7:30 PM, 6th July, 2018
Connie (Pattinson) and Nick (Safdie) are brothers planning a bank heist. The heist goes wrong, and Nick is arrested and transported to a hospital. The rest of the movie revolves around Connie’s attempts to break his brother out, with one complication after another making the task more and more challenging.
Directed by brothers Ben and Josh Safdie, Good Time is a thrilling, kinetic drama that goes deep into the underbelly of New York crime. Pattinson is solid in the central role, and is well supported (sometimes in only one scene or sequence) by both expert actors (Barkhad Abdi, Jennifer Jason Leigh) and relative unknowns. The film is a consistently tense experience, bringing classics like Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive to mind.
With cinema being increasingly dominated each year by soulless, cookie-cutter blockbusters, it is refreshing to see the American indie spirit still exists in films like Good Time. I will concede that the title may be a little misleading when it comes to describing your potential experience of this movie, but I promise you’ll be in for a thrilling, twisty, gritty and fulfilling time.
9:21 PM, 6th July, 2018
It’s December in Perth in 1987. Temperatures are hot. Teenager Vicki (Cummings) is sneaking out for the night to go to a party, and to avoid her recently-divorced mum. But hopping into a lift with Evelyn (Booth) and John White (Curry) turns out to be a mistake, as it becomes increasingly apparent they plan on torturing then killing her. Any attempt to escape is going to need luck and desperation.
Ben Young’s debut feature is a tight, grim, masterpiece. Curry got a lot of this reviewer’s attention by playing way against type as the menacing John, but it’s Booth in an ACTAA-winning turn as the other half of the deadly couple who is the real centre of the piece. We get how desperate her circumstances are that she’d participate in something this utterly horrible. The emphasis is as much on the internal pain and terror as it is the brutal fate that awaits Vicki. This is, in every way, a great Australian film, full of tension and menace.