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   M A R C H  -
  W E D N E S D A Y   2 0   M A R C H   2 0 1 9  

t h e   f i l m s

n e w s   c l i p s

  • The Wellington Film Society, Embassy at 6.15pm Monday 18 March: HIS GIRL FRIDAY (Howard Hawks, USA, 1940). Perhaps the funniest, certainly the fastest talkie comedy ever made, this inspired adaptation of Hecht and MacArthur's The Front Page adds an extra dimension of exploitation by turning Hildy Johnson into Walter Burns' ex-wife. Cary Grant's Burns performs astonishing feats of super-quick timing as he garrulously manipulates a gallows case - Qualen, a simpleton mercilessly jailed for killing a black policeman - to further his own ends: first, to win back his wife from staid insurance salesman Bellamy; second, to win back his star reporter (Hildy again); and third, to beat the rival rags to the full story of the political corruption that casts a shadow over the judicial system demanding Qualen's death. But Grant is not alone in his masterly expertise. Charles Lederer's frantic script needs to be heard at least a dozen times for all the gags to be caught; Russell's Hildy more than equals Burns in cunning and speed; and Hawks transcends the piece's stage origins effortlessly, framing with brilliance, conducting numerous conversations simultaneously, and even allowing the film's political and emotional thrust to remain upfront alongside the laughs. Quite simply a masterpiece. - Geoff Andrew, Time Out.
    Anyone can join the Film Society at any time on line.

  • Film Festivals to note:
  • NZ International Film Festival - 2019. 26 July - 11 August.
  • If your festival is not listed here, please advise the Cinemaster

  • The Nga Taonga Sound and Vision cinema has closed. Archive employees are now located in office space within the National Library building on Molesworth Street and are actively looking at alternative screening venues to bring their work to Wellington audiences.

    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!

    HOTEL MUMBAI - If we have to keep making action movies out of the most unspeakably horrifying terrorist attacks of the 21st century (and that's still up for debate), they might as well be as lucid and humane as Anthony Maras' dramatization of the November 2008 ambush on India's largest city. The film - it should go without saying - is harrowing to the extreme. Almost unbearable, in fact. What redeems it from morbid opportunism is that, in all but its slickest and most Hollywood moments, the thrills of Maras' heart-wrenching re-enactment are never an end unto themselves. Also Penthouse, Roxy, Monterey, Reading Porirua, Coastlands and Shoreline.

    FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL 2019 - Following the 2018 announcement that the French Film Festival would not be returning - here it is for 2019, with a stripped down administration, and running at two venues in the Wellington region. Check the website link for details of the films, and the special French Film Festival drop down link for Lighthouse bookings. Also Lighthouse Petone.

    FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY - Florence Pugh commands the ring in this an underdog wrestling comedy with lots of heart alongside some likeable sports-movie cliches. Based on the Bevis family, a close-knit Norwich clan bonded by their shared love of the faux-violent entertainment, the film benefits from Pugh's charismatic performance and writer-director Stephen Merchant's cheery mixture of crowd-pleasing sentiment, wry laughs and genuine sweetness. Advance screenings this weekend. Also Monterey, Reading Porirua and Coastlands.

    DESTROYER - Nothing Nicole Kidman has done in her career can prepare you for this - to the extent it's easy to imagine someone wandering/tuning in to the film and watching for several minutes before realizing that the sunburnt piece of beef jerky up on screen is none other than the alabaster beauty from BMX Bandits and Far and Away. And that's just the surface. The film may as well be called Nasty Woman: The Movie, so committed is it to the idea of presenting a Don Siegel-style anti-hero who's dirtier than Harry, deadlier than The Killers. Also Monterey.

    u p c o m i n g   f i l m s
    DAFFODILS Mar 21 Readings
    DUMBO [2019] Mar 21 Readings
    US Mar 21 Readings
    FIVE FEET APART Mar 28 Readings
    EIGHTH GRADE Mar 28 Penthouse
    PET SEMATARY Apr 04 Readings
    SHAZAM ! Apr 04 Readings
    VAI Apr 04 Lighthouse
    WOMAN AT WAR Apr 04 Lighthouse
    HELLBOY Apr 11 Readings
    LITTLE Apr 11 Readings
    Apr 11 Readings
    WONDER PARK Apr 11 Readings


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