A writer, Ned Kendall, is asked to return to the family home by his sister Sally, to say goodbye to his father who is dying. The family home is in a very remote and isolated area. While ... See full summary »
THREE DOLLARS is the story of Eddie, an honest, compassionate man who finds himself with a wife, a child, and three dollars. Eddie's world revolves around the three women in his life: his ... See full summary »
Ana Kokkinos believes in socking it to the audience, as she has done in "Head On" and The Book of Revelation". This movie, based on Andrew Bovell's play "Who's Afraid of the Working Class?" is a stark study of parent-child or rather mother-child relationships in conditions that are almost bound to make them dysfunctional, the working class north-western suburbs of Melbourne. It is neatly constructed with the events of a couple of days being seen Rashomon-like, first from the children's' viewpoints, and then from the parents'. The different strands of the story are artfully interweaved and easy to follow.
Teenager Daniel (Harrison Gilbertson), wrongly accused of stealing the mortgage money from his parents, Tanya (Deborra Lee Furness) and father Peter played by William McInnes, goes off to do some real burglary. Stacey (Eva Larazza), who must be 13 or so, and a bit simple, has left home to join her protective older brother Orton on the streets (they doss down in a charity clothing bin). Their mother Rhonda (Frances O'Connor) already has one other child in a foster home and is a textbook welfare case, pregnant again. Meanwhile two schoolgirls Katrina (Sophie Lowe) and Tricia (Ana Baboussoras) have wagged school to do a bit of shoplifting. Katrina's mother Bianca (Miranda Otto) is off indulging her pokies habit while Trisha's seamstress mother Gina (Victoria Haralabidou) has managed to drive her son Roo (Eamon Farren) on to the streets as well, where he is soon picked up by a porno film maker. One more child is involved, an adult James (Wayne Blair), who has issues about his relationship with his mother (Monica Maughan) as well.
I suppose it says something for the mothers that despite the neglect, they rush into action when something goes wrong, because deep down, they all care the mothering instinct should not be underestimated. Not all of the stories are happily resolved but at least some relationships are restored.
Visually this film is very close-up and personal, and a challenge for the actors, who rise to it pretty well. Frances O'Connor is so good as the twitchy tattooed chain-smoking Rhonda I almost forgot it wasn't a documentary. Miranda Otto as Bianca shone also, and all the kids were good. Perhaps this film is light on entertainment value but it is absorbing as human interest enthralling even. A much better film than "The Book of Revelation'.
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