13 December 2012 | PeterMitchell-506-564364
This tide really rises in one of 87's best.
This is one of those fine Aussie films that come along every so often, that we're truly blessed to see it. Real characters, real people, just like some of the good and great actors in this film, convincingly present. I must admit, I'm not really into tear jerker movies, and though this didn't make me cry, it made me recall memories of what it was like to be a teen. Another promising star was unleashed. Claudia Karvan, in her first film, was good, and her acting improved, years on, but still here, she was pretty good. A deserted child living with her grandmother in a caravan park in Eden, a bombshell arrives in the form of the deserted mother, Judy Davis, excellent, what else. A drunk, she tours with other dancers and a bad Elvis Impersonator (Frankie J Holden) a loser of a character, bloody good here, the head of this trashy group. As Davis's car has stalled, she takes residence in the caravan park, and becomes friends with, you guessed it, Claudia Karvan, who of course, doesn't recognize her mother, who left her when she was very young. But the grandma, mother to Karvan's father, definitely recognizes her, crossing angry grounds with her, warding her off from seeing her. Eventually Karvan, discovers the truth from a slip of the tongue by Davis' current boyfriend. So now we really have the really meaty bit of drama, that scene where daughter confronts mother, that moment of deliberation she can't lie when first answering "No". There's so many things, and real instances you can within this film, when being a teen, those private kisses, those self esteem issues, hair, etc. And too, disappointment, when you Nana says "No" to stuff. Frankie Holden is great in the second scene, the first has Karvan flat on her back on her board, on a cloud somewhere in daydream land. This film has memorable scenes that I recall now and then, while dozing off to movieland. The eighties were the best of times. I also too like the mechanic, who handled the lighter and cheerier scenes. The story and situations to decisions in this movie is handled with sheer realism. Careful film making like this should run more frequent with films of this type. And in the ending too, this counts double. I'm glad Davis's decision was the one I wanted her to make. For Aussie lovers of drama, this is a must see, a fine feature film of value. And for Karvan, this is a great vehicle, to have for a starting point, and on a resume.