Melodramatic Treatment of Tired Themes Provides Nothing Tangible of Interest.
Tom Garfield (John Waters) has attained such success as playwright and screenwriter that he is immediately recognized wherever he may be, yet the Australian becomes aware that his early dreams (although they probably were about his being just as famous as he is) have been abandoned because he has given up his "soul" to irritating (albeit well-paying) demands from Hollywood and New York producers, and he returns to Melbourne in an attempt to recapture the affections of his wife and young daughter. However, reinstating himself within his small family will not be readily managed as his spouse Helen (Penelope Stewart) resists his emotional appeals and, after ostensibly having overcome alcoholism, Tom now must combat painful terminal cancer that is purportedly limiting his life to a further six months, although by rights a viewer cannot feel greatly supportive of his struggle since he smokes constantly throughout the film during his efforts to relocate the early cravings of his "soul", whatever they may be (they are not revealed by the dialogue). Director Pino Amenta's background with television series is apparent for this wan melodrama that unaccountably was nominated for seven Australian Film Institute Awards, winning two, in spite of its trite screenplay and bottom tier production values, additionally being hampered by a weakly composed, didactic (virtually prescriptive) score, along with a lack of fluidity and cinematic flair, most scenes being depressingly predictable as the work wends its way to a groaningly hackneyed conclusion confiscated from the archives belonging to the genre of soap opera.
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