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Janey is on vacation with her brother, Jim, mother, Kate, and father Ed, at their beach house on the Mahurangi Peninsual in New Zealand. Ed and Kate, who are on the verge of divorce, sit around in the back yard all day drinking whiskey and Janey and Jim are left to their own devices. Cady, a local boatee who is having an affair with Kate, catches Janey's pubescent eye. In response to his wife's drinking problem and recurring infidelity, Ed turns to alcohol, ignoring his children almost as much as his wife, which eventually leads to a character's fate. Written by
It does not actually rain in this movie, but there is a sullen, overcast feel to it. Usually family holidays are recalled with some affection the bad bits edited out. In this family's story from the 1970s there's not much that is pleasant to recall. Mum is drinking herself to oblivion and having an affair with a neighbour, Dad is not coping either, and the 13 year old daughter is confused and frightened by the goings on. Her little brother, a sunny kid, is not so affected. Early on, it is plain that some kind of tragedy is going to happen.
Apart from some of the flattened vowels, and the unremarkable coastline just north of Auckland this is a story that could be set anywhere amongst the aimless middle classes of western society the people who have what they need or more, but who have no higher ambition but to joylessly consume. In the wife's case this is unfortunately alcohol. Her daughter has reached puberty but has to cope on her own. (the local boys seem to be behind her in development anyway).
As the daughter, Alicia Fulford-Wierbicki puts in a fine performance, as does Sarah Pierce as the mother. The men are all pretty shapeless with Marton Csokas doing a glowering Russell Crowe number as the mother's lover.
It's a bleak story but well done.
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