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Top 10 films this week

1. MODEL SHOP (92 minutes) Unrated 18+

The French director Jacques Demy came to LA in 1969 to shoot this hippie-era story about a dropout (Gary Lockwood) pursuing a mystery woman (Anouk Aimee) – really just another Demy film, with its candy colours, romantically viewed industrial landscapes, and characters who move in circles as if orbiting a forbidden planet. An essential work by one of the greats.
Newly restored version, digitally projected. ACMI, today 7pm and tomorrow 5.30pm.

2. GIGI (110 minutes) G

Vincente Minnelli’s exquisite visual sense elevates this arch 1958 musical, based on a Colette novella, about an innocent Parisian teenager (Leslie Caron) groomed for illicit love by her grandmother (Hermione Gingold, resembling Denise Scott). The Oscar-winning sets and costumes are by Cecil Beaton, and the pink-cheeked Maurice Chevalier leers his way through Thank Heaven For Little Girls.
Digitally projected. Sun Theatre, Yarraville, tomorrow, 12.30pm and Sun Cinema, Bairnsdale, tomorrow, 12.35pm.

3. AMERICAN HUSTLE (138 minutes) M

Christian Bale and Amy Adams play con artists who team up with the FBI in David O. Russell’s screwball caper, based on a true story from the 1970s. Russell’s wildest film since I Heart Huckabees, it’s all about the joy of acting and transformation – with terrific performances all round, especially from Jennifer Lawrence as Bale’s mercurial wife.
Digitally projected. Astor, tomorrow, 4pm.


4. PORCO ROSSO (93 minutes) PG

Hayao Miyazaki’s 1992 animated allegory concerns a cigar-chomping Italian flying ace (voiced by Shuichiro Moriyama) who becomes a pig to avoid taking sides during the rise of fascism. Set against the backdrop of the sunny Mediterranean, it’s superficially one of Miyazaki’s lightest and most comic films, but also one of his most adult.
35-millimetre print. Astor, today, 7.30pm. Double feature with The Wind Rises.

5. UNDER THE SKIN (108 minutes) MA

Scarlett Johansson is a mysterious femme fatale targeting the male population of Glasgow in this uncanny experimental thriller from Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast, Birth). As in the work of Roman Polanski, it’s implied that the “ordinary” world can be terrifying if we stop to think about it – and that being a woman, in particular, is sufficient reason for paranoia.
Cinema Nova.

6. THE TRIP TO ITALY (108 minutes) M

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon take their bickering double-act to sunnier climes in this abridged version of the second season of Michael Winterbottom’s ad-libbed sitcom. Essentially the recipe is the same as before – celebrity impersonations, garnished with meditations on mortality – but there are many inspired moments and the ending is worth all the detours.

7. OMAR (96 minutes) M

Palestinian writer-director Hany Abu-Assad (Paradise Now) hits hard with this politically charged melodrama about a young baker (long-limbed newcomer Adam Bakri) who joins a militant group. Though the plot stays unpredictable to the end, the twists gain impact from our understanding that the conflicted hero is playing a losing game throughout.
Cinema Nova.

8. OVERHEARD 3 (131 minutes) M

A high-rise development becomes the subject of a turf war between white-collar crooks in this intricate, sardonic thriller from Felix Chong and Alan Mak (Infernal Affairs), the latest in a series of stand-alone features linked by the theme of surveillance. The ubiquitous Louis Koo stars as a crippled ex-con poring over screens in search of an exit from the maze.

9. LOVING (105 minutes) Unrated 18+

When a pregnant council worker (Julia Kijowska) is raped by her boss (Adam Woronowicz) she delays telling her self-involved husband (Marcin Dorocinski) – for good reason, as it turns out. This well-made, harrowing drama from Polish writer-director Slawomir Fabicki perhaps says more about patriarchy than it means to: the “happy ending” could hardly be less reassuring.
Screens as part of the Polish Film Festival. Classic Elsternwick, tomorrow, 2pm.

10. THE PLEASURES OF BEING OUT OF STEP (87 minutes) Unrated 18+

Few critics deserve feature-length documentaries, but Nat Hentoff – jazz lover, civil libertarian, anti-abortion advocate – is an exception to many rules. Whatever you make of his idiosyncratic views, this close-up portrait, directed by fellow journalist David L. Lewis, prompts respect for his lifelong determination to go his own way. Screens as part of the Melbourne Jazz Festival.
ACMI, today, 7.30pm.