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Movies of the week

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[jwplayer player=”1″ mediaid=”165618″] This week sees the penultimate instalment of the Hunger Games series arrive in Australian cinemas.

Jennifer Lawrence is truly captivating in the first part of Mockingjay, which sees her become the face of a revolution against the evil President of Panem, eerily played by Donald Sutherland.

Also out this week is the Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska vehicle Maps to the Stars. Director David Cronenberg shows the dark side of Hollywood in this acclaimed thriller.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Natalie Dormer
Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer joins the Hunger Games cast as videographer ‘Cressida’ in Mockingjay Part 1. Photo: Supplied

Director: Francis Lawrence
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson
Duration: 123 mins
Rating: M – Mature themes and violence
Release Date: 20 November, 2014

Verdict: “This is intense drama. It is high romance of the Gone With The Wind style and it is done so well that few will notice just how little action or even plot takes place other than shifting a few characters hither and thither. This film excels, where the novel only just manages, in delivering a shift to a new genre, in giving characters real personalities rather than stereotypes. Some will, and have, suggested the plot is so slight it didn’t warrant two films. But by doing less, this film achieves more. This is a great stand-alone film. A remarkable achievement in any circumstance. Almost a miracle when surrounded by all that punctuation.”

Maps to the Stars

Director: David Cronenberg
Cast: Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack, Robert Pattinson, Julianne Moore
Duration: 1hr 51mins
Rating: M, Violence,offensive language and sex scenes
Release Date: November 20, 2014

Verdict: Stephen A. Russell for thelowdownunder says: Rolling off the bus from Jupiter, Florida, Mia Wasikowska plays Agatha in David Cronenberg’s latest deliciously weird endeavor Maps to the Stars and she’s an immediately intriguing mystery – one of a series of intriguing roles to date that shows extreme promise from the young Ausrtalian actor. She’s a sort of slouching Audrey Hepburn in a black dress and elbow length gloves, but without the celluloid icon’s sparkling presence. Scarred both literally and figuratively, she has come to the land of broken dreams ostensibly to visit the hot spots of Hollywood stars, but like most of the characters within, she’s nurturing a hidden agenda. Encountering the typical LA stereotype in Robert Pattinson’s Jerome, a would-be actor currently cruising around town as a limo driver to the real stars of the show, the possibility of romance, like most ambitions in this town, soon head south. Julianne Moore is also incredible as the neurotic actor Havana, losing her grip on stardom and desperate to score a big role playing her own mother, a celebrated movie siren herself who died tragically in a fire – a recurring theme in this Icarus-like tale. A monstrous creature, Havana will stop at nothing to secure her continued place in the sun, even if it means playing on the hideous misfortune of others.

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