Based solely on a tea leaf reading, superstitious and introspective Kay believes she and Louis are destined to fall in love with each other, he who she is able to convince of the same ... See full summary »
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Based solely on a tea leaf reading, superstitious and introspective Kay believes she and Louis are destined to fall in love with each other, he who she is able to convince of the same despite he just having gotten engaged to her co-worker, Cheryl. That destiny may change with the fortunes of what she sees as the next symbol of their relationship, a somewhat sickly elder tree Louis plants in their garden for their one year anniversary. Their relationship is placed under a strain with the arrival of Kay's formerly institutionalized sister Dawn - nicknamed Sweetie - and Sweetie's current boyfriend, Bob, who Sweetie believes will help her get into show business. Kay's pleas to her father Gordon to help get Sweetie out of her house go largely ignored, as he has never judged Sweetie, who he still sees as his performing loving little girl. Gordon is facing his own issues as Kay and Sweetie's mother, Flo, has just left him on a trial separation, their issues largely stemming from his ... Written by
Quite a dark film that seems to lack the catharsis (or uplifting tones) of the later Campion's films. The film concentrates on psychological problems of Kay, strange, detached young women which, seemingly calm and shy, is able to shamelessly steal a just-engaged man from his fiancee. Kay's life with the boyfriend, however, turns out to be far from happy. What does she want? We do not know that until her younger sister Dawn, aka Sweetie, appears on the scene almost halfway through the film. Dawn has apparently been a spoiled baby in the family. The father even now speaks about her "talents", although he too must see that, in reality, she is a mentally handicapped person whose intellectual and emotional development has been arrested at the level of a 4-year old. Sometimes she is charming, sometimes threatening, but, most importantly, she is uninhibited and free (among other things, free to act on her whims). With the arrival of Dawn, Kay's great animosity towards her sister is immediately apparent. Instead of help and compassion of a "normal" older sister she only offers criticism and open hatred. Little by little we find what Kay wants: she wants to be Dawn. She wants to lose her repressions, she wants to be loved, admired and always forgiven, no matter what she does. Deep psychological analysis of abnormal relations between sisters reminds me of some Ingmar Bergman's works although "Sweetie" does not have the nordic broodiness.
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