Tagged: Laura Gordon

Summary: 
A 15-year-old swimming prodigy self-destructs after his father is released from jail.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates:  2nd September 2021 (Australia)

VOD Release Dates: 16th September 2021 (Australia)

Country: Australia

Director: Tyson Wade Johnston

Screenwriter: Tyson Wade Johnston

Cast: Steve Bastoni (Glenn Goodman), C.J. Bloomfield (Dwayne), Isaac Drandic (Mick Hill), Laura Gordon (Kim Lane), Jason Isaacs (Rob Bush), Levi Miller (Benjamin Lane), Robert Morgan (Coach Clarke), Ebony Naye (Joyce), Paula Nazarski (Cathy Hill), Hunter Page-Lochard (Josh Hill), Sam Parsonson (Nick Bush), Jake Ryan (Dave Bush), Ian Thorpe (himself), Joey Vieira (Eddie Rivers), Tasia Zalar (Patti Hill)

Running Time: 86 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia)

OUR STREAMLINE REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Streamline Review:

Given Australia’s love affair with sport I am surprised that over the years Australian filmmakers haven’t made more ‘great’ sports films. Of course there have been some stand-outs, The Club and September, spring to mind but largely when Aussies have tackled the sports genre the films have had a bad soapy feel to them, for examples take another look at The Cup or Ride Like A Girl.

Directed by first time feature film director Tyson Wade Johnson and produced by Australian swimming legend Ian Thorpe I feel that this is one of the first gritty sports films that we have seen in Australian for a long time. How gritty? Well I would have to say that this film is almost on par with The Wrestler.

Benjamin Lane (Levi Miller – Pan) is a gifted young swimmer, actually he is more than just gifted his Coach (Robert Morgan – Hacksaw Ridge) feels that he has what it takes to become an Olympic champion. And life is going pretty well for him as well, he is getting good grades at school, his girlfriend Patti (Tasia Zalar – Mystery Road) is deeply devoted to him and his mother, Kim (Laura Gordon – Undertow) is willing to make any sacrifice necessary to see her son become a champion.

But then everything starts to fall apart when his abusive father, Rob (Jason Isaacs – Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets), is released from prison. Benjamin’s life begins to spiral when Rob reaches out him and soon he finds himself drawn to the ‘loser’ lifestyle of drinking and partying that his two brothers, Dave (Jake Ryan – The Great Gatsby) and Nick (Sam Parsonson – Hacksaw Ridge), have chosen to live.

My first thought while watching Streamline was that this is a sports film that is nothing like anything that we have ever made here before. For once this is a sports film that goes behind the glory of the sport itself and shows the personal side of the person competing. Often with Australian sports films I find that the film wants to glorify the victories but quickly skip past the mental and physical demons that the star themselves may have had to overcome to get there. Films like The Cup and Ride Like A Girl are great examples – both the stars depicted in those films overcome a lot to get where they needed to be but a lot of the ‘hard times’ were shown in montages etc whereas Streamline hones in on those ‘hard times’ and makes them the centre piece of the film.

The result is a film that draws you in and makes you feel the pain and anguish that Benjamin is going through. To the credit of Johnson’s screenplay he doesn’t hold anything back from his audience no matter how dark it is. He steers away from Hollywood clichés, there are no inspirational chats by girlfriend or coach as Benjamin begins to throw his career away, instead it is the more natural ‘you’re a dickhead’ and anger and resentment towards him.

The result of the power and tension that Johnson creates throughout this film is a movie that even non-sports fans are going to find themselves compelled to. Films like Varsity Blues have tried to go down this road in the past but they have held back from going completely into the dark – Streamline does not.

I couldn’t help but also feel blown away by the acting performances here in the film. I think most film lovers already know that Levi Miller is going to become a star and his performance here just cements that. Let’s be honest if this film was American people would already be starting to say that there is an Oscar whisper around his performance.

Backing up Miller is an emotional performance by Laura Gordon, who I feel is one of the most under-rated character actresses in this country, and some true brilliance from Jake Ryan whose character Dave is the devil on Benjamin’s shoulder telling him to throw everything away.Streamline is an amazing piece of Australian cinema. I feel it shows the industry how a sports film should be made and it is a film not be missed even just for the once in a lifetime performance by Levi Miller.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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Trailer:

Umbrella Entertainment is proud to announce the theatrical release date of its latest quality Australian cinematic drama, STREAMLINE – starring Jason Isaacs, Levi Miller and Laura Gordon – which will screen in cinemas nationally on September 2, 2021.

The feature film debut of writer/director Tyson Wade Johnston, STREAMLINE will have its World Premiere at Melbourne International Film Festival in August, followed by regional screenings as part of the MIFF Travelling Showcase, and CinefestOZ Film Festival.

STREAMLINE is a coming-of-age sports drama about a fifteen-year-old swimming prodigy fighting to stay afloat as he faces pressure in the world of competitive sports, amidst overwhelming family problems.

Featuring a cameo performance by Australian swimming champion and Olympic gold medallist, Ian Thorpe (who is also Executive Producer on the film), the stellar cast also includes Jake Ryan, Tasia Zalar, Sam Parsonson, Hunter Page-Lochard and Joey Viera.

STREAMLINE is a Bronte Pictures production, made with assistance from Screen Queensland, Screen Australia and Pantalon Pictures. It is produced by Blake Northfield, Nathan Walker and Jay Douglas.

 

Few films that you see this year will match the power that comes from new Australian drama Undertow. The feature film debut for director Miranda Nation tells the powerful story of a young woman named Claire in the aftermath of her losing her baby. During this time she finds herself questioning the relationship between her husband, a young teenager called Angie and her husband’s best friend – a retired footballer.

Playing Claire is sensational Australian actress Laura Gordon who I recently had the honour of being to sit down with and talk about the film. “Undertow is a psychological thriller that focuses on the relationship between two women,” says Gordon as she explains the premise of the film. “I play Claire who loses her child during labour at the beginning of the film. Then during the film she develops this dangerous obsession with this young teenager who is pregnant. She becomes very obsessed with this baby that the woman is carrying. Her mental state and the obsession leads to things getting pretty dangerous for the both of them.”

No stranger to playing harrowing roles Gordon says she did have to prepare herself a great deal for this role. “I spent a lot of time with Miranda Nation the director,” she says. “We really went over the script and a lot of the things that Claire was going through at each specific time with a fine tooth comb. I think the script is such a fine blueprint on every job and then there were really specific things that I had to research, the things that my character would go through having a still-born baby. It is something that I have never experienced so I had to delve right into it so I could understand what it is like on a physical, psychological and a mental level. We also did a lot of rehearsals with the other main actors especially with Rob Collins who plays my husband, we did a lot of work on creating a background for our relationship from before the film began.”

“I guess with the mental illness side of things we looked at the things that Claire would specifically be going through,” she says continuing. “We looked at something called Briefly Active Psychosis which is a condition when trauma triggers a mental breakdown and it can happen to someone who has never experienced mental illness in the past, and they can have a full recovery from that kind of situation. So they were the key elements that were thrown into the pot and I kind of went from there.”

From there we begin to talk about what it was about Undertow that made Gordon want to agree to the film after she read the script. “There is something that happens to me when I read a script,” she answers. “And it is not something that I can even articulate, I just feel it in my bones. It is really something a gut level that just draws me in and I felt like that when I read Undertow. I think the fact that we are exploring topics like pregnancy loss and mental illness, and I think what really attracted me to it was the strong relationship with the young woman in the film, Angie played by Olivia DeJonge. There were so many elements that drew me in and then there was working with Miranda. But yeah playing this complicated, damaged and unlikable at times woman who had so many different layers to her was just a real drawcard.”

One of the things that has been talked about with Undertow is the amazing on-screen performances between Gordon and DeJonge and she tells me it was something that the two worked hard to replicate. “I think on the page a relationship like that will demand a certain intimacy or a certain level of connection regardless of whether it is a drama or a thriller. With the relationship between my character and Olivia’s character we meet for the first time on screen. So I didn’t spend that much time rehearsing with her, not compared to the time that I spent rehearsing with Rob because we kind of wanted to keep it fresh and to have that chemistry in front of the camera and I think that worked really well for us. We did have an enormous about of trust that we had to build though and we had to fee a safety between each other in order to be able to go on that journey together.”

The work the two put together is nothing short of amazing and if you haven’t seen Undertow yet then get out and see it this weekend.

 

Undertow is in cinemas now.