A family finds their dull life in a rural outback town rocked after their two teenage children disappear into the desert, sparking disturbing rumors of their past.A family finds their dull life in a rural outback town rocked after their two teenage children disappear into the desert, sparking disturbing rumors of their past.A family finds their dull life in a rural outback town rocked after their two teenage children disappear into the desert, sparking disturbing rumors of their past.
The father, Matthew Parker (Joseph Fiennes), had once beat up a teacher in another town for having sex with his daughter Lily (Madison Brown). The mother Catherine Parker (Nicole Kidman) protects her children as best she could, but has difficulty doing it as Matthew seems uninterested but wants to be strict especially with Lily (who dresses provocatively to annoy her father), but gives in to Catherine most of the time. The son, Tommy Parker (Nicholas Hamilton), never says much and has a habit of waking up and walking off into the night, but always returned. Until now. Both Matthew and Nicole sleep in separate bedrooms.
This is a strange story and we really never know what is going on with all the characters as the director holds too much to his vest. Everyone in here is a stranger to everyone else. Hence the title Strangerland, I suppose. Anyway it fits. As we get into this, we do see attempts at being friendly and communicative, but still a lot is held back. When a question is asked, it takes forever for a character to respond. (that's really annoying) Yes, Strangerland is a very good title for this movie. (Indeed)
I don't know if Joseph Fiennes is miscast in here or the director has him act the way he does. He never smiles and seems unconcerned about the missing children until much later, and it's like his wife is someone he wishes wasn't there. He gives in to her sexual frustrations and afterwards it's like he just changed his shirt.
Of course the townspeople have their rumors about the family and what happened to the children, but many do turn out to walk the brushes to find them. Some say aliens took them; and some say they aren't missing, they just ran away from their parents; and still others say "the land" took them" whatever that means. Then Tommy is found, but cannot talk.
We do see a canyon many times as this director seems to be enamored with it. When we first saw it, we thought maybe the children are there or not there but clues are left. But no, the director just liked the flyover in the canyon. Also this director seemed to like a rising sun with red skyline in the morning in the upper half of the screen while the lower half was in darkness. We see that often. Or was that a setting sun in the evening? Hard to tell as the next scenes were always inside a building
Best performances were from Nicole Kidman and from Madison Brown as Lily. (ha, I knew you would say that).
This was longer than it should have been. It's like someone took a short story and tried to make an epic out of it.
Think you know what happened to Lily? A very big clue was given earlier. (5/10)
Violence: Yes. Sex: Yes, 2-times. Nudity: Yes, when Catherine walks down the middle of town. Language: No.
- Aug 30, 2015