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Catherine H. Flemming
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Lovers Ray and Carla plan to burn down her house at Christmas, to run off with her husband's drug money. Ray has a side scheme going too, taking kickbacks on the love hotel project whose construction he's managing. The suburban Aussie marrieds live across a river from each other, the much older, domesticated Ray in a upper middle-class neighborhood, Carla on the wrong side of the water. The cheaters will lure their families to the same Christmas picnic celebration, to provide alibis while still being able to sneak off and chat about the arson. Carla's tow-truck owner hubby, Smithy, is a fearsome tough to cross, so will the philanderers' holiday gifts come through, or explode in their lying faces ? Written by
As one of those who saw the premiere of this film at the Sydney Film Festival, I can assure you if I was on the "edgerton" of my seat, it was in disbelief as implausibility piled upon implausibility until the film collapsed under their weight.
The film started well, and for a while I was happy to go along with the well-worn Noir formula of the small crime that goes wrong, and all attempts to cover it up only make things worse for the illicit lovers, and the crimes get bigger and bigger. But they also get stupider and stupider, until you just feel your intelligence is being insulted. If, as bilingizard seems to be suggesting, black humour of the order of the Coen Brothers was being attempted, then I suggest some wit (other than that involving the fate of the dogs) should have been attempted. Nor do I think David Roberts was an acceptable lead. The character was dour and unpleasant from the beginning (making it hard to care what happened to him and his paramour) and the performance added no light or shade or leavenings of humanity.
I agree it looks good, and the direction is stylish. But the plot is not just full of holes, but sinkholes that suddenly open up under the feet of the characters, and the audience.
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