The Winds of Jarrah (1984)

  |  Drama, Romance

The Winds of Jarrah (1984) Poster

Australia 1946. A young woman escapes from an unhappy affair to become tutor to three children who are being raised by their uncle.


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28 March 2003 | petershelleyau
title never explained
This forgettable Australian movie is based on a Harlequin/Mills and Boon novel and might have been improved upon with better casting. Ironically, Isabelle Anderson in the small role of Helen Marlow, the errant mother of the 3 children British Diana Venness (Susan Lyons) comes to Australia to nanny, has more screen charisma than Lyons, who is photographed unflatteringly and whose British accent is questionable.

The screenplay gives Diana two suitors while she pines for the alcoholic, laconic 'Timber' (Terence Donovan), the owner of the rural Tallwoods property and uncle of the children. Timber's misogyny is demonstrated by "Women are creatures of deadly impulses", and to Diana, "I could eat you for breakfast but I prefer red meat to dry bone". Director Mark Egerton's nadir is having Diana in close-up drool over Timber woodblock axing in slow motion, though otherwise Donovan's performance is undermined by the way his underwear rides up in his trousers.

The screenplay also presents Diana as a victim by having her jilted by her British fiance, spied upon by the children when she undresses, and pushed into a river. However the illness of the youngest child Andy (Emil Minty) is left as unexplained as the title of the film, though a revealed affair makes the suggestion that Andy is a love child and his sickness therefore a punishment.

We get a howler in Diana to Timber, "You cut down people the way you cut down trees. You think you can plant others but you can't", and the lovely music score by composer John Stuart provides a romanticism that is unwarranted by the footage.


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Drama | Romance

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