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Jindabyne – the movie

By emd 17 July 2006 0

I was one of the lucky few to get a free pass to the 666 ABC preview screening recently (thanks to my other half’s quick phone dialling skills). It opens on July 20, although I haven’t found info on where it will be shown. Here’s a link to the official film website.

The acting and the scenery really make this movie worth watching. Gabriel Byrne, as Stewart, is a portrait of a man battling with his own conscience. Laura Linney’s portrayal of a foreigner trying to fit into a small Australian community was also outstanding. There is a startling juxtaposition between beautifully peaceful mountain scenery, and the horror of unravelling community relationships. Just what you’d expect from the director of Lantana.

Although the movie gives a lot of screen time to these two characters, it really is an ensemble piece. The Australian actors put in great performances. One stand-out exchange: Jude (Deborra-Lee Furness) tells Carl (John Howard) “Your grand-daughter’s just done her first murder”. Carl’s response: “the shitter’s blocked again”.

Very much a character-driven movie, it’s more about the dialogue and expressions than the action. But there’s still some nice twists and turns in the plot, so the story itself is interesting as well as the players.

Probably not a first-date movie – we walked out feeling a bit emotionally drained. But it will certainly give you something to talk about, if conversation-starters are what you need. And may still inspire a fishing trip to Jindy. Or maybe I’ll just watch “A River Somewhere” on DVD and avoid the snow crowds.

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