problematic aspects, but would have benefitted from a more dynamic structure.

188: Live Episode: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Published 21 December 2016 • 33 minutes, 53 seconds

The long-awaited Star Wars spin-off film has arrived, so we decided to watch it with an audience. This gritty film really focuses in on the ‘war’ part of Star Wars, following a band of rebels as they steal the plans to the original Death Star in the days before the beginning of STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE. Recorded live at Palace Cinemas in Canberra; special thanks to Daniel ‘Jelly’ Farrelly for the sound production.

187: Queen of Katwe

Published 14 December 2016 • 45 minutes, 19 seconds

Disney Princess Lupita N’yongo uses her power for good, teaming up with the legendary Mira Nair to tell the story of Ugandan chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi’s rise from the slum of Katwe to chess master. It’s an inspirational kids sports movie with a twist, featuring the extraordinary talents of Ms N’yongo and David Oyelowo, and it’s well worth your time.

186: Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

Published 7 December 2016 • 1 hour, 24 minutes

Another of our occasional ventures into television as we cover the Gilmore Girls reunion show. There’s something nice and comfortable about hanging out in Stars Hollow, with all your quirky faves. It may be problematic, but at least it’s a problematic fave.

185: Arrival

Published 30 November 2016 • 39 minutes, 47 seconds

This Amy Adams/Jeremy Renner sci-fi has been getting great word of mouth, so we check it out. If you haven’t seen it yet, we recommend you do so before listening to this episode, because it really is best enjoyed unspoiled.