The New Movies You Can Watch at Australian Cinemas From June 2

Head to the flicks to see a moving and sensual British drama.
Sarah Ward
Published on June 02, 2022

Something delightful has been happening in cinemas in some parts of the country. After numerous periods spent empty during the pandemic, with projectors silent, theatres bare and the smell of popcorn fading, picture palaces in many Australian regions are back in business — including both big chains and smaller independent sites in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

During COVID-19 lockdowns, no one was short on things to watch, of course. In fact, you probably feel like you've streamed every movie ever made, including new releasesStudio Ghibli's animated fare and Nicolas Cage-starring flicks. But, even if you've spent all your time of late glued to your small screen, we're betting you just can't wait to sit in a darkened room and soak up the splendour of the bigger version. Thankfully, plenty of new films are hitting cinemas so that you can do just that — and we've rounded up, watched and reviewed everything on offer this week.



Is there anything more intimate than wandering around someone's home when they're not there, gently rifling through their things, and — literally or not, your choice — spending a few minutes standing in their shoes? Yes, but there's still an intoxicating sense of closeness that comes with the territory; moseying curiously in another's house without their company, after they've entrusted their most personal space to you alone, will understandably do that. In Mothering Sunday, Jane Fairchild (Odessa Young, The Staircase) finds herself in this very situation. She's naked, and as comfortable as she's ever been anywhere. After her lover Paul Sheringham (Josh O'Connor, Emma) leaves her in a state of postcoital bliss, she makes the most of his family's large abode in the English countryside, the paintings and books that fill its walls and shelves, and the pie and beer tempting her tastebuds in the kitchen. The result: some of this 1920s-set British drama's most evocative and remarkable moments.

Jane is used to such lofty spaces, but rarely as a carefree resident. She's an aspiring writer, an orphan and the help; he's firmly from money. She works as a maid for the Sheringhams' neighbours, the also-wealthy Godfrey (Colin Firth, Operation Mincemeat) and Clarrie Niven (Olivia Colman, Heartstopper), and she's ventured next door while everyone except Paul is out. This rare day off is the occasion that gives the stately but still highly moving film its name as well — Mother's Day, but initially designed to honour mother churches, aka where one was baptised — and the well-to-do crowd are all lunching to celebrate Paul's impending nuptials to fiancée Emma Hobday (Emma D'Arcy, Misbehaviour). He made excuses to arrive late, though, in order to steal some time with Jane, as they've both been doing for years. Of course, he can't completely shirk his own party.

Mothering Sunday does more than luxuriate in Jane's languid stroll around a sprawling manor, or the happiness that precedes it — much, much more — but these scenes stand out for a reason. They're a showcase for Australian actor Young, who has graduated from playing troubled daughters (see: 2015's The Daughter and the unrelated Looking for Grace) to searching young women cementing their place in the world (see also: 2020's Shirley). With her quietly potent and radiant help, they say oh-so-much about Jane that wouldn't have sported the same power if conveyed via dialogue. They're also exactly the kind of sequences that screenwriter Alice Birch (Lady Macbeth) knows well, although she isn't merely repeating herself. Helping pen the page-to-screen adaptations of Sally Rooney's Normal People and Conversations with Friends, she's inherently at home revealing everything she can about her characters just by observing what they do when no one's watching.

The broader story in Mothering Sunday also springs from a book, this time from Graham Swift's 2016 novel, with French filmmaker Eva Husson (Girls of the Sun) making her English-language debut in the director's chair. Swift didn't choose an annual occasion at random, with the day cloaked in sadness in the Sheringham and Niven households — and across Britain — in the shadow of the First World War and all the young men lost to the conflict. Indeed, marking Paul's engagement is the best way to spend the date because his brothers, and the Nivens' boys too, will never have the same chance. The need to don a stiff upper lip, to keep calm and carry on, and to embody every other grin-and-bear-it cliche about English stoicism is deeply rooted in grief here, and more will come in this touching feature before the sunny March day that sits at its centre is over.

Read our full review.


If you're wondering what else is currently screening in Australian cinemas — or has been lately — check out our rundown of new films released in Australia on March 3, March 10, March 17, March 24 and March 31; April 7, April 14, April 21 and April 28; and May 5, May 12, May 19 and May 26.

You can also read our full reviews of a heap of recent movies, such as The Batman, Blind Ambition, Bergman Island, Wash My Soul in the River's Flow, The Souvenir: Part IIDog, Anonymous Club, X, River, Nowhere Special, RRRMorbius, The Duke, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Fantastic Beasts and the Secrets of Dumbledore, Ambulance, Memoria, The Lost City, Everything Everywhere All At Once, Happening, The Good Boss, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, The Northman, Ithaka, After Yang, Downton Abbey: A New Era, Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy, Petite Maman, The Drover's Wife The Legend of Molly JohnsonDoctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Firestarter, Operation Mincemeat, To Chiara, This Much I Know to Be True, The Innocents, Top Gun: Maverick, The Bob's Burgers Movie, Ablaze and Hatching.

Published on June 02, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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