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Tag: Noah Taylor

QuickView: Predestination (2014)

“It’s never too late to be who you might have been.”


Predestination is a cerebral, tightly constructed science fiction film from the Spierig brothers who created the refreshingly original vampire world of Daybreakers (also starring Ethan Hawke). Telling a good time travel story requires leaning into the paradoxical nature of causation rather than believing oneself smart enough to write around it (even if you are Robert Heinlein, on whose short story the film is based). Here, as the title suggests, the question is whether there are immutable events that are destined to occur. The film’s central mysteries are not overly complicated and those paying attention should be able to predict several story beats in advance. Watching the neat arrangement unfurl remains satisfying and in fact the explicit reveal in the final few minutes may feel rushed for those not already up to speed. Although she may receive second billing, Sarah Snook is arguably the film’s true lead, with the most nuanced and varied performance. Another interesting choice is the alternate 1970s setting, reflecting Heinlein’s then-future setting for the story. It is remarkable that Predestination fits into a running time of just 97 minutes, and its strict focus on the essential can leave it feeling a little sparse. However, for fans of thoughtful science fiction, this is a hidden gem that deserves greater recognition.


QuickView: Almost Famous (2000)

“They made you feel cool. And hey, I met you. You are not cool.”

Lester Bangs

Set in the early 1970s, toward the end of classic rock and roll’s heyday, this is less a story about music than William, a naive likeable youngster finding himself whilst touring with his favourite band, writing for Rolling Stone magazine, and trying to resist the allure of the trappings of fame. It touches on industry issues like rivalry between band members and the encroaching capitalist record companies, but ultimately Cameron Crowe’s brisk and witty script is more interested in the individuals, both within the band and outside. Crossing the divide for William is the magnetic Penny Lane (apparently based on a real individual) who is romantically involved with one of the musicians, but takes William under her wing. Her espoused wisdom is catchy and yet ultimately impossible: “If you never take it seriously, you never get hurt. You never get hurt, you always have fun.”


"A film is a petrified fountain of thought."

(CC) BY-NC 2003-2023 Priyan Meewella

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