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Australia 1989
Directed by
Ben Lewin
93 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars


Marketed as "a stylish thriller", writer-director Lewin's film goes a good way to fulfilling this claim.

Judy Davis plays a tenacious tax fraud investigator who is trying to uncover the possibly criminal circumstances of the death of her mother (also played by Davis), who she never knew. Davis, in a performance that recalls her role in Heatwave (1982) and that was effectively the last she made as a purely homegrown star, as always is compelling, delivering that mix of prickly feistiness and yearning vulnerability that is her stock-in-trade and that suits her character perfectly here.Lewin gives the film a winning visual form well-suited to the thriller genre whilst Paul Grabowsky's score suitably enhances proceedings.

Intriguingly mixing a classic Chandleresque murder mystery story line with Rashomon-like subjectivity and Hitchcockian sexually-inflicted derangement, the combination is for the most part pleasing however the script, co-written by Lewin with Joanna Murray-Smith and Bob Weis, and based on a story by Mac Gudgeon, eventually loses its hold over its ingredients and the director dutifully follows it to its over-hasty and anti-climactic ending.




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