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Stewart Kane, an Irishman living in the Australian town of Jindabyne, is on a fishing trip in isolated hill country with three other men when they discover the body of a murdered girl in the river. Rather than return to the town immediately, they continue fishing and report their gruesome find days later. Stewart's wife Claire is the last to find out. Deeply disturbed by her husband's action, her faith in her relationship with Stewart is shaken to the core. She wants to understand and tries to make things right. In her determination to help the victim's family Claire sets herself not only against her own family and friends but also those of the dead girl. Her marriage is taken to the brink and her peaceful life with Stewart and their young son hangs in the balance. The story of a murder and a marriage - a film about the things that haunt us. Written by
The screenplay is based on the short story "So much water so close to home" by American writer Raymond Carver. The song "Everything's Turning to White" by Australian singer-songwriter Paul Kelly was also inspired by Carver's story. See more »
At one stage a news report about a Cyclone Ingrid airs. The graphic behind the newsreader is missing the second "c" from cyclone. See more »
We don't step over bodies in order to enjoy our leisure activities. You're a pack of bloody idiots. I'm ashamed of you. The whole town's ashamed of you.
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Ray Lawrence has done it again. This film has made me see the Australian landscape in a way that I haven't really since seeing Picnic at Hanging Rock. The feeling as the lads start on the fishing trip is somewhat Hitchcockian, since we know that we're going to see the body sometime soon - we just don't know when. There's a sense of oppression and expectation overlaid on the natural beauty, that holds you transfixed.
The film may be criticised since it doesn't try and resolve anything on a a material level. However, Lawrence is more interested in the internal lives of his characters - all of them. He also doesn't want to hand us the exposition on a platter. There's back-stories that are unfolded gradually, making us think about the characters as we are pointed to knowledge of what lead them to their current lives. I'm glad to see a film made for people to think about, rather than spoon-feeding us some clichés about how hard life can be for the protagonists.
Water plays a significant role throughout the movie, from the river where the fishermen find the body, to Lake Jindabyne, and the ghost stories about the drowned town. We're made to dive into the lives of the characters, finding deeper and deeper layers of motivation as we move from the warm surface of their lives to the colder and more fragile hidden depths. We see that the body in the river acts as a sort of stand-in for each character's transformation in a death and rebirth of the spirit.
This is another masterpiece work from a master film maker.
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