Films I loved in July 2020

Dev Patel as David Copperfield in The Personal History of David Copperfield

The Personal History of David Copperfield is a wildly subversive adaptation of Charles Dickens’s novel. By championing the artifice and embellishment of storytelling, it accentuates the humour and absurdity of the material to deliver funny and cutting class-based social satire.
Released in Australian cinemas 2 July 2020

Walter Mercado in Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado

The documentary Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado is a loving tribute to celebrity astrologer Walter Mercado. A larger-than-life icon for Latino audiences and beyond, his charisma and big heart are impossible to resist, making the story of his life and career a feel-good tale of triumph.
Released on Netflix 8 July 2020

Robyn Nevin as Edna in Relic

Relic draws upon the tradition of exploring grief through the horror genre, resulting in a wonderfully atmospheric film that combines family drama and haunted house tropes to generate feelings of dread and sorrow. Read full review.
Released on Stan 10 July 2020

Cate Blanchett stars as Bernadette Fox in Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Where’d You Go, Bernadette is neither farce nor melodrama, but its social satire and heightened characters draw upon both traditions to deliver unexpected laughs and an ultimately moving drama about a woman feeling stifled by her life, developing increasingly erratic behaviour.
Released in Australian cinemas 16 July 2020

Pete Davidson as Scott Carlin and Bill Burr as Ray Bishop in The King of Staten Island

The King of Staten Island is the latest Judd Apatow film about a man-child needing to grow up, but this story (based loosely on lead actor Pete Davidson) about a man overcoming grief, depression and self-destructive behaviour is Apatow’s most successful blend of comedy and drama to date.
Released in Australian cinemas 16 July 2020

Eliza Scanlen as Milla Finlay in Babyteeth

Babyteeth may appear to tread familiar dysfunctional family/teen film terrain, but its unpredictable characters and unusual blend of whimsy and grit means the story of a chronically ill teenager is told with an immensely rewarding combination of innovation, humour and integrity.
Released in Australian cinemas 23 July 2020

Barry Keoghan as Dymphna and Cosmo Jarvis as Arm in Calm with Horses

Somewhere between social realism and gangster film, Calm with Horses (aka The Shadow of Violence) charts the turmoil of an ex-boxer turned thug-for-hire, wrestling with his loyalties and morality. This Irish rural noir continues the tradition of portraying damaged men trying to rise above their oppressive environments.
Released in Australian cinemas 23 July 2020

Thomas Caldwell, 2020