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Peaches (2004)

 |  Drama  |  9 June 2005 (Australia)
6.4
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This is the story of teenage girl Steph, who is brought up by her fiery aunt Jude after her pregnant mother Jass and Vietnamese father are killed in a car crash. The arrival of her late ... See full summary »

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Title: Peaches (2004)

Peaches (2004) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Alan
...
Jude
...
Steph
...
Brian
...
Jass (as Samantha Healy)
Tyson Contor ...
Johnny
...
Kath
Giang Le Huy ...
Thuy
Felicity Electricity ...
Sandy
Poh Ling Yeow ...
Chen Poh (as Ling Yeow)
Caroline Mignon ...
Maria (as Caroline Mignone)
Duncan Hemstock ...
Kenny Carter
Ed Rosser ...
Grandpa
Peter Michell ...
Dave
Adrian Shirley ...
Thommo (as Adrian Shirle)
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Storyline

This is the story of teenage girl Steph, who is brought up by her fiery aunt Jude after her pregnant mother Jass and Vietnamese father are killed in a car crash. The arrival of her late mother's diary reveals the colorful, sexy secrets of Jude and the foreman Alan that allow Steph to reinvent her vision of the world. Written by GayAtheist

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Drama

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Release Date:

9 June 2005 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Matomena mystika  »

Box Office

Budget:

AUD 5,500,000 (estimated)
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2.35 : 1
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Soundtracks

Bring It On
Written and performed by Nick Cave
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User Reviews

 
It's not so peachy out in the bush - or in the Aussie film industry
19 June 2005 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

The Australian film industry is reputed to be in a mess, and this film gives a hint of why that might be. Set and filmed in the South Australian Riverland area, famous for its grapes and stonefruit, it attracted funding from the SA and Australian film commissions and the scenery is lovely. But you don't get much for $A5.5 million in movie production these days and despite some nice cinematography the production values are pretty modest – FAQ TV movie level. Most of the money probably went on food for the shoot. Hugo Weaving is in it (he must owe director Craig Monaghan a favour after the brilliant "Interview") and there is other fine acting from Jacqueline McKenzie and (especially) Emma Lung as Steph. Yet somehow it doesn't make it.

Is it the script? This is by Sue Smith who has written many absorbing hours of TV drama ("Carson's Law", "Brides of Christ", "Bordertown"), and while her dialogue is a bit posh for a bunch of peach cannery workers it is at least coherent.

Is it the plot? It is indeed a bit over-ripe. We have the melodramatic circumstances of Steph's birth, the love to hate relationship between her aunt and the cannery foreman, Steph's taking up with the said foreman and his brother, not to mention the brother's criminal record, and an arson attempt. But in the end nothing truly out of the ordinary occurs.

Is it the theme? Life in rural Australia has never been easy and is not getting any easier. Canneries are closing, small towns are dying, and the drought is tightening its grip. The film reflects all that but somehow inadequately reflects the resulting personal malaise. "The Farm" (a mere TV movie) and "Three Dollars" did a much better job of combining the character's personal dilemmas with a more general view of their circumstances.

As to the acting, there is little to complain about. Hugo is a very fine actor and both he and Jacqueline get away with being 20-year-olds in the flashback scenes. I'm not sure the part was a huge challenge to his resources but he handles the love scenes with Emma very well - his alleged ugliness (I like to think of him as lugubriously handsome) is only an issue for those who do not realise that attractive young girls can and do fall in love with ugly old men (remember Rasputin, and heck, Hugo was only 42 at the time of filming).

Jacqueline McKenzie provides an interesting contrast between the party-loving girl of the flashbacks with the present-day overprotective aunt who uses Steph's mobile phone as an electronic leash. Emma Lung shows some real talent as the pretty, confused and dyslectic Steph, Craig Monaghan has put the story together quite artfully and tastefully with some nifty cutting but in some ways the whole is not quite the sum of its parts. The characters are interesting and sympathetic, but a bit dumb, somehow. Maybe that's the Australian condition!

PS: warning to Peugeot lovers – at least one splendid 504 is destroyed during the movie. – a most unusual car for a seasonal fruit picker to be driving in the early 1980s, even if he was Vietnamese.

PPS: "FAQ" is a wool classing term – it means a fleece of "Fair Average Quality".


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