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Jack Flange leaves the big city for a respite in Australia's Hawkesbury River region, where generations of oyster fishermen (and maybe one woman) have made a living, built histories, and piled up grievances. Jack finds a small-town mentality, with pluses and minuses. There's also a recent burglary and lots of missing cash. Jack gets a job oystering; his boss is separated from a woman of invention, Jack's attracted to a chambermaid turned letter carrier, and there are plenty of mine fields for a city boy to step through. Jack also has a sister, who's ill, to worry about. It's a river journey of self discovery. Is he passing through, or has he found home? Written by
Oyster Farmer is a curious Australian movie in that its production values are more impressive than the story itself. First and foremost, the music throughout the movie is brilliant in that it suits the movie perfectly. The cinematography is likewise first class - the aerial scenes of the Hawkesbury River in particular are stunning. Also, the editing is tight and keeps the movie from bogging down - the editor and director deserve commendation for keeping the movie flowing.
The story itself is quirky and sometimes makes quantum leaps in credibility but, hey, what interesting movie doesn't? The acting is believable and allows you to understand the characters in most cases.
As a simple tale of life in a remote river community, the movie works quite well and deserves its reputation as a significant Australian film. Not great, but quite good.
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