Starbox Results

April 2024 "Official Secrets" (2019 UK Dr.)
A dutiful adaptation of a true story about Katharine Gunn, a British whistleblower who exposed the US plot to dirty trick the United Nations in approving the 2003 Iraq War.   Star cast with Keira Knightley, Matt Smith, Ralph Fiennes, Rhys Ifans.
March 2024 "Decision to Leave" (South Korea)
Obviously not everyone's cup of hot cha, but this exacting work of craft and story tending melds romantic and detective narrative under the skilled & award winning Directorship of Park Chan-Wooks.

February 2024 "My Sailor, My Love" (Rom Dr.)
A tale of familial love gone sour and romantic love found almost too late.  A Finish Irish production with a grand performance portraying a young woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown.  

January 2024 "Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom"  (Drama)
The story of a reluctant teacher, sent to the most remote school in the world. While providing an education to the children of the village he learns much more from them and the adults of Lunana. 

November 2023 "First Cow"  (Drama Western)
2019 film set in Oregon about 2 enterprising men  who decide to run a bakery, maybe "First Bakery".  But they need milk, they need a cow so they borrow one, the only one in the area. The owner is really a jealous cow and does cry over spilt milk or so it goes. 

November 3rd 2023 "MEMBERS ONLY NIGHT" "Blind Ambition" (Documentary)
4.4 ****+

Book a bus, add 70 RFS members, an award winning movie, catering, bar service in the friendly Coonawarra Memorial Hall and you have the perfect blend for a memorable night out.
A reward for loyal members and especially members from Penola by staging an event in their backyard.   

October 2023 "Pain and Glory"  (Spain - Drama)
Antonio Banderas stars in this Pedro Almodovar film.  Is it therapy or a self portrait as the protagonist reflects on his life choices. Maybe a bit of both? 

 "Full Time"  (France - Drama)
This drama about a struggling single mother's battle to get to a potentially life-altering job interview was well received by our audience of over 100, scoring a creditable 3.6.

August 2023 "Kurt Vonnegut - Unstuck in Time"  (USA - Documentary)
This 2 hour doco took us behind the scenes and revealed what made this famous novelist tick. Our watchful members gave this story the thumbs up with a "So it goes" rating of 4.3.

July 2023 "Never Gonna Snow Again" (Poland)
Patrons gave this movie a mixed reception.  Some loved it, some didn't.  It ended with many wondering what happened or what was gonna happen. 

June 2023 "Herself" (Ireland)

We were all on her side from woe to go.  Clare Dunne not only starred but co- wrote the movie showing the fighting spirit of a single woman who cared, not just for herself but for her young family. 

May 2023 "PUZZLE" (USA Can 2018 )
All the pieces came together perfectly in this surprisingly good movie anchored by Kelly MacDonald and the late Irrfan Khan in what sadly became his last movie. 

April 2023 "My Sweet Pepper Land" (Iraq  2013)
The story of great courage in the face of criminal corruption and an unsympathetic society set in a starkly beautiful part of the world really touched a chord with audience.

"March 2023 "LIMBO" (UK 2020)" 
3.7 ***+

"Oud" would have thought that this film, shining the light on the hearts & lives of those awaiting their fate in a remote Scottish asylum centre could give us an insight into the refugee experience. 

"Our February MYSTERY Movie" 
3.4 ***+

February's Starbox resembled a constellation with stars scattered across the spectrum.  90 votes from  a lowly 1 to a zenith of 5. 

THE  OLIVE TREE" (Drama Comedy Spain 2016)
4.4 ****+

A wonderful tale to launch 2023 with a enthralling tale about a rural family.  At its core is a 1000 year old olive tree and Alma, a feisty, determined 20 year old.   

"DELICIOUS" (France 2021)
4.6 ****+

A mouth watering comedy to wrap up our year on a "note elevee".  Voted by members as highest rating film for 2022, the perfect intro to Xmas. PS: The Xmas puddings given to members were scrumptious!

"FRANTZ" (Germany - France 2016)
4.5 ****+

Wunderbar! Patrons gave the Francois Ozon remake of the little known Ernst Lubitsch 1932 film "Broken Lullaby" the thumbs up. A film that beautifully blended sadness, despair and hope.

"About Elly" (Iran - Drama 2009)

3.5 ***+

A fascinating mystery where all characters are under the microscope. A movie with depth where the director heightens the dramatic stakes and questions the actors morality & ethics.  

"The Man in the Hat" (France Comedy 2020)

3.5 ***

Whimsical, playful film in a mostly dialogue free story of a man (in a hat) on a road trip through southern France. We dip our lid to Ciaran Hinds, the star of this beautiful entertaining odyssey. 

"The Worst Person in the World" (Norway Romance Comedy)

3.5 ***+

Our August offering, the romantic black comedy drama chronicled Julie's 4 year quest for love and meaning in today's Oslo. 

"Perfumes" (France Comedy 2019)

4.3 ****+

July's film came up smelling of roses (and cardamom and cinnamon with a hint of citrus) with an impressive 4.3 stars.

"Pig" (USA Drama 2021)

4.1 ****+

Nicolas Cage at his best.  A simple story, a superb character study about a man and his best friend and co-worker. 

"Rosa's Wedding" (Spain 2020)

4.2 ****+

A feel good film par excellence according to our members.  We were on Rosa's side as she broke her shackles, undid family ties and tied the knot to herself!
"Persona" (Sweden 1966)
A trip back to 1966, the year we moved from PSD to "$ & c. Ingmar Bergman's psychological drama possibly gave members PST!  Many patrons would have upgraded their ratings after working it over in their minds.  A cinema classic. 

4.4 ****+

"Woman at War" (Iceland 2018)
This quirky Icelandic dramedy dealt with serious in a unique way which was greatly appreciated by the Reels audience.

"Antoinette in the Cevennes" (France)

4.3 ****+

Reels members thoroughly enjoyed this Rom-Com, a tale of misadventure with literary antecedents set in the Cevennes on the SE rim of the Massif Central in South Central France. The scenery was magnifique on the SRHT big screen & the connection with Robert Louis Stevenson's 1879 memoir was telling.  

"The Farewell" (USA)

3.6 ***+

The secret is out! Based on a true story, one built on an actual (well intentioned) lie this bittersweet funny tale of "Nai Nai" and her granddaughter Billi gave patrons an insight into Chinese family life. 

"Another Round" (Denmark)
4.0 ****

This Danish Dramedy went down as well as a refined vodka.  Not all social experiments are advisable or successful, but they can certainly provide an excellent movie.

"Bagdad Cafe" (W. Ger/USA)

4.2 ****+

This 1987 English language W. German film directed by Percy Adlon entertained members.  It proved that things can and do blossom even out in the Californian desert "Friendship", despite harsh conditions, difficult circumstances and foreign personalities. 

"Cold War" (Poland)
3.6 ***+

The black and white cinematography gave the right atmosphere for a slightly bleak tale of an troubled affair between a troubled couple in a troubled time. Our virtual raters thought pretty highly of it.

"Parasite" (South Korea)
3.5 ***+

Our first virtual Star Box returned a solid result for the 2019 Academy Award winner. An insight to two very different strata of a very different society.

"Bombshell - the Hedy Lamar Story" (USA)

3.9 ***+

An intriguing documentary about a very much underestimated and mistreated woman of great talent.

"Aurore" (France)
3.9 ***+

A nicely understated French Comedy/Drama was well received by the January crowd. Very relatable.

"Shoplifters" (Japan)
3.6 ***+

A side of Japanese society we rarely see. "Shoplifters" certainly sparked some conversations on the last Reels night of 2019.

"The Party" & "The Plank" (UK)

Two very different British comedies from very different times, but both very well received.

"The Teacher" (Slovakia)

A text book lesson in the use of perceived political power and positional influence for personal gain certainly resonated with our members.

"Summer 1993" (Spain)

Wonderful performances by two very young actors weren't enough to win the audiences affections. Perhaps a tad harsh?.

"Things to Come" (France)

A mixed reaction to this film a middle range score the result.

"Professor Marston and the Wonder Women" (UK)

The audience thought Professor Marston and his women were pretty wonderful giving them 4 stars.

"Maudie" (Canada)

An inspiring tale of resilience and determination, Maudie won everyone's admiration as a person and as a film.

"Call Me By Your Name" (Italy)

A thought provoker, an unusual tale of romance and coming of age.

"Sophie and the Rising Sun" (USA)

Our first 4 Star movie for the year truly won the hearts and minds of the audience.

"The Other Side of Hope" (Finland)

Some very divided opinions on this Finnish tale of refugees. Lively discussion followed.

"Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool" (UK)

A fading star collected plenty of stars, a moving true story which was well favoured.

"A Quiet Passion" (UK)

A solid start to the new year, which evoked plenty of discussion.

"Just to be Sure" (France)

A feel good way to end the year. 96 of us rated this French "Dramedy" as well worth the trip to town.


Our audience formed an almost perfect Bell Curve with their opinions of our November choice; 35 felt it deserved 3 stars, 26 didn't think it was up to that standard and 25 felt it was worth more. I think such diversity indicates a good choice by the Film Selection committee.

"20th Century Women" (USA)

A film which provoked a lot of conversation, in the Star Box queue. Most didn't seem sure what they were going to score it until they let go of the token.

"Kedi" (UK/Turkey)

A different perspective on an fabled city with a fascinating relationship between humans and the feline citizenry.

"Room" (Ireland/Canada)

A tense drama captured our audience and scored a very creditable rating.

"A Man Called Ove" (Sweden)

Unlikely friendships can win people's hearts. An appreciative audience rated Ove as one of the very best films we've shown.

"The Eagle Huntress" (Mongolia)
A truly uplifting story of commitment and etermination. Watching a girl and her father trekking through snow up to their horses' bellies in snow in an area where temperatures of -40 are not unknown, put our winters in perspective.

"Tanna" (Vanuatu)
A great insight into a very different culture from our own, a true story from 1987 which was well appreciated.

"Land of Mine" (Denmark)
Of the 88 votes cast 75 were 4 or above. Not necessarily a film we enjoyed, but certainly one to appreciate.

"Norman" (United States)
The 94 votes cast averaged a respectable 3.3 stars, with a far greater degree of consensus than last month.

"Bedevilled" (South Korea)
Opinions weren't so much divided as evenly spread on Bedevilled. 75 members voted with no single score receiving less than 10 votes nor more than 19. Plenty of interesting conversations to be had!

"Storm Boy" (Australia)
A good start to 2018 with a very good score for a much loved Aussie classic. A few damp eyes at the end.

"Perfect Strangers" (Italy)
Our final film for 2017 drew a bumper crowd and an excellent rating. Beautifully crafted characters with a mix of hilarity, pathos and surprise twists. Italian cinema at its best.

"The Wind Rises" (Japan)
Our first animated feature was well appreciated by our audience. Based on a true story but with elements of fantasy and dream sequences it had the magical qualities Miyazaki is famous for.

"Rosalie Blum" (France)
A wonderfully tailored story with some absolutely delightful twists, Rosalie Blum is our sixth 4 star film of 2017 and equal highest rating. If you missed this month's show I highly recommend you speak to one of the committee members on "desk duty" about borrowing the DVD.

"Mustang" (Turkey)
Trying to tame a Mustang will have consequences for the Mustang and those who try. Wonderful performances by the young Turkish actors brought to life the dangers of trying to tame free spirits. Another excellent choice by the selection committee.

"Manchester by the Sea" (US)
More than one of our members remarked that this was not your typical American movie. No hype, no sugar coating, beautifully understated. Well worth venturing out on a wild old night.

"Wild Tales" (Argentina)
The sixth film this year to rate over 4 stars this Argentinian collection of tales of revenge, vengeance and getting even had some laugh out loud moments, in a very darkly humourous way.

"I, Daniel Blake" (UK)
A deeply human story, one many could relate to, this British gem. In what has been a year of excellent scores "I, Daniel Blake" has achieved the highest for 2017, so far.

"Dheepan" (France)
The moving story of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees battling to establish themselves in a foreign land scored a respectable 3.4 for the month of May.

"Quo Vado" Italy
3.8 ***+
From the Arctic Circle to the depths of Africa, our hero may not have been clear on where he was going but his goal was clear - hold on to that permanent appointment! Perhaps not the noblest of quests, but one that provided plenty of laughs for the viewing audience.

"RAMS" (Iceland) 
"Delicate, sensitive, tender, bordering on mythic."  A movie reminding us that blood often is thicker than water.  Wether it be in the genetic line of champion Icelandic sheep or whether it runs as strong in siblings such as Gummi and Kiddi. You be the livestock judge.

"Eye in the Sky" (UK) 
A tense, taut, tightly paced thriller that held our audience.  Alan Rickman closed it with Lt. General Frank Benson's quote " NEVER tell a soldier THAT HE DOES NOT KNOW the true cost of war!" 

"Captain Fantastic" (USA 2016)
4.3 ****+

"INTERESTING" The Captain received due recognition with a score of 4.2. Plenty to think about, with a few laughs along the way and a lasting and a different view of the use of the word "interesting". 

"Walking the Camino" (USA 2014)
4.2 ****+

A very good score when rating any doco. The same number 4.2 equals how many kilojoules equals 1 calorie, begging the question how many calories would you burn off on the Camino? Grand vistas back up the epic & personal journeys of today's pilgrims.

"What We Did on our Holiday" (UK)

4.3 ****+

"A genuine antidote for tired tissues!" A well timed escape from the stresses of the build up to Christmas. A fun film, a tonic to revive flagging spirits and get everyone into the holiday mindset.  

In short, we loved it! 

"The Good, The Bad, The Weird" (South Korea)

2.6 **+

When the dust settled at the SRHT, our members rated this Oriental western film around 2.6 out of 5.   Perhaps a little too weird with some drawn out bits amongst the fun stuff.  Not a John Wayne  classic. 

"Se Duo Vuole" or "GOD Willing" (Italy)

4.3 ****+

What a fabulous night out at Reels!  Members in droves came to watch this feel good film from Falcone. Fuelled by wonderful wines from Majella (St Gerard Majella, Patron Saint of expectant mothers, born in 1726 in Muro, Italy, not "Mauro") Members had several LOL moments almost giving SDV a High 5!  

SON OF SAUL (Hungary)
2.7 ***

A confronting drama based on a rare uprising of a Sonderkommando unit in Auschwitz-Birkenau in late 1944.  The intensity and hopelessness is palpable, inescapable. Not for the faint hearted. 

4.8 ****+

An unheard of rating in Reels recent history.  If you hadn't seen "Le Familie Belier" you would not have believed it possible!  Reels members loved this uplifting piece of cinema with its emotional crescendo at the finish. 

As Molly would say "Do yourself a favour" and see it.

2.6 **

Unique, unconventional and arguably bizarre "The Lobster" is a tale that defies classification.  Was it fantasy, science fiction, comedy noir, romance or a baffling bisque?  If you did not rest easy after viewing, rest assured that this rich offering will have you ruminating for some time.

4.55 ****+

A high impact film that left members with a telling reminder of the horror and futility of war, experiences that left long term scars and pain well beyond the battlefields.  A BBC Lionsgate production, anchored by Alicia Vikander and supported by a stellar cast. Vera Brittain would be proud of how her memoirs were told in film.


4.0 ****

A movie where our audience was transported to a different world. The Atlas mountains of Algeria in 1954, a time when the French were having a hard time of it not only in North Africa but thousands of miles away in Dien Bien Phu, Indochina.  

FFM gave us a plot that built, backed up by minimal dialogue, wry humour, often associated with the most desperate times and the stark and magnificent vistas on the big SRHT screen. In the background was the understated sound track from the talented duo of Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.


4.3 ****+

An escapade taking us into the uncompromising city of Rio de Janiero. Scenes that we won't see on the upcoming touristy and sanitised Australian TV coverage of the 2016 Summer Olympiad. Reels patrons loved it.** Based on their comments if they gave out Olympic medals, it would be "Gold, Gold, Gold" to the three unknowns who eclipsed recognised stars in Martin Sheen and Rooney Mara. The young triumvirate were front and centre and we stayed with them from go to woe.  I meant whoa!

3.4 ***+
Something large and powerful in the form of "Leviathan" appeared at Reels tonight.

Listening to some of the post movie discussions, when patrons picked over the bones of Leviathan it was clear there was a lot to absorb. Indications were that they might have given a higher SB rating to the Russian heavy weight given more time to ponder.
Provocative, bleak and insightful, Yes.  Cheery, with a "They all lived happily after" finish, "Nyet", I mean No. Well some characters walked away and lived well, but were they content and would they ever be??

**"OCHOS APELLIDOS VASCOS (8 Basque Languages) aka "A SPANISH AFFAIR " (Spain) **
3.9 ***+ 
We may have missed a lot of the jokes, but this was still a "LOL" movie with fantastic scenery set in the Basque country and Navarre. Our popular Rom Com St. Valentine's day treat shows that love can cross cultural and language barriers.

3.5 ***+ A minestrone of love, romance, humour, innocence, crime, fact and fantasy that delighted patrons.  A successful fusion that was part movie, part documentary with its clever use of actual news footage from the turbulent 70's and 80's in Sicily.  

**"TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT" (Belgium/France) **
3.1 ***

No Hollywood fantasy here, but a reality check on what is happening in western economies including our Australian manufacturing sector. In its simplicity, 2D1N covers the impact of change: depression, DV, family upheaval, often unseen issues in the underbelly of declining industrial centres.   Marion Cotillard as Sandra, a factory retrenchee takes us on a desperate weekend odyssey to convince her work colleagues to give up their new bonuses to save her job.  if so, there will be winners and losers. She emerges a winner, or does she?  Excellent casting backed up by great performances.

**"THE ROCKET" (Austral/Laos project) **
4.0 ****
Reels finished 2015 on a high with "The Rocket".  Beautiful mountain scenery, exquisite acting from the young performers & outstanding adult characters.  Unforgettable performances from Grandma and the "unconventional" Uncle Purple.

WADJDA (Saudi Arabia)

"Wadjda" lifted the veil and gave our patrons an insight into an unfamiliar world and society. An Arabian tale well told through the eyes and deeds of the rebellious Wadjda and her mother constrained by tradition and culture.   

4.1 ****
Members walked out with big smiles, some even gave it a high five, some said it would change their approach to personal hygiene forever.  The majority laughed out loud and happily prescribed a 4.1 Starbox rating. 

3.1 ***

You shouldn't judge a book (or a DVD) by it's cover, but in the case of our Wednesday night movie, Reels Film Society members eventually regrouped to adjudge Jennifer Kent's debut film to confer  a final star box rating of 3.1.

Amongst the suspense and tension were 2 stand out acting performances by Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman as the young Sam.  Noah's performance had to be seen to be believed.

**** 3.9 

Thank you members who cast their votes to determine a Starbox rating for "Living is Easy". 

76 votes were cast and after using Rick's slide rule, Dave's HB Staedtler pencil and Rob insisting on using the Duckworth-Lewis method, a score of 3.89 was arrived at.
Next month, we are on a Wednesday to witness "Babadook" the highly acclaimed Australian suspense movie.

****+ 4.2 

Bitter sweet and insightful, with lashings of dry, deadpan humour. Bruce Dern effortlessly acted the role of "Woody" Grant with June Squibb  deserving accolades for her role as his long suffering wife.  60 Reels member votes were cast to give Nebraska a Starbox rating of 4.15.  

****+ 4.7 
The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (Sweden)

"It is what it is" said Alan Karlsson the movie's central figure and Reels members enjoyed this Laugh Out Loud film awarding it a staggering 4.7 stars.  This film will add years to your life!

****+ 4.3  "Gallipoli" (Aus) 
Starbox score: 4.26
Our May 2015 screening began with "The Hero of the Dardanelles", a movie made in Australia and released in August 1915.  This silent movie enthralled members and drew spontaneous applause at its end.  We are indebted to the NFSA in Canberra for making this historic screening possible.  
It was the perfect prelude to seeing our feature film, Peter Weir's "Gallipoli" produced 66 years later by a new wave of Australian film makers.  As members remarked this movie has stood the test of time and remains firmly entrenched in the heights of Australian cinema. 
***+ 3.9  "Still Life" (UK)

Reels members viewing Still Life were treated to a surprise "Intermission" when the SA Metropolitan Fire Service evacuated the theatre.  Members believe that the probable cause was the the slow burning plot of Uberto Pasolini's movie. The Firemen believe otherwise!  Voters who returned to the SRHT to watch the rest of the film cast their votes at the poignant "Eleanor Rigby" style ending to give Still Life a 3.9 Star Box rating.  

****+ 4.6  "The Lunch Box" (India)

'The Lunch Box has landed!"  Patrons who were part of a splendid February crowd at the SRHT enjoyed this offering from one of world's giant's when it comes to film production. Voters (58) who found the star box post movie gave it a 4.58 Star box rating.  

*** 3.5  "Amour" (France)

Our first show at the SRHT was accorded 3.61 by the 75 who cast their Starbox votes.  The hallmark of many great films is their ability to provoke thought, generate discussion and the power of Amour did that.  This confronting and sobering look at life, ageing and death will have Reels members processing Michael Haneke's classic for sometime yet. 

*** 3  "The Great Beauty" (Italy)

Our last show at the Wehl Street Theatre was adjudged 3 *** by patrons.  The Starbox at the end of the night revealed plenty of one stars  then right through the spectrum where 5 stars were also given out. The Reels "slide rule" was then produced to give "Le Grande Belleza" a final score of 3. 
 **** 4  "The Lemon Tree" (Israel 2008)

Our October 2014 screening may have been bitter sweet but members savoured it, giving it a Starbox rating of 4.07.  

 **** 3.96 "2014 St Kilda Film Festival"
Welcome to Iron Knob
A Reels at Wehl unique cinema experience, their annual degustation St Kilda Film Festival menu, a spectacular 13-course movie screening paired with Balnaves wine from the terra rosa soils of the Coonawarra and food with passion from "Metro". A Reels red carpet night at the Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre. 

**** 4.4 "Pearls of the Far East" 

 "Members viewed Pearls as captivating, mesmerising & visually stunning"

**** 4.4 "The Hunt"  

Reels at Wehl Film Society members turned out in numbers on a cold wet winter's night to appreciate this powerful Danish drama.

**** 4.0 "Prisoners"  Suspense thriller keeping our members well on edge as the pressure intensified. 

**** 3.8 "Basilicata Coast to Coast" A quirky on the road movie with a distinct southern Italian flavour.
****4.4 "A Royal Affair" The Valentine Day's screening surprised and captivated members.

***3.89 Stars for "Blue Jasmine"

 ***3.2 stars for  "Red Obsession"

***3.8 stars for  "Rust and Bones"


***3.3 stars for "Tabu"

****4.5 stars for "The Sessions"


****4.4 stars for "A Quiet Life (Una vita tranquilla)"

****4.5 stars for "Chinese Takeaway"

****4.4 stars for "Marley"

***3.1 stars "Country Wedding"

****4.2 stars "Trishna"

***3.5 stars "Happy Happy"

***3.8 stars "One Night the Moon"

***3.9 stars "Headhunters"

***3.5 stars "The Ides of March"

****4 stars "The Skin I Live In"

***3 stars "Melancholia"

***3.2 stars "Submarine"

****4 stars "The Perfect Date"

***** 5 stars "Incendies"
93% of members and their guests gave "Incendies" 5 stars

****4 stars "My August Lunch"

****4 stars "Agora"
Some said it was the best movie we have ever had.

****4 stars

****4 stars "Last Tango in Paris"

****4 stars "Le Concert"

*** 3 Stars "Van Diemen's Land"

****4 Stars "Girl with Dragon Tattoo"

**** 4 stars "Bliss"

***3 stars "Cold Souls"

***3 stars "My Tehran for Sale"

****4 stars "Brides"

***3 stars "Lessons on Chocolate"

****4  stars "Caravaggio"

This entertaining film had it all.  Swashbuckling, adventure, passion, sets, yes great sets and everything else rolled into one.  Errol Flynn reborn!

1 comment:

  1. **** 4. (actually 4.07) "The Lemon Tree" (Israel) Members had heard the lemon tree was very pretty and the lemon flower was sweet, the lemonade was tasty and the film itself was a treat! The movie rated 4 stars according to REELS members.


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