Tagged: Justine Clarke

 

Opening October 10 with Hotel Mumbai stars Armie Hammer, Dev Patel and Tilda Cobham-Hervey on the red carpet, the Adelaide Film Festival has now unveiled the full stunning line-up of guests for 2018. Australians Wayne Blair, Benjamin Law, Justine Clarke, Warwick Thornton, Tess Haubrich, Erica Glynn, Margaret Pomeranz, David Stratton and Venice prize winners Jennifer Kent and Baykali Ganambarr will be joined by international guests including Jordan’s Widad Shafakoj, Denmark’s Clara Rugaard and Indonesia’s Kamila Andini for the eleven day screen spectacular.

 

Jennifer Kent, director of Venice Special Jury Prize winner and ADL Film Fest FUND film The Nightingale will walk the red carpet at the Australian Premiere with Baykali Ganambarr, winner of the Venice Film Festival’s Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best New Talent and former member of the internationally acclaimed Djuki Mala dance group, Jim Everett, associate producer and aboriginal consultant and producer Kristina Ceyton (The Babadook, Cargo).

 

Exciting young star of I Am MotherDanish actress Clara Rugaard, best known for playing Juliet in Still Star-Crossed with writer/director Grant Sputore and producer Timothy White

 

Multi-award winning filmmaker and humanitarian activist from Jordan, Widad Shafakoj will present the Australian Premiere of her doco, 17, which follows the Jordanian team’s journey to the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup. Widad will also be part of a fascinating panel discussion on The Cinematic World of Arab Women with Arab Film Festival Australia Committee members Dr Mehal Krayem and Dr Paula Abood. 

Recipients of the Don Dunstan Award, indigenous screen pioneer Freda Glynn, her children, Erica Glynn, Warwick Thornton, and grandchildren Tanith Glynn-Maloney and Dylan River will be celebrated with a suite of events including the World Premiere of She Who Must Be Loved (directed by Erica, produced by Tanith), the launch of KIN, a collection of essays which recognise the remarkable contribution to the industry of this talented family, and screenings of Warwick’s 2003 debut Samson & Delilah, and Dylan’s much-anticipated documentary Finke: There and Back.

 

The World Premiere of ABC/NETFLIX thriller Pine Gap will see stars Tess Haubrich (Alien: Covenant, Wolf Creek 2) and Sachin Joab (Lion) walk the red carpet with director Mat King and producers. 

 

In Adelaide to present their films in the festival’s Feature Fiction Competition in partnership with University of South Australia’s School of Creative Industries is Australian mystery thriller Celeste director Ben Hackworth and Indonesian director Kamila Andini with her APSA and Berlinale Crystal Bear winning The Seen and Unseen. Also in competition, the festival welcomes the cast and crew of Australian feature Emu Runner including cast Wayne Blair, Rhae-Kye Waites, Mary Waites, Letisha Boney and Stella Carter with director/writer Imogen Thomas and producer Victor Evatt

 

The Flinders University Feature Documentary Competition title Happy Sad Man will be presented by filmmaker Genevieve Bailey (I Am Eleven) and subjects from her compelling documentary. 

 

Youtube sensation (10+ million subscribers) Ozzy Man will join filmmakers Jeremy Kelly-Bakker and Tom Phillips for the World Premiere of Lucy and DiC

 

Comedian, writer and creator of The Family Law, Benjamin Law and showrunner Sophie Miller for the series 3 World Premiere on the big screen. 

 

Star of Look Both WaysJustine Clarke and producer Bridget Ikin will be in conversation with Margaret Pomeranz following a special screening of Sarah Watt’s remarkable debut. 

 

Bridget Ikin will also World Premiere The Woman and the Car alongside director Kate Blackmore

 

World premiere of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia’s (NFSA) digital restoration of South Australian classic starring Jack Thompson NFSA Restores: Sunday Too Far Away, presented by star Max Cullen, producer Matt Carroll, DOP Geoff Burton, and former SAFC executive Penny Chapman

 

Max Cullen will also join director Thomas M Wright and writer Erik Jensen for a special screening of Acute Misfortune, a dramatised portrait of the late Australian artist Adam Cullen. 

 

World Premieres of Adelaide Film Festival FUND works will be presented by:

Davi director Victoria Cocks and producer Anna Bardsley-Jones

A Stone’s Throw director Luke Wissell and producer Ashleigh Knott

Running 62: The Arrival VR director Madeleine Parry, producers Molly O’Connor and Anton Andreacchio and subject Zibeon Fielding 

Demonic producers Bonnie McBride and Anna Vincent

The Art of the Game filmmakers Matthew Bate, Trent Parke and Narelle Autio whose ADLFF FUND VR The Summation of Force  is also screening in the Jumpgate VR Lounge

The Waiting Room director Molly Reynolds and producer Rolf de Heer

 

Guests presenting their Australian Showcase screenings include:

Dying to Live activist-documentarian Richard Todd (Frackman

Love in the Time of Antidepressants filmmaker Paul Gallasch and producer Katrina Lucas

Melodrama/Random/Melbourne! director Matthew Victor Pastor and Senses of Cinema’s Bill Mousoulis

Two-person artist collective Soda_Jerk will present their political revenge fable Terror Nullius

Producer Rita Walsh will present I Used to be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story 

Producer/director Janine Hosking with producers Trish Lake and Katey Grusovin for The Eulogy 

 

Short film and Made in SA filmmakers presenting their films include Lucy Campbell and Peter Ninos (The Big Nothing), Sara West (Mutt), David Muggleton (Freedom), Lucy Knox (An Act of Love), Indianna Bell and Josiah Allen (Small Town P.D.)Kiara Milera (Wild) and Steve Bakala Warramurra (Bakala). Also in Adelaide for the festival are filmmakers from the 2018 Sit Down Shutup and Watch Film & New Media Festival

 

The International Feature Fiction Jury filmmaker and selector for Venice and selection committee for Cannes Directors FortnightPaolo Bertolin; Renowned South Australian director, Emmy, Peabody and multiple AFI award-winner Scott Hicks; and Sarah Perks writer, curator, film producer and Artistic Director of HOME in Manchester where she enables the investment and presentation of films created by artists.

 

The Flinders University Feature Documentary Competition will be determined by an all female, all award-winning Jury of filmmakers: lawyer, writer and filmmaker and Larissa Behrendt (After the Apology), multi-award winning editor Tania Nehme (Tanna, Ten Canoes) and award-winning writer, producer and director Madeleine Parry (Nanette).

 

The AFTRS Virtual Reality Competition jury consists of industry professionals at the forefront of screen making with emerging technologies, AFTRS Head of Cinematography Kim Batterham and Google Creative Lab’s Mathew Tizard. The final VR Jury member is internationally acclaimed artist and VR creative Sue Austin, who will present her underwater live art event ‘Creating the Spectacle!’ in a Southern Hemisphere premiere in two shows only at North Adelaide Aquatic Centre. 

 

Festival “faces’ Natasha Wanganeen (Cargo, Rabbit-Proof Fence) and Rashidi Edward (F*!#ing Adelaide) will be rubbing shoulders with the industry including Hotel Mumbai director/writer Anthony Maras, writer John Collee and producers Julie Ryan and Joe Thomas, plus Gillian Armstrong, in Adelaide for the SAFC’s inaugural Lottie Lyell AwardWIFT Australia’s Megan Riakos and Tracey Corbin-Matchett to launch the Raising Films Australia Survey, SPA’s Matt Deaner and The Wheeler Centre’s Sophie Black among many others!

 

Plus the artists featured at the Reactive Wall

Since 2013 ADL Film Fest has showcased the work of artists as they respond to premieres of the festival. In 2018 we welcome Alex Beckinsale, Cameron Smith, Cassie Thring, Christina Peek and Sarah Tickle who cover everything from mixed media and digital art to painting. Joining these artists is local legend Roy Ananda, known for his work inspired by film and pop culture. Roy will be working with these artists, all graduates of the Adelaide Central School of Art, to realise the most ambitious iteration of the Reactive Wall to date. 

 

Sarah Tickle on TERROR NULLIUS

Alex Beckinsale on I AM MOTHER

Cameron Smith on THE NIGHTINGALE

Cassie Thring on THE SEEN AND UNSEEN

Roy Ananda on THE EYES OF ORSON WELLES

Christina Peek on ART ON SCREEN 

Come and explore the Reactive Wall projects in the GU Film House Courtyard on your way to the box office as these works come to life in response to the festival’s biggest films.

Red Dog; True Blue Poster

Summary: An iconic Australian story of family, friendship and adventure, between a young boy and a scrappy one-of-a-kind dog that would grow up to become an Australian legend.

Year: 2016

Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th December 2016

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: Australia

Director: Kriv Stenders

Screenwriter: Daniel Taplitz

Cast: Josie Alec (Abby), Caitlin Berestford-Ord (Catherine), Syd Brisbane (Big John), Bryan Brown (Grandpa), Kee Chan (Jimmy Umbrella), Justine Clarke (Diane Carter), Thomas Cocquerel (Stemple), Jon Doust (McLeod), Alla Hand (Gilliam Shaw), Jason Isaacs (Michael Carter), John Jarratt (Lang Hangcock), Hanna Mangan Laurence (Betty), Steve Le Marquand (Little John), Winta McGrath (Nicholas Carter), Zen McGrath (Theo Carter), Levi Miller (Mick), Kelton Pell (Durack), Igor Sas (Dr. Samuel), Calen Tassone (Taylor Pete)

Runtime: 88 mins

Classification: PG

OUR RED DOG: TRUE BLUE REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

Nobody ever expected the original Red Dog film to go onto the greatness that it did when it was released back in 2011. Somehow the little Aussie family film showed the world that the Australian film industry wasn’t dead. While the industry had seen many Aussie filmmakers try the comedy vein, it seems it was the family comedy vein that still had life in it. The film grossed over $21 million in Australia alone.

Of course, not surprisingly word of a Red Dog sequel started to seep through while the first film was still raking in money at the box office. The only man who didn’t seem interested in the concept was the director Kriv Stenders (Boxing Day) who was already busy on his next project – the cult film Kill Me Three Times starring Simon Pegg. Along the way, though something changed and now five years later we find ourselves sitting down to watch a prequel to the original – Red Dog: True Blue.

There is little wonder that Stenders was nervous about making another Red Dog film, a dud could tarnish the legacy that the first left behind. Luckily though Stenders once again teamed up with screenwriter Daniel Taplitz (Chaos Theory) and together the two men came up with a film that is different enough from the original film to give it its own identity, but not different enough to alienate fans of the first in the series.

This second film is told through the eyes of a Perth father Michael Carter (Jason IsaacsBlack Hawk Down) who after watching the original Red Dog movie in the cinema recounts the story of how he was actually the original owner of Red… or Blue as he was called back then. His story tells of his younger self (Levi MillerPan) being forced to leave home because of his mentally unstable mother and moving to outback Western Australia where he lived with his grandfather (Bryan BrownAustralia). On a cattle station.

The story sees Mick meet Blue and tells of the adventures that they had together including Mick falling in love for the first time, with his tutor the young and beautiful Betty (Hanna Mangan Laurence Acolytes).

Fans of the original film will see very early on that Stenders and Taplitz are onto a winning formula when they see the creative way that leads to Michael Carter telling his story. While it seems a little strange for the film to be referencing the first film so openly, but at that same time it so creative that you can’t help but applaud at the pure genius act that the two men have managed to deliver.

While Red Dog: True Blue is creative it does lack a little of the emotion that we felt from the first film. I’m man enough to admit that I teared up twice during Red Dog, but here Stenders and co takes the film in a completely different direction, this time the film is a pure coming of age story that sees a young boy take his dog with him on the start of life’s journey. While the film does also have a few moments that are likely to make you chuckle it doesn’t have anywhere near as many comedic moments as the first movie either.

Those that benefit from Stenders work here is the cast. Levi Miller is almost unrecognisable as the younger version of Mick and he settles into the period style of the film well. It is great to see Hanna Mangan Laurence back on the big screen and hopefully, we see her there again soon while as usual Bryan Brown leads the way with a mature performance as he leads the cast despite seemingly being in auto-pilot for most of the film. The big scene stealer here though is John Jarratt (Wolf Creek) who has a cameo as mining magnate Lang Hancock… and boy is it a cameo to remember.

Red Dog: True Blue is a smooth, enjoyable ride for the whole family. It might not reach the heights that the first film did but it is still a film that holds its own and reminds audiences just how fun it still can be to watch a coming-of-age story. The fact that it is being released on Boxing Day makes it the perfect family cinema outing this holiday season.

Stars(3)

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(3)

 

IMDB Rating:  No rating available.

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Red Dog: True Blue Reviews: Dave Griffiths broadcast a Red Dog: True Blue on 2UE’s That’s Entertainment on the 8th December, 2016.

Trailer:

A Month Of Sundays

Summary: Divorced real estate agent Frank Mollard’s (Anthony LaPaglia) is struggling to deal with divorce and his place in the world when he is suddenly surprised from a phone call by Sarah (Julia Blake) an elderly woman who reminds Frank of his own mother who is now deceased.

Year: 2015

Australian Cinema Release Date: 28th April 2016

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: Australia

Director: Matthew Saville

Screenwriter: Matthew Saville

Cast: Wayne Anthony (Noel Lang), Julia Blake (Sarah), John Clarke (Phillip Lang), Justine Clarke (Wendy), Terence Crawford (Staurt), Indiana Crowther (Frank Jnr.), Mikaela Davies (Olivia), Donal Forde (Damian), Patrick Graham (Ian Treggoning), Anthony LaPaglia (Frank Mollard)

Runtime: 110 mins

Classification: PG

 

OUR A MONTH OF SUNDAYS REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

A film is supposed to make you feel a range of different emotions when you watch it, but very often it’s how you feel as you leave the cinema that is the most important. Will you leave feeling entertained? Informed? The one thing you probably shouldn’t be feeling when you leave the cinema is empty… but sadly that is the way I found myself feeling as I left the cinema after a screening of A Month of Sundays… something that I should add that the friends with me were feeling as well.

To be honest that completely surprised me because in the past I have adored the films made by Australian director Matthew Saville. His debut feature Noise was a fresh alternative Police drama that had me really raving about the brilliance of the film, while his last film Felony again visited the boys in the blue and kept its audience guessing from start to finish.

That is the first thing that hits you about A Month Of Sundays it is very different to anything that Saville has done before. Instead of going down the crime path this film centres around Frank Mollard (Anthony LaPaglia – Without A Trace) a real estate agent who has found himself in a deep funk as he struggles to see any importance in his work and is also dealing with the fact that his now famous wife, Wendy (Justine Clarke – Look Both Ways), has left him and he has no idea how to connect with his son, Frank Jnr. (Indiana Crowther – newcomer).

Then along comes something that sparks a little bit of interest in Frank’s life. He receives an accidental phone call from Sarah (Julia Blake – Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark), a retired librarian who reminds him of his mother. While Frank’s uncaring boss, Phillip Lang (John Clarke – The Man Who Sued God) warns him against it Frank finds himself drawing closer to Sarah.

A quick read through of the summary of the film and you see that it could have been possible for A Month Of Sundays to have been a very thought provoking film. To its credit the film does explore topics such as how an older male deals with the break-up of a marriage, the loss of his mother and also trying to relate to his teenage son, but the film just does not go deep enough into any of those topics to make it worthy film. The film also doesn’t allow its audience to feel sorry for Frank enough, we simply see him as a morose (and kind of boring) individual and as a result you just never really develop a connection to him. Worse still is the fact that the filmmakers obviously think that the audience with side with Frank and not support Sarah’s son in his belief that Sarah and Frank’s friendship is a little strange. Truthfully it is easier to see the son’s point of view than it is to see Frank’s.

One of the biggest problems with the film though is that it just seems to cruise along at a steady pace with very little highs. The major high throughout the film is the comedic style of John Clarke, which most Australians would have come to know and love with his political satire on A Current Affair. Clarke’s style steals nearly every scene that he is in and it is often his one liners that are the stand out. He even manages to deliver some good emotional scenes as we see his character battle with dealing with the fact that his elderly father has lost his mind.

As usual Anthony LaPaglia is good but really doesn’t get a lot to work with. He breezes through his scenes while wearing the same emotion on his face in nearly every scene. He is well supported by Justine Clarke and newcomer, Indiana Crowther. The clear standout here though is Julia Blake who commands the screen in every scene she appears in and once again she has managed to deliver another great performance.

A Month Of Sundays is a little bit of a letdown for all the Matthew Saville fans out there. Slow and unremarkable this is a film that I doubt that I will revisit.

Stars(2.5)

 

 

Greg King:

A Month Of Sundays is the third film from writer/director Matt Saville (a veteran of television with credits ranging from the telemovie The King to sitcom Please Like Me), and is something of a change of pace for a filmmaker widely considered as one of our best. His first two films were the multi-award winning Noise and Felony, both character-driven police dramas that explored themes of guilt, responsibility, family and secrets. A Month Of Sundays is a more introspective drama about a man undergoing a midlife crisis who gets a new lease on life after he meets an elderly woman. It deals with universal themes of family, loss, grief, mortality, dysfunctional relationships, the dream of owning your own home, regeret and redemption, and a variety of complex mother/son relationships.

The central character here is Frank Mollard (played by Anthony LaPaglia, from tv series Without A Trace, the recent Holding The Man, and AFI award winning dramas Balibo, Lantana, etc), a real estate agent who has fallen into a pit of despair and is sleepwalking through his life at the moment. He is having trouble selling houses, even in the midst of a real estate boom. His mother has recently died, he is still dealing with the breakdown of his marriage to Wendy (Justine Clarke), who is finding fame as the star of a new television medical drama, and is having difficulty relating to his teenaged son (newcomer Indiana Crowther). His job is selling houses that belong to the soon to be deceased, which further adds to his emotional turmoil and sense of grief.

Then he receives phone call from the elderly Sarah (Julia Blake), who accidentally rang his number when trying to call her own son. Intrigued by their brief conversation and the sense of comfort it briefly provided, Frank arranges to meet Sarah and through her he explores his own grief and emotional confusion. His presence soon proves an irritant to her real son Damien (Donal Forde), who works as an IT expert. But eventually Sarah becomes something of a surrogate mother figure and her wisdom and life experiences eventually help snap Frank out of his ennui and he begins to reconect with the world around him.

But unfortunately this earnest and well meaning but contrived melodrama is the lesser of Saville’s three films. It is uneven in both tone and pacing. There are problems with the script and the characterisation as we don’t really identify with some of the characters here or even care that much about them.

Veteran cinematographer Mark Wareham (Felony, BoyTown, etc) makes good use of the leafy tree lined suburban streets of Adelaide and gives the film a strong sense of location and a strong visual surface.

LaPaglia is good at conveying the fragility and vulnerability of the male psyche and he does a good job here bringing some unexpected layers to his nuanced portrayal of Frank. A nice touch sees Frank describe every location he enters in terse real estate terms: “Meticulously renovated family home; untouched period charm; late Victorian style; scope to further improve…” Although 79, Blake is still a formidable screen presence and she brings gravitas to her role as Sarah. But the best moments of the film centre around Frank’s shifty boss Philip (a scene stealing performance by comic John Clarke), a shifty hustler with a heart of stone. Clarke brings his usual dry, deadpan wit to the role and I wanted more of his character and less of the melodramatic stuff about dysfunctional families and midlife crises that we have seen in numerous other similarly themed films.

But overall A Month Of Sundays is a rather trite and pedestrian affair that will struggle to resonate with a wider mainstream audience.

 

Stars(2)

 

 

John Noonan:

Anthony LaPaglia plays sour faced estate agent, Frank Mollard, who could be a human stand in for Droopy the Dog should he ever fail to turn up for work. Frank is still wrestling with unaired feelings about his mother’s death the previous year, his ex-wife is carving a successful career as an actress and his distant son appears to be following suit. He’s also become disenfranchised with his job; watching potential first time home owners lose out to middle-aged hipster property tycoons. When he receives a call from a sweet old lady called Sarah (Julia Blake) who has misdialled, Frank spies an opportunity to claw back some of the happiness he once had.

There’s something about A Month of Sundays, the latest film from director Matthew Saville, that doesn’t quite stick. For all intents and purposes the goods it puts on display are tempting; great cast, sunny locale and a touching underdog story that often resonates with Australian audiences. And yet it all feels a bit too light, particularly when stacked up against Saville’s previous work, such as Felony and Noise.

The trailer suggests that this will be a bittersweet drama about two people forming a cross-generational friendship in which they’ll laugh, cry, and possibly even learn something at the end of the day. However, Sarah, played wonderfully by Julia Blake, is merely one of several characters who walk in and out of scene to validate Frank’s demeanour. We learn an awful lot about the bitter agent, but very little about the dear OAP who likes to use the Dewey decimal system to keep her books in order at home. Affectations do not a personality make.

When a turning point in the film sees Sarah receive some tragic news, it makes the same misstep as Me and Earl and The Dying Girl, by denying her agency and instead focussing on how poor Frank will cope. LaPaliga is brilliant, but this film should really be more of a two-hander than it is. However, it’s not all doom and gloom, as Jack Clarke steals a number of scenes as Frank’s boss Peter Langdon. Even then though his acidic one-liners are hampered by scenes involving his mentally ill father that feel like they were taken from another film.

As feel good movies go, this is pretty much by the numbers stuff and it’s such a shame that a talented person like Saville would make such a misstep. However, in the right mood, A Month of Sundays is perhaps a non-taxing classic Sunday arvo film waiting to happen.

 

Stars(3)

 

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(2.5)

 

IMDB Rating: A Month of Sundays (2015) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment A Month Of Sundays reviews: You can also listen to our full A Month Of Sunday review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #174.

Trailer:

Healing Poster

Summary: After 18 years in prison, Viktor Khadem (Don Hany – East West 101, Offspring, Serangoon Road, Broken Shore) is a man who has almost given up on life. Near the end of his sentence he is sent to Won Wron, a low-security prison farm 200 km outside Melbourne in regional Victoria, where Senior Case Worker Matt Perry (Hugo Weaving) has established a unique program to rehabilitate broken men through giving them the responsibility for the rehabilitation of injured raptors – beautiful, fearsome proud eagles, falcons and owls. Against all odds, Matt takes on Viktor as his number one test case, introducing him to Yasmine, the majestic Wedge-tailed Eagle with a two metre wingspan. If these two can tame each other, anything is possible.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 8th May, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: Australia

Director: Craig Monahan

Screenwriter: Craig Monahan, Alison Nisselle

Cast: Dimitri Baveas (Yousef), Laura Brent (Stacey), Tony Briggs (Travis), Justine Clarke, Don Hany (Viktor Khadem), Anthony Hayes (Warren), Tony Martin (Prison Warden), Jane Menelaus (Glynis), Joana Pires (Mrs. Yousef), Xavier Samuel (Paul), Richard Stables (Ted), Robert Taylor (Vander), Harry Tseng (Dave), Hugo Weaving (Matt Perry), Mark Leonard Winter (Shane)

Runtime: 120 mins

Classification: M

OUR HEALING REVIEWS & RATINGS:

David Griffiths:

Over the past few years the prison genre of both the small screen and the big screen has become a reason for screenwriters to portray the art of brutality. Bashings, stabbings even the odd prison gets thrown in as Hollywood expects the audience to believe that most prisons are an absolute war zone. It’s therefore a bit of a relief to sit down and watch Healing, a film that is more about the rehabilitation and emotions of prisoners rather than the physical violence that goes along with prison life.

The central character of Healing is Viktor Khadem (Don Hany – TV’S Devil’s Playground & Serangoon Road), a fifty-something prisoner who has just been placed in the low security prison, Won Wron, as a way to prepare himself for release after serving eighteen years in Pentridge for murder. Here he finds himself befriending the lonely and quite, Paul (Xavier Samuel – Plush, Drift) – a prisoner who doesn’t like to talk about why he is in prison and certainly doesn’t want to see his family.

On his arrival at Won Wron one of the guards, Matt Perry (Hugo Weaving – The Mule, The Turning) realises that Viktor needs to seriously change before he is released but can’t find the right rehabilitation program for him. After seeing Viktor’s reaction to finding an injured wedge-tailed eagle he manages to talk the prison hierarchy into allowing him to set up a program headed up by Viktor which would see a select number of prisoners get to work closely with Healesville Sanctuary looking after injured birds of prey.

The program begins running and seems to have a positive effect on Viktor, however its whole existence seems to rest on the behaviour of Shane (Mark Leonard Winter – The Boy Castaways, Green Eyed), a prisoner whose limited mental capacity makes him seek out approval from those around him, sadly for the others that normally means he is loyal to the prison’s ‘king-pin’ Warren (Anthony Hayes – The Broken Shore, TV’S Secrets & Lies).

The first thing that hits you about Healing is the cinematography. Filmed by Oscar-winning cinematographer Andrew Lesnie, who most would know from his work on The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, the film conjures up some beautiful shots of the wildlife at hand while also capturing some bird-eye views of the Victorian countryside that is rarely seen on the big screen. The visual brilliance of the film is well matched by an emotional script that really captures the thoughts and mind set of prisoners who have to face the reality of once again embarking on the big wide world.

Healing does have its faults though. There is the editing which sadly lets down the spectacular visuals. The cuts are noticeable (which should never happen in feature film) and at times makes you feel like you are watching something like Neighbours or Home & Away. The fact that the film’s bad guy, Anthony Hayes’ Warren, seems to throw back to every prison bad guy stereotype also drags down the film a little as well and at the end of the day makes him less menacing than he should be.

Another plus for the film however is the cast. The fact that smaller roles are filled by actors of the calibre of Tony Martin (Blood Brothers, Closed For Winter) and Robert Taylor (TV’S Mr & Mrs Murder & Longmire) gives a strong testament to how good this script is. Then there is Xavier Samuel and Mark Leonard Winter who put in credible performances, but they are outshone here by the leading men Hugo Weaving and Don Hany. Weaving puts in one of his relaxed-but-still-gripping performances while Hany delivers the performance that his legion of fans expected. Since his early days in White Collar Blue and his award-winning portrayal of Zane Malick in multicultural Police drama East West 101 the public has known that Don Hany would one day become a leading man that warrants feature film status. That certainly arrives with Healing which sees Hany play a character that is almost twenty years older than he actually is. To get into the role he ate junk food and started smoking, the result is a strong performance that should see him start to warrant overseas attention for his services.

Healing is hardly the kind of film that is going to be lapped by the popcorn brigade, no this is more a film for those who love good cinema. Heartfelt and warm Healing is the kind of film that will affect some emotionally.

Stars(3.5)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(3.5)

IMDB Rating: Nil.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Healing′: Please check Dave’s Healing review that aired on First On Film on J-Air on the 4th May, 2014.

Trailer:

Healing Poster

Pinnacle Films has launched the trailer for HEALING, the highly anticipated new film from multi-award winning Australian writer/director Craig Monahan (The Interview – AFI Best Film Award Winner, Peaches).

Healing is a powerful, moving story of redemption, the discovery of hope and the healing of the spirit – in the most unlikely place, for the most unique men, through the most unusual catalyst.

Don Hany (The Broken Shore, Serangoon Road, East West 101, Offspring) makes his feature film leading role debut as Viktor Khadem, a man who has almost given up on life after 18 years inside. Near the end of his sentence he is sent to Won Wron, a low-security prison farm 200 km outside Melbourne in regional Victoria, where Senior Case Worker Matt Perry (Hugo Weaving) has established a unique program to rehabilitate broken men through giving them the responsibility for the rehabilitation of injured raptors – beautiful, fearsome proud eagles, falcons and owls.

Against all odds, Matt takes on Viktor as his number one test case, introducing him to Yasmine, the majestic Wedge-tailed Eagle with a two metre wingspan. If these two can tame each other, anything is possible.

Inspired by real events, Healing is a new Australian film written and directed by Craig Monahan, the multi-award winning director of The Interview – Winner of Best Film – Australian Film Institute Awards.

The film was shot by Oscar®-winning cinematographer Andrew Lesnie (The Hobbit, LOTR, Babe, Bran Nue Dae) with music by Oscar®- nominated composer David Hirschfelder (Elizabeth, Shine, Strictly Ballroom, The Truman Show, Australia)

Don Hany and Hugo Weaving are joined by a roll-call of some of Australia’s best talent including Xavier Samuel, Tony Martin, Mark Leonard Winter, Jane Menelaus, Robert Taylor, Anthony Hayes, Justine Clarke, Laura Brent and Tony Briggs.


HEALING is released in Australia on 8 May 2014 by Pinnacle Films.