HomeCultureFilm & TV

Our top 5 film picks for May

BY Tom Browne

1st Jan 2015 Film & TV

Our top 5 film picks for May

We've selected five of the latest films out this month for you to watch. From impressive ensemble drama, The Daughter, to the surprisingly hilarious Austen adaptation, Love and Friendship, there's something for every taste at the silver screens this month. 

The Daughter

This terrific Australian film uses a narrative beloved of classic literature—a stranger (in this case Christian, played by Paul Schneider) returns to town after a long gap, bringing a secret that threatens to tear apart the lives of his wealthy father Henry (Geoffrey Rush), his old friend Oliver (Ewen Leslie), Oliver’s wife Charlotte (Miranda Otto) and daughter Hedvig (Odessa Young).

This is the kind of ensemble drama that encapsulates the very best of Australian filmmaking (see in particular 2001’s Lantana, also starring Rush). It brilliantly teases out the dilemmas that affect us all, and how different characters respond to these pressures.

Special mention must also be made of Sam Neill as Oliver’s world-weary father Walter, a man who’s witnessed much tragedy and wears his scars on his sleeve.



Florence Foster Jenkins

The title character (played with great vim by Meryl Streep) gained fame in the 1930s and 40s as an amateur opera singer with a notable lack of talent—something that didn’t stop her from performing or making records.

This fine biopic is often played for laughs, but there’s real pathos too, and the film gains extra brownie points for a wonderful turn from Hugh Grant as Florence’s doting but duplicitous husband.



I Saw the Light

Casting the quintessentially British thespian Tom Hiddleston as country-music legend Hank Williams seems like a bold, if not foolish, idea. But his performance—alongside that of Elizabeth Olsen as Hank’s wife Audrey—is the highlight of an otherwise sluggish film, which fails to contextualise Williams’ life and can’t hold a candle to the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line. The music and the leads, however, make it worth your time.



Green Room

A punk-rock band play a gig at a club run by a neo-Nazi group, then find themselves trapped and facing the wrath of gang leader Darcy Banker (Patrick Stewart) after witnessing a murder.

This third outing from director Jeremy Saulnier lacks the originality of his previous effort Blue Ruin, but if you want stripped-down thrills and in-your-face violence, it packs a hell of a punch.



Love and Friendship

This breezy adaptation of a Jane Austen short novel follows the scheming Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale) as she sets about finding a new husband for herself and her reluctant daughter Catherine (Emma Greenwell), all the while scandalising society.

The laughs come thick and fast despite the uneven plotting, and Beckinsale—who’s given dialogue to chew on—is excellent.