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'Summerfield' is 3/4 a great little movie... well, 5/8. But all the good work is somewhat negated by the payoff.
As my fellow reviewers have noted, the technical qualities are excellent: evocative cinematography, haunting score and sound design, sensitive direction. All of the performances are good but I particularly liked John Waters as the brooding brother and Geraldine Turner as the rubenesquely sexy landlady. The townsfolk have those wonderfully earthy, naturally idiosyncratic faces that seventies Australian cinema is full of.
The problem lies with the script. After a great build-up where clues are laid with nuance and subtlety, the revelation about the Abbott's relationship is lacking in the necessary emotional force. And the final scene just doesn't work for me. I was left puzzled and irritated.
On second thought, maybe its partly the script and partly the execution of the final moments. Maybe it worked better on paper than director Ken Hannam captued it on screen. I dunno. At any rate I was disappointed.
See the film if you can. There's an awful lot of good stuff happening before the climax. In fact, it's because the build-up is so good that the finale comes off as such a let-down.
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