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The Changeover Directed by Miranda Harcourt and Stuart McKenzie starring Timothy Spall, Melanie Lynskey, Lucy Lawless 1h29 minutes

Margaret Mahy would be proud BY EDDIE ALLNUTT


he Changeover is a supernatural thriller based on Margaret Mahy’s eponymously titled young adult novel. In the rolling credits, the film is dedicated to her. I’m sure she’d be proud. It’s about a 16-year-old girl who gets ill-fated premonitions. Often they eventuate, as they did with her dad and her hometown. Somehow, she must take her paranormal power to a much higher level to save her little brother Jacko, who’s in jeopardy. Although the most appreciative audience for The Changeover would be teenagers, there’s enough intrigue and uncertain anticipation of the outcome to appeal to a much wider range. The setting is updated to post-quake Christchurch, where the broken, graffiti-laden CBD, the water-submerged areas and the lonely relocated house on the outskirts all help to add depth and eeriness. We also get some great panoramic views of the sprawling night lights with the Port Hills background – cinematographers love those drones. Homegrown newbie Erana James plays the main protagonist, a strong-minded teen named Laura Chant. Englishman Timothy Spall – Harry Potter and The King’s Speech – plays creepy artefacts dealer Carmody Braque, who wheels and deals from a pop-up shipping container. Spall has the voice and chameleon-esque changes in personality to nail the part perfectly. Lucy Lawless and hunky high school heartthrob Nick Galitzine, who may sweep a few girls off their feet, make up some of the cauldron of the Carlisle family. Although predominantly a supernatural film with possessions, it’s closer to a Stephen King adaptation rather than The Exorcist. However, true to Mahy style, the directors also put some focus on adolescence issues such as peer pressure, struggling single-parent family life and, of course, romance. Laura quotes a beauty: “I don’t believe in fairytales – the real world is stranger than that.” Mahy’s novel was published in 1984 and won the Carnegie Medal, recognising the best children’s book of the year (the second time she’d won it – the first was for The Haunting). Incidentally, the film is co-directed by a husband-wife combo. About 30 years ago Miranda Harcourt narrated the novel on radio. She fell in love with it then and that passion hasn’t faded. I’m pretty sure today’s youth will dig the soundtrack, and although I couldn’t name many artists and songs, they weren’t offensive or grating. Bic Runga’s Sway brought back a few old memories and a recent one of ringing Vodafone. Come to think of it, some of the tunes I didn’t know might have been on that ‘hold’ line too. * Eddie Allnutt has left the cinema to look for Michael Bortnick, who was last seen running and breathing heavily in the woods with his camcorder.

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Movies Screening in October BLADE RUNNER 2049

5 Oct • TBC | 2hrs 43min Officer K, a new blade runner for the Los Angeles Police Department, unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. His discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard.


12 OCT • TBC | 1hr 44min Stranded on a mountain after a tragic plane crash, two strangers must work together to endure the extreme elements. Realizing that help is not on the way, they embark on a perilous journey.


19 Oct • E | 1hr 38min Documentary on writer and illustrator Sheila Natusch, retracing a long life dedicated to sharing her love of NZ’s nature and history. This film offers fascinating glimpses into the life of one of a few female students at Otago University.


26 Oct • M-VS | 1hr 44min Set against the backdrop of the 17th-century Tulip Wars, a married noblewoman has an affair with an artist and switches identities with her maid to escape the wealthy merchant she married, while investing in the high-stakes tulip market.

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Profile for WildTomato

Wild Tomato October2017  

WildTomato is Nelson & Marlborough's magazine. We focus on inspiring journalism, stunning photography and beautiful design. www.wildtomato.c...

Wild Tomato October2017  

WildTomato is Nelson & Marlborough's magazine. We focus on inspiring journalism, stunning photography and beautiful design. www.wildtomato.c...