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A passable disappointment, 6 December 2012
Author: (email@example.com) from Adelaide, Australia
A decent, modest, well-intentioned social drama and coming-of-age tale.
Nadine Garner capably carries the film on her young shoulders, and the
always-good-value Blunter is typically excellent as her father and the
patriarch of the family at the centre of the tale. An interesting range
of supporting performances/characters, and plot turns ranging from
pleasingly unexpected to slightly odd, help maintain interest. However,
the material doesn't often distinguish itself or justify the trouble
taken to bring it to life on film.
'Mull' is at its best when dealing with issues of sexuality and religion in a shallow-but-genuine way that is affecting. Overall, though, the screenplay is disappointingly lumpy and too often prosaic, and while I know it's a 'life-goes-on', 'slice-of-life', 'kitchen sink' kind of film (the kind I usually am drawn to and connect with), the lack of an interesting (or convincing) ending is another significant flaw (the film really doesn't earn its use of a peppy 80s pop version of 'I Can See Clearly Now' over the end credits). 'Mull' is really another case where I suspect the novel would have been better, and where perhaps it should have stayed on the page.
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