The Dressmaker (2015)

The typical shoot-em-up climaxes of revenge thrillers can’t hold a candle to the excellent ending here, as the just desserts are served in fabulous fashion with ingredients like hash brownies, red carpets, costumes, Kate Winslet, pools of blood, and towns on fire. The rest of the story is great too (save for a bit of sag in the second act romance) with its darkly comedic small-town-whodunnit vibe and memorable characters (love that the sargeant with a secret is given a meaningful arc).

The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet (2013)


A ten-year-old cartographer secretly leaves his family’s ranch in Montana where he lives with his cowboy father and scientist mother and travels across the country aboard a freight train to receive an award at the Smithsonian Institute. (IMDb)

Quirkily creative storytelling (namely, T.S.’ charming mix of childlike and brilliant science-laden narration; the imaginative camerawork and visual aids–see his suitcase packing, in-screen shots) and vividly coloured cinematography present a compelling tale part tragic Americana family portrait, part indie road trip fare (the weakest act of the three with a couple unintentionally creepy characters) and part surreal and macabre vision of mass media manipulation. A fresh-feeling film well-acted.

7.5/10 (Really Good)