The Wellington Film Guide

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Cinemas of New Zealand

 T H I S   W E E K   I N   W E L L I N G T O N

T H U R S D A Y   1 4   J A N U A R Y  -
  W E D N E S D A Y   2 0   J A N U A R Y   2 0 2 1  

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  • The Covid alert remains at Level 1. Cinema-going is almost back to normal. Scan yourself in every time with the Covid-19 Tracer app.

  • The Wellington Film Society is looking forward to a less-interupted 2021. The first screening is expected to be on Monday 22 February. Anyone can join the Film Society at any time on line.

  • Film Festivals to note:
    If you have a festival due to run in Wellington and it's not listed here, contact the Cinemaster.

    This site relies on the various cinemas having their own websites up to date to access their screening times. The paragraphs describing the films starting this week are in most cases adapted from the linked reviews.

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    For comments and movie news, contact the Cinemaster at

    s t a r t s   t h i s   w e e k!

    PENGUIN BLOOM - Naomi Watts, an adept and at times electrifying actor, has found herself adrift in recent years. This modest Australian drama is by no means a slam-dunk, but its a minor, much-needed victory for Watts. It's a handsomely made and sturdy little movie, mercifully devoid of cloying sentimentality, an old-fashioned throwback for families in search of something safe and superhero-free that might not sing quite as loud as it could have but flies just about high enough nonetheless. Advance screenings this weekend. Also Empire, Lighthouse, Readings and Monterey.

    THE PEOPLE UPSTAIRS - Marriage is like a long term project that can be successful with team work. If one team member fails or shows less desire to keep going, the other one will follow suit. The tense relationship will boil up when, in the evening, the upstairs neighbors are invited over. The entire evening is a roller coaster of emotions mixed with laughter and biting dialogues. From start to end, the wickedly funny screenplay by writer/director Cesc Gay is an epitome of perfect comedy. It captures one of the biggest problems of marriage - lack of conversation and the complications it may cause. All delivered with humour and moving intensity. Also Lighthouse and Shoreline.

    THE DIG - An incredibly earnest and prettily produced historical drama, but one that falls prey to lumpen dialogue, heavy-handed politics and cliched character development. Directed by Simon Stone, is actually well made insofar as it has lovely lush British golden hour country landscape cinematography; a lot of care has been taken over period costumes and art direction; and the cast is first-rate. It's just all so wasted on such a twee pointless script. Brief run before being available on Netflix. Also Monterey.

    u p c o m i n g   f i l m s
    PENGUIN BLOOM Jan 21 Readings
    DAWN RAID Jan 21 Readings
    WILD MOUNTAIN THYME Jan 21 Penthouse
    Jan 28 Penthouse
    THE MARKSMAN Jan 28 Readings
    MUSIC Jan 28 Readings
    ANOTHER ROUND Jan 28 Lighthouse
    SUMMERLAND Jan 28 Penthouse
    THE KING'S MAN Feb 25 Lighthouse
    NO TIME TO DIE Apr 02 Readings
    BLACK WIDOW May 07 Readings


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    Classic and contemporary cinema from around the world, from NZ's only non-profit network of film exhibition