The Price of Milk (2000) Poster

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It's different without trying to be different
leoyoshiyang10 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I really thought this was another garbage film from New Zealand, because honestly a lot of them are. I simply wasn't expecting much, especially because of the synopsis "..sets off a chain of events that begins with her quilt being stolen", because it feels really boring. But this is a small lost jewel. It mixes a "love triangle" with some magic, some superstition. But the best in this film is not the romance; the best and the most well-performed genre in the film is the comedy. The actors did a great job, they feel really, really natural for a low-budget film. There's even some black comedy in it. And it's all so damn funny without being irrelevant. This film was a decent idea made into a splendid production.

Maybe nine for the rating is too much, but the film is pretty unknown and I thought that eight would be just too low.
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A very quirky New Zealand movie with a dairy farm theme.
TxMike30 November 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I found this one on Netflix streaming movies and it seemed interesting. I enjoy watching movies, sometimes just for the experience of seeing how they were made. Or wondering why they were made. This one sort of falls into the latter category. It can be fun to watch, if you have the proper frame of mind.

Rob is a serious, hard-working man in rural New Zealand. He has a large herd of dairy cattle, just a few less than 200. He doesn't know them by name, unless you consider "number 47" a name. But he addresses them very affectionately, we instantly know he loves his milk cows.

Rob's girlfriend is Lucinda, they are getting married, but she does various tests to make sure he loves her, since Rob is not very demonstrative. One of them is to show up swimming in his large vat of milk, ruining Rob says 1500 dollars of milk (New Zealand dollars, I presume). That is where the movie gets its title, I suppose, "The price of milk." Now if I had been Rob, I would have written Lucinda off as too crazy, too high-maintenance to endure. And especially so after she decides to sell my herd of milk cows to buy back a quilt that was stolen off them at night. But I am American, and apparently New Zealander sentiments run quite different.

Anyway it is a quirky story. It includes a dog that is afraid of the outsides so it goes around under an inverted lid-less cardboard box. There is a curve that must be tricky because often the car will skid of the road and end up inverted. But they seem to accept that as a "normal" occurrence.

So see it if you are in the mood for a very quirky movie that doesn't always make sense. Danielle Cormack is Lucinda. Karl Urban Rob. And Willa O'Neill is Drosophila, Lucinda's friend who gives her sometimes questionable advice.
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This is by far the worst movie I've ever seen... In fact, we've made a saying among our friends when something is horrible it's "Price of Milk bad"
junkmail-924-63947215 December 2010
This has to be the worst movie in history. This was my first indie film so it turned me off to the genre for a long time. I've since watched other indie films and learned that by and large this one just happened to suck.

It started out interesting... in fact, it brought up the cute topic of some women that begin collecting baby clothes for "one day"... however, at almost the halfway mark the movie took a turn towards nightmare-ville when she rolled her car yet again. It seemed like the first part of the movie was made by a gifted writer and the last half was written by my son Alex (who can't read or write yet). If you are contemplating suicide, don't watch this movie as it will more than likely push you over the edge.
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tedg31 August 2009
One of the warmest worlds I visit is the expanded world of Spanish extrareality. It is supported by a whole class of intelligent artists. Though it is potentially rich we usually have this world delivered in order to surround sex in some way not usually available.

I find myself wishing for other filmmakers to use this -- what is usually called magical realism -- in different ways.

Hal Hartley, Atom Egoyan, Guy Maddin, even early Cronenberg Maddin made me hope that a Canadian tradition would sustain a second tradition, one with more powerful emotional abstractions not so dependent on genitals.

Here in New Zealand films, I may have discovered another possible home for my constructive retreats.

This little film tries all sorts of magical things. That they often are unsuccessful and often have no connective logic makes them more attractive, more engaging. All the magic here is cinematic, every device.

Three shots were pretty memorable. One had a long red silk fabric train while our actress walked diagonally across the bright green hill we were by then familiar with. One was when we re-enter the world of physical touch that we had hoped for. Her hand appears from nowhere to caress his head. Very rewarding.

The third is of a different order. I won't describe it in detail but it is the payoff, built up through many images. It is of a young woman reaching for the shod foot of a toddler sticking out of a cloud and not quite reachable. Its really quite lovely.

The woman in question is truly a striking actress, Danielle Cormack, who seems to limit herself to local indie films and stupid TeeVee. Well, she is one of the best mouth actresses I have seen.

I really liked this. It seems to be a voyage through womanhood for men, and I learned.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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Magical realism in New Zealand!
Red-1251 January 2008
The Price of Milk (2000), written and directed by Harry Sinclair, is a film about love and magic, set in New Zealand farming country.

Danielle Cormack plays Lucinda, a beautiful young woman living on a dairy farm with her lover, Rob (Karl Urban). For reasons not totally clear, Lucinda takes the advice of her friend Drosophila (Willa O'Neill) and does some truly hateful things to determine whether Rob really loves her. (The friend's name is a joke--Drosophila is the Latin word for fruit fly.)

The film is very strange. Apparently, the actors and director hung out on the set and made up dialog and action as they went along. Maori characters appear and disappear, and one of them is a (sort of) kindly witch. This type of effort can be charming, but in this case it didn't work--at least not for me.

"The Price of Milk" had some definite strengths. Danielle Cormack is a sophisticated movie star, but she's able to convince us that she's a simple farm girl who enjoys taking a bath in milk. The scenery is lush and green. The movie is true to itself--it never steps back and says, "OK, now the magical part is over and we get real." There's an Indian wedding ceremony, and an agoraphobic dog that walks around covered by a carton. (How bad can a movie be when an agoraphobic dog is a member of the supporting cast?)

This movie is worth seeing if you run across it. I don't think it's worth seeking out. Incidentally, we saw this film on DVD. The New Zealand scenery would probably be even more beautiful on a large screen.
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Fantastic strange film
cristina-torres213 April 2007
I have already seen the movie. I found it really complicated to understand and I'm not sure if it was a message there, but I really like it. It was funny,romantic, sad,...all the emotions in one. I got to say this; it's the first time I have seen Karl Urban smiling in a film, he should do it more.

I like the movies that make you think. Our minds need to work hard because in my opinion we are not going for the right way in this world. As the majority we like the cinema, which is the best way to start doing it?

Sorry if somebody has problems for understand me, sometimes it's difficult to express in English my thoughts.
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A Very Thought-Provoking Fairy Tale
em3raldxiii19 March 2007
I enjoyed this movie very much. In fact, my wife and I enjoyed it so much, I have given it a 10 out of 10 rating. It is pretty important to watch this movie and think about symbolism and metaphor, so be aware that this movie might be confusing to you if you take it all very literally.

The actors & actresses were extremely convincing, the cinematography was quite skillful, and the setting was idyllic. I almost wish I could visit the shooting location. The scenario was true-to-life in a very abstract way, punctuating some of the most topsy-turvy and emotional aspects of a relationship. In a way, they are outlining a stereotypical relationship, paying special attention to the subtler aspects of a marriage.

If you have never had a long-term relationship, some aspects of this movie might not make a heck of a lot of sense to you.

In the end, I highly recommend this movie to anyone who likes to figure out metaphors and symbolism. There are no explosions. :D
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Moo-licous fun...
jiggityjigg25 December 2006
Okay! While this isn't the best film ever made...I think it had a really nice balance between the comedic moments and the moments of desperation or sadness.

Karl Urban is fabulous. I don't believe his talents are being fully utilized. Danielle Cormack is quite fun to watch. Her facial expressions are delightful.

The story could have been filled out a little more but had a unique and mysterious quality that I appreciated. While I don't like some of the decisions the characters made concerning their relationships...I think this was a sweet little story with a decidedly indie feel to it. I enjoyed it.
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woman provokes man, milk business threatened
fruitbat31919 April 2006
This movie is definitely the strangest I've seen in a long time. But it made me laugh. A lot. In a slightly ironic matter (as in, oh my god, what an art school movie). I'm not sure if that was the original intent of the writer/director, but I enjoyed it. On the downside, it can get a bit long sometimes and I think could have been edited a little better, i.e., cutting short some scenes, and at times Lucinda's character seems unrealistic and even downright stupid. But the payoff is some hilariously absurd scenes and concepts--my favorite was the dog in the box. I'd recommend this movie, but don't go into it expecting something breathtaking. It's first and foremost absurdist.
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jago_banichi17 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of the best romantic comedies I have seen all year. The chemistry between Karl Urban and Danelle Cormack was beautiful. Visually it was captivating. The characters were entertaining, engaging, and memorable. I especially loved the dog suffering from agoraphobia and the mysterious Jacksons. Some people may find it hard to follow what is going on as people appear and disappear, and they not understand some for the random things in the movie such as a bath tub in the middle of a field. the all of the quirks and the random moments give this movie an emotionally full filling and magical feel. At the end I was left with a smile and a full heart.
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Fantastically surreal
pippernippus3 February 2006
Not quite knowing what to expect from Harry Sinclair, I delved into POM with an open mind and an extremely biased opinion on the gorgeous Karl Urban. I found this movie refreshingly different, surreal, magical,hilarious, and fantastical. I don't think I have ever seen anything quite like it. It blew me away, and it is now firmly lodged in my Top Ten Collection! With a plot line that veers between romance/tragedy and outright comedy, I found myself touched and humoured in the same scene. A particular favourite scene of surreal importance is that in which Lucinda dreams that babies feet are poking down at her in a mist of either cloud or milk (could be either in this movie!). Also where saucepans etc become entangled in her unruly mop of hair. My advice? Its a must-see for strange film enthusiasts. Love it!
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Quirky, entertaining
bawbwatt9 January 2006
No expensive special effects. A dog with a psychological problem, a mysterious old lady with a penchant for keeping warm, and two lovers caught up in a magical spell. Hans Christian Anderson would have had a ball with this one. Yep its a fairy tale for sure and at least tons better than Spielberg's version of War of the Worlds. Nice to see an original storyline instead of all these super budgeted remakes, ugh! Enough already. Be interesting to know how much was actually spent on this production. I think there will be a gradual shift away from big budget films in the future, with ones that have a simple plot line, yet still be entertaining.
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Magical Fairy Tale
nosselinfea25 August 2005
Don't let the shoestring budget and the improvised screenplay put you off; this is a truly beautiful movie in the beautiful setting of the New Zealand countryside. It is very surreal and very strange but rather than detract from the story, the fairytale elements add to it, giving the whole thing a magical, if slightly insane, feel.

I was already laughing even before the opening credits finished, but the movie as a whole is well-balanced between comedy and drama. (And there's an actual coherent plot in there, really). Though the story focuses mainly on Lucinda, the mistakes she makes and her attempts to put them right and win back Rob's heart, it's Rob himself that I feel for throughout the movie.

It's not without flaws (no movie is without flaws). Lucinda comes across as a bit of a fruit-loop, with her collection of baby shoes and going nuts with a rifle. Also I wasn't always sure if I was watching a deliberately surreal happening, or if it was just a continuity error (of which there seemed to be several).

But there is some stunning screenplay here; in particular, Lucinda running across a green hillside in a red sari with the long train trailing behind. In the end the flaws don't actually matter that much. Not everyone will understand this movie, but that's not its purpose. The secret to this one is just to relax and not try too hard.
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Delightfully down-to-earth Magic
anajana16 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Harry Sinclair's spontaneity as a director allows life to shine through in every frame. Not an expensive movie, nor a polished one, as many fairy-tales are not, but true in its emotional insight into what real love costs: everything that is dear to you. Having your own way in the heat of anger. Letting people treat you as less than what you are. Giving way to uncertainty because making that stand is just too frightening. And then, taking it all, the risks, letting magic in. Karl Urban and Danielle Cormack are delightful as the Farmer in the Dell and Rapunzel, thrown together into a New Zealand Maori-laced tale with soundtrack by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra. You could find flaws in this movie, but why? It's good for your heart. You'll know it in your bones.
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Have been in that tub--both scenes
gengen-115 August 2005
I watch a lot of movies and I make friends and family "endure" the odd/interesting ones I find. This is so refreshingly unique and (to me) a true love story that I shared it with many. Though it may be more of a chick flick--romantic comedies tend to be--the more savvy movie-loving guys appreciated its fantasy and fun. My husband agreed with reviews that said this film was confusing and too much. I loved every mysterious, misleading scene. I understood the emotion of both characters and felt that love is just as crazy as it was portrayed. I related to being on the polar ends of love and thoroughly enjoyed how the director showed this. Beautiful inside and out.
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By all that is holy don't watch this movie.
shanecameron4 May 2005
This movie is somehow showing 6.2 stars, It seems inconceivable that the director has that many relations. I am at a loss to explain this.

Avoid this movie at all costs. You have only a certain number of hours on the Earth, don't waste 1&1/2 of them on this retarded steaming heap of Guano!!!

There is no story as apparently the director "wrote" (and I'm guessing with a blunt orange crayon) the next day's script at the completion of the day's shooting. The "story" has been called whimsical, no it is aimless, there is maybe enough "story" to fill a commercial. Don't you hate ads?

Now while both leads can act they obviously decided not to here. And similarly the writer/director can actually both write and direct as evidenced by his next work "Toy Love"

So to recap, even if you get this movie for free, even if you're paid to watch it avoid it.

To paraphrase Monty Python's Search for the holy Grail, "Run flee!"
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Great fantasy films made in NZ
kaveri9 March 2005
I have loved this film, and I think anyone that believes in the magic of love will see that the unreality of the film is just there to make us enjoy and believe in the small miracles of life. It was a great surprise, and we received it quite late in Spain, but it's a perfect option for lazy days, with a great cast of characters and a wonderful non-existing script that works perfectly. I just imagine a perfect world where the great corporations decide to stop a great project of 200 million$ and make 100 films like this one!!! Also the wonderful landscapes of New Zealand and the armonic mix of traditions and stories add some of the best moments of the film. Go and rent it! If you like romantic comedies where you laugh every five minutes and with an innovative structure, you will know why I have made this suggestion. This film is one of the best fantasy films made on NZ (together with LOTR, and same level)
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Strange things happen
seanexmachina22 October 2004
The Price of Milk is a movie that can only be viewed on its own terms. Strange things happen, sometimes revolving around a curse (moral: drive carefully), sometimes just because. There's a quilt, there are cows, and there's New Zealand mysticism (or something). Realism isn't the point.

A coherent plot is hiding in there somewhere, but the movie is as much a collection of unexpected events as it is aanything else. This is at first charming and cute; an early scene with Rob and Lucinda sharing a bath, for example, is particularly clever.

The amusement level is high at first, but eventually the movie just gets tiring. After a certain point, I started to wish that they would just get on with it and stop throwing in so many additional complications. Fortunately the producers came to their senses somewhere along the line, as the movie is short enough that it doesn't wear out its welcome completely by the end.
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what a relief--witty and whimsical
saskiasmith18 July 2004
I think it is a very very clever and whimsical film that is well acted and a wonderful take on Love--quite accurate! It is a little confusing at first and takes a little while to get into the world the film creates (some things seem a little corny at first until you's fantasy--just like life!). Some people might find it a little theatrical but I found that somehow made it more tongue in cheek and very funny at times. By the end of the film I just loved it--a little offbeat and wacky but fulfilling and witty. This was wonderful to see after a string of horrible Hollywood movies in the theaters--I got this from the library for free tho wish I could have supported it while it was in theaters!
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Feel Good Quirky
angelinastarr31 March 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I first saw The Price Of Milk one afternoon about two years ago on the IFC channel and I immediately fell in love with it. My initial viewing began as I was surfing through the channels (watching movies is a great pastime for college students) and came across this movie during the halfway point. I liked the bits that I saw so much that I tried to tape it the next time it came on, but my VCR ate the tape. For some reason, every single time that I tried to watch it when it came on TV, something would come up and I could never watch the entire film.

The first time I got to watch it was X-mas 2002 when I stayed up til 5 am just so I could watch it uninterrupted. I have since bought a DVD of it.

What really drew my attention was the music and the cinematography. The part of the movie that has really stayed fresh in my mind is when Lucinda is wearing the sari and is coming across the mountain looking for Rob. The way the material (and the contrast of it) drapes against the mountain is somewhat breathtaking. The classical piece that is playing then is called "The Distant Princess" and Harry Sinclair (director) really knew how to cue the visual shot and the music so they could be played at the right time. If you're the type of person to be stirred by visuals and soundtrack, this is a great movie to watch.

Who cares if this movie was pieced together? These kind of movies have a wonderful, quirky sensibility to them. On the DVD, Harry Sinclair and Danielle Cormack comment on how the movie was filmed and how interesting it was to NOT have a script written beforehand. Sinclair mentioned that he didn't want the actors to be too rehearsed and then have the lines sound too cheesy. He also mentions that he thought of the plot one day while riding around in NZ in his car listening to a classical music piece. (Most likely,one of the one's in the film)

Now, not everyone can get away with saying that there was nothing wrong with the movie. One of things that really bothered me was Auntie's, Mrs. Jackson's, furry pink hat. I wanted to shoot that thing! It annoyed me every time she wore it or when replicas of it ended up on the big bush outside of Lucinda and Rob's little house. Every single time I saw it, I wanted to jump through the screen and tell Lucinda to run for it and take Rob with her. Of course, though, that's exactly what the audience is supposed to feel about the hat and Auntie's presence (at least I felt that way)

Another thing is when Rob and Drosophila are at the church and Lucinda is being comforted by Mrs. Jackson in the woods. I wanted to know what prompted Auntie's change of heart towards Lucinda. I mean, Lucinda really dug a hole around herself by giving up her ring for the cows. But that's where the title comes into play, "The Price Of Milk". It couldn't very well be "The Price of Love" The audience can feel her desperation for being so foolish by playing with her love for Rob.

New Zealand appears to be a great place to film movies, not just this one but also LOTR trilogy and many others. So many different extremes in a small country. It's amazing what types of climates and differences in land you can utilize. Movies like this one should be appreciated more for their originality and uniqueness.
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Cute, surreal, humourous but boring *slight spoilers at end*
paintbrush_20036 March 2004
Warning: Spoilers
This one has some definite hilarious moments and it's mostly surreal, but after a while I really just lost interest in it. I turned on the DVD commentary at that point and found out that it was supposed to be a bit of a fairy tale. Ok. That's fine. But for all of its funny and whimiscal moments, there were of a lot of scenes that just dragged.

*spoilers ahead* I particularly loved the upside-down cars bit and the agoraphobic dog [really funny, but apparently a response to the low budget and a compromise between the actor playing the dairy farmer wanting the character to have a dog and the director not wanting to deal with a real dog on set.]
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It's a fairy tale, don't even try to interpret it
bbbl676 February 2004
This movie is a fairy tale in the same vein as Alice In Wonderland: extremely psychadelic and not interpretable -- so don't even bother trying to interpret it, there's no point. You drop down a rabbit-hole and life makes no sense anymore. Just sit back and enjoy the wierdness.
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I own it and watch it constantly.
brandxbox30 September 2003
This movie is adorable. I would recommend it to anyone who likes unashamed fantasy/love stories. All the actors are charming and funny. "TPOM" is colorful, well-written, downright silly at times, and even weird enough for people who like that sort of thing.
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A VERY different type of film...
hedoh21 June 2003
Not altogether a bad film, it is definitely unique. A disjointed story line makes this film hard to watch in one go (I watched the DVD release). I did however find myself coming back to watch more and more of the movie over a period of a few days.

The film is at least saved by the often visually stunning imagery and general views of the New Zealand(?) countryside (I'd own the film for that detail alone) if not the quality of the acting from the main characters (if you ignore the often very fantastical story line).

Watch this film on a slow and lazy day.
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