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Most of the films included range from those that were hailed as masterpieces when they were initially released, made a huge or minor but recognisable impact at the time (with critical acclaim or box office earnings or both) but are sadly forgotten OR under-appreciated today.
Other titles range from obscure, little seen independent and foreign productions to the more well known, critically acclaimed, star-studded fare. A lot of these films have average ratings on this site, around 6-7/10, but in my opinion each of them deserve a place on the top 250... which is a flawed list anyway (but we won't get into that here).
Hopefully the inclusion of these films here will provide a new legion of fans to discover and unearth their greatness.
NOTE: This is not a definitive list of Australian cinema, or a list of best Australian films. It is exclusively dedicated to Oz films set in the summer period.
Joe Cinque's Consolation (2016)
A promising premise let down by a muddled screenplay
"Anyone can have bad luck when they're looking for love, it never works out, until it does" says the friendly, unassuming Joe Cinque in an early scene of the true crime film Joe Cinque's Consolation. We get the sense that this may be a relationship that will indeed work. The problem at the centre of this film is a lack of insight into that very relationship.
We are introduced to Joe and Anu, two twenty somethings who are clearly captivated by one another in a crowded Canberra bar one summer evening in the mid 1990s. Things move quite abruptly from that moment on and the film jarringly shifts to 1997, when things seem to be heading into a steady decline for the two. Anu's fragile mental state is clearly taking its toll on Joe, whose eagerness to help is endearing but probably misplaced. Neither of these two seem to know exactly what is wrong, and the blame is neatly tied to an "autoimmune disorder" that can be maintained by "eating right, getting rest", a ruse used to keep up appearances with their acquaintances, as Joe informs his mate at a backyard party. But it's clear Anu's problems run much deeper than anything that can be aligned with an eating and diet regimen. She's flighty, impulsive and acts out of desperation. Joe's frustrated attempts to console her mean well, but it becomes apparent that Anu's thoughts are growing darker and less rational as his attempts to help run into a wall.
Joe Cinque's Consolation is based on a true crime case from Australia. It's a strange and fascinating story, with aspects of familiarity which induce interest but also enough peculiarity to divide it from other tales of senseless behaviour that stem from obsessive love. The acting is fabulous and one of the true stand outs of this film. The two leads are particularly good at evoking the ability to convey people, living and dead, without tarnishing their memory or reducing them to stock characters. They give enough nuance and complexity to fuel a story of multifaceted people who do not have clear motives. Maggie Naouri's brilliant performance as Anu is so masterful and multi-layered that she elevates the material far beyond the sub-par territory it very narrowly avoids. Anyone who loves with a fiery intensity can recognise themselves in the histrionic Anu and I attribute this to Naouri's incredible command of the character's vulnerable state. First time director Sotiris Dounoukos presents the film in an unbiased, detached sense. The problem with the film is not exactly the neutrality of tone, but the inability to show what led these characters to act in the way they did. We do not know why Joe stayed with a woman who clearly compromised his own happiness for so long, and we don't know what drove Anu's obsessive desire to possess Joe. Perhaps one of the biggest questions posed by the film, and the case itself, is if Anu was really aware of her own actions? A backstory would have been inappropriate, and perhaps excessive, but the importance of their relationship when it thrived is something that should not have been skimmed over, as is the case in this film. It bears mentioning that the film is technically very well done. It has some great cinematography and the sleepy, suburban banality of Canberra's urban landscape is apparent. It takes on an almost contradictory nature when compared to the endless fanaticism of these two people and those who accompany them, whether as a supporting character or central figure. The banality of evil rings true here, as we question how this deceptively sleepy landscape could inspire such macabre behaviour. The answer, of course, is mind- numbing boredom and stifling suburban ennui. The camera lens conveys Canberra as a character on its own, foreboding in its homogeneity.
The scenes with Joe's parents are fascinating, particularly when they come into contact with the ambiguous, fiery woman who has captured Joe's heart. There are problems though, particularly with credibility. The rationality and moral compass of these characters is constantly questionable. Perhaps the biggest duplicity lies among the circle of friends of Anu and Joe, who know what is coming, but fail to stop it even when they are presented with the opportunity to do so. A scene which very neatly summed up the personal ambiguity of these characters takes placed towards the end, when a distressed friend of Joe's pleads with Anu to rectify her mistake and save Joe or risk being turned into the police. "I want to act moral", she shouts into the phone... is her desire to act moral based on a programmed compliance with moral code and societal norm, or her genuine care and concern for this man? The actress who plays Anu's friend, and co-conspirator, Madhavi, delivers her lines with such monotone dullness that she almost becomes robotic. Is this the voice of a detached psychopath or just a sheepish enabler? What makes her any less forgivable than Anu, particularly when she had the means to turn her friend in and save Joe's life? Whether this skewed morality is intentional or the result of a muddled screenplay is unclear.
The final moments are harrowing. The one major flaw of the film, however, is we never really understand what brought these characters there.
The lives of suburban Sydney unravel in an engrossing, thoughtful drama
Lantana is less about solving a mystery and more about the ensuing revelation in the light of that recent mystery, however a clever marketing campaign would have you thinking otherwise. Granted, it is easy to bill this 2002 Australian drama as a thriller, but those who expect such a film may be disappointed by a relatively slow-burning plot and moderately paced character study.
The beginning of Lantana is not entirely original. A woman's body is revealed among a shrub, and the metaphor for the menace lurking beneath a relatively unassuming and benign surface is neatly established. We saw this years before with David Lynch's Blue Velvet and so it doesn't feel completely revelatory or engrossing. From this moment, you'd be forgiven for thinking this film will turn into an intricate, tense and gripping edge of your seat thriller. It is still those things, but in a different way. Sydney cop, played brilliantly by Aussie export Anthony LaPaglia, is having an affair with Jane, and deceiving his wife Sonja, whose intuition can sense something is not right with her husband. Jane has left her husband, Pete, and lives with her friend Paula, who has a humble yet satisfying marriage to Nik. Sonja is seeing psychiatrist Valerie Somers, whose marriage is also showing cracks. One of Sonja's other clients is Patrick, who is engaging in his own form of deceit, by sleeping with a married man. Valerie's insecurity with her marriage leads her to believe that the very man Patrick is sleeping with is her own husband. So begins a web of interconnections, masterfully established by Australian director Ray Lawrence. A story with this many closely linked characters could begin to feel chaotic and even messy, but Lawrence has a way of handling these relationships that feels organic and natural. We never lose our focus on who is related to who either, which can be very with ensemble stories of interlocking lives. The success in creating a series of connections brings to mind Robert Altman's Short Cuts and Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia.
Perhaps one of the biggest attributions to Lantana's success is the performances. Everyone here is at their best, particularly LaPaglia, whose extramarital affair cannot combat or even alleviate his own personal dissatisfaction and existential crisis. Even in the throes of passion with his lover, he loses his temper after a bout of chest pain. Nothing is enjoyable for this man anymore. Kerry Armstrong, who plays his wife, is equally impressive. She suspects something is wrong, and we see that doubt linger in her eyes every time she's on screen. Even when she comes into contact with her husband's mistress, seemingly oblivious, at a dance club, we get the sense she knows more than she conveys. That's the beauty of acting... a feeling is communicated, without every really being scripted. Armstrong has the ability to read in between the lines and does her character a wonderful justice. The supporting cast, with a surprise appearance from American actress Barbara Hershey, and Australian luminary Geoffrey Rush, do not miss a beat. Hershey's frantic, barely there sanity is almost palpable, and Rush's aloofness is unnerving, suggesting something ulterior.
Lantana reminds me of a great time in Australian cinema, when risks were still being taken and interest in thoughtful indigenous film was still appealing to the Australian film-goer. An emphasis on box office numbers and commerce has diluted the craft of Australian film in recent times, and we get a lot of by-the-numbers "feel good" flicks about animals. This is not a problem, but when it's the only thing that is heavily marketed, people lose sight of real art. Lantana is just that, a complicated and nuanced piece of cinema. This one comes highly recommended.
Wake in Fright (1971)
While the common folk go about their civilised life in the city, this is what goes on in the primitive outback
Wake in Fright is about a part of Australia that seems to have been clean forgotten. It is a snapshot of a history and life that was swept under a rug, largely due to the colonisation of the country. Very few Australians will be familiar with the Outback aside from a vague familiarity, nor will they be aware of the threateningly machismo life portrayed in Wake in Fright, but it is a life that does exist, far beyond the fringes of the city, in the hauntingly beautiful Outback. The narrative is based on a book of the same time, about a schoolteacher from the city who finds himself in rural Australia doing teaching work for money. During his stay, he ends up in a landlocked, isolated town in the barren Australian desert colloquially called the "Yabba". The primitive way of life here initially floors the well-to-do citizen, but the town and strips back his polished city exterior.
The undoing of a polite, cultured gentleman at the hands of derelict desert folk is actually one of the most disturbing aspects of this film. I kept thinking that this man (John is his name) was going to fall victim to a horrible act of violence by the group of eccentric, predominantly wasted townspeople. But instead, the film takes a different route, a far more disturbing one, and places John at the centre of the depravity. He does not fall victim to their behaviour, rather he participates in it until it ravages him almost to the point of no return. The shred of credibility and decency that John has left sees him flee the town. He has had a taste of a more simplistic, animalistic, impulsive existence, but the city life has not allowed him to fully amalgamate himself within this recklessly masculine crowd.
The film is masterfully well made. The scrumptious, beautiful colours and settings of the Outback are so rich and bare that they almost become surreal. Director Ted Kotcheff isn't the first person to see the Outback as a foreboding and menacing place, but he has probably helped solidified this view in one of the most memorable ways. The performances are all excellent and you wouldn't know Donald Pleasance is a British veteran actor, because he has got the role of a grubby small town man down to a tee. In fact, all of the actors who portrayed the inhabitants of the Yabba really do seem like they were plucked off the street, they have a naturalism that compliments the film and makes it all the more frightening. Brian West, the cinematographer, deserves much credit too. The heat of the Australian summer is so palpable and raw that it feels as though you are there, in those ramshackle pubs, with sweat from your forehead dripping into your beer (which is almost never empty thanks to the "hospitable" locals). It is such a visceral, often menacing and gut-wrenching experience.
I highly recommend this film. It really is incomparable to anything I've ever seen. It isn't really a commonplace thriller, but rather a drama about a way of life that has been forgotten, in favour of a more polished existence. Australia is a fascinating country because it is home to both the city and the rural, timeless outback... very contradictory realities. But sometimes when these very alternate ways of existence meet, chaos ensues. The result is intoxicating.
At Close Range (1986)
Brilliant and underrated crime thriller with tour-de-force performances
At Close Range is one of the most underrated American films of the 1980s. How it has become so forgotten is not only a sad reflection on film, but also on audiences. Rarely do people flock to the cinema to see such an unflinching neo-realist tale of depravity and dysfunction and perhaps this is why so many people overlooked this engrossing work of art. Films like At Close Range, released in 1986, tread on those very personal lines that make the viewing experience too close for comfort. We all know people who have fallen through the cracks of society, who are morally corrupt, people who represent a failure of school, of parenting, of discipline, of the law, of art, of the accepted way of life... people who are potentially capable of anything at the right time and place. These very people are at the center of At Close Range, which is based on the true story of a notorious Midwestern crime gang with strong familial ties.
The Midwestern United States has become more than a geographic compass, more than a mere region of a nation. It is now representative of a place where change seldom visits and a very outdated, unjust way of life is upheld. Stagnancy seems to be ripe in the region. Prejudicial intolerance and hatred bred out of ignorance has been rampant there. Of course, it is not all like this, but this is how it is commonly depicted in cinema and it makes for some very interesting character studies. History hasn't exactly been kind to the region, tarnishing its reputation with many grisly murder cases. As a result, the 'Midwest' could almost be an epithet of sorts, a setting of a series of similar films that detail the redneck rurality that propels people into nihilistic turpitude and banal evil. A few of these Midwestern films that come to mind are Badlands (1975) and the exceptional Boys Don't Cry (1999). At Close Range is certainly a Midwestern crime drama, just like the aforementioned films. All three of these films are based on harrowing true stories. Of course, the Midwest- crime tale does not just exist in cinema, but also in literature. It harks as far back to Truman Capote's iconic 1960s book 'In Cold Blood', a true crime story about a brutal slaying in a Kansas farmhouse. Thus, the Midwest being painted as a nether-region of sorts where crime seems to be just as familiar to the inhabitants as crop farming is so deeply ingrained in art that At Close Range feels like a tale we have seen or heard about before, yet it is portrayed with such beauty and stark honesty that it takes on a reverence.
In At Close Range, Christopher Walken plays Brad Whitewood Senior, the head of a crime gang who have made millions stealing from other people. His estranged and wayward son, Brad Whitewood Junior, (played brilliantly by Sean Penn) has recently reconnected with Brad Senior, and has a taste for the gangster life that his father so ruthlessly pursues. To Brad Jr, this life of crime is not only alluring, it's a denunciation on the American Dream, a life he refuses to live. Things go awry when Brad's girlfriend, the pretty and petite Terry (Mary Stuart Masterson) and half brother Tommy (referred to Brad Senior as the "bastard" child) come into the picture. Before long, Terry is an unwitting pawn in a situation of pursued vs pursuer. It is her restless eye for Brad Jr. that sets this drama in motion. A blood curdling finale ensues, which threatens to change the lives of these small town lives irrevocably.
At Close Range is many things. It is a tale of love on the run, of a young man growing up in rural America, the tale of idyllic small town life that very finely treads the line of reckless abandon (the boys and their girls spend summer afternoons at the lake, drinking and making out), the tale of family dysfunction, of lower middle class life, of the corrupt, of vengeance, and ultimately of justice. But I think what is truly at the heart of this film is a son's coming of age - a desperate need for a father, which is what makes the final act so heartbreaking. Brad Junior so desperately needs guidance, love and affection, but the very man who should have given it to him is so hopelessly screwed up and even dangerous, so dangerous in fact that he would murder his own son if he threatened to spill the beans on his crime gang. Very few characters have been as terrifying and evil as Christopher Walken's Brad Senior. When Brad Junior finally finds the love he has sought after for so long in Terry, it is cruelly snatched away from him by his own flesh and blood.
Everyone in this film was at their very best here as far as talent goes. The acting is mesmerizing, there isn't a weak link in the entire cast. Walken, Penn and Masterson all deserved Oscar nominations for their deeply effecting performances. The cinematography was another pleasant surprise, every shot unfolds as though it was plucked straight out of a waking dream. The scenes at night evoke so much mood and suspense, while the sun-drenched scenes at the lake and on the farms recall those glory days we all knew and long for. Of course, things move at a languid pace at times, but the direction remains tight and the suspense picks up very rapidly. As the film progresses towards the final moments, it becomes increasingly harder to watch, but it's equally as difficult to look away. I was hooked, thanks to the expertly crafted worked by the cast and crew. At Close Range is truly a diamond in the rough.
I highly recommend this film for being an intricately layered, absorbing study on moral abandon and small-town idle that eventually spills into violence. It's unforgettable.
La vie d'Adèle (2013)
I've never seen young love portrayed so beautifully and so honestly as this before
Blue is the Warmest Colour arrived at a time of intense political discussion around the subject of same-sex marriage in France. So you could say it couldn't have debuted at a better time, with the heated debate so rife making the film that much more poignant and relevant. But when you watch the film, you'll realise that same-sex liberation and equality is really not the purpose nor the drive of this film; Blue is the Warmest Colour is not even remotely militant in its stance aside from an incredibly shot, electrifying gay pride march between the two central characters. What the film focuses on more is the relationship between a shy, confused adolescent from the provincial French city of Lille and an older, wiser and more seasoned art student with blue hair. From the moment the denim vest wearing, punkish Emma meets reserved high schooler Adele, it's literally love (or lust) at first sight. It's not long before Adele's questioning her sexuality, breaking up with her boyfriend (who she is clearly dissatisfied with), and losing touch with her homophobic, scornful best friends.
The two women, drawn together like a moth to a flame, are essentially polar opposites. Emma is self-assured and non conformist, while Adele is quiet and more of an observer of her surroundings than Emma, who is more socially and artistically active - as a result, Emma is more in tune with her sexuality and who she is/what she wants, and teaches Adele to assert herself in the same way. Adele was initially in denial about her sexual feelings in the face of unsupported and cliquey girlfriends, but with Emma she's free to comfortably show her true colours - the two walk hand in hand in a gay pride scene, surrounded by other liberated individuals and the freedom of this scene is just radiating.
The most remarkable aspect of Blue is the Warmest Color is not the story itself but the transcendent and epic way its depicted. The first love between Emma and Adele is intoxicating and so honestly depicted. I haven't seen a relationship depicted this naturally in an American film for years. The realism and the abundance of free-flowing conversation (a lot of the scenes were improvised) recall the mastery of Bergman. At 173 minutes, the film never feels a minute too long. It's rich and full of life with engaging performances by Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux. The story will resonate regardless of time and location because it's something we can all connect to. We've all had that first love that becomes the centre of your world, only to be heartbroken and disillusioned when it comes to an end, as it so inevitably does. The endlessly discussed sex scenes only take up about about 10 minutes of what is a three hour film, so I'll refrain from giving them any attention. If the film was just scene after scene of mindless sex, it would be worthy of contention. But the scenes, which are few and far in between, really just accelerate the story - they depict the dizzying passion of the two women, the absolute fever pitch of a relationship between two young women on the cusp of adulthood. The sexual scenes were of such great length because they were so liberating for Adele, they were a defining point in her life (after all, the French title literally translates to "The Life of Adèle"). She had finally found love that felt right and it was exquisite, cathartic, freeing...
An unforgettable film.
Mystic Pizza (1988)
Better than the IMDb rating would suggest
I have always thought Mystic Pizza was a very good, light hearted film. It's extremely well acted, the script is solid and witty, the cinematography is just heavenly (those Autumn colours are sensational!), and the story itself is heart warning and poignant. There comes a time in every young person's life when they have to figure out which direction they want to head, how they are going to get there and whether or not they will stay in the environment that reared them or branch out, beginning a new life. However, despite the uncertainty that plagues teens and twenty-somethings, there is one universal bond that will seal all cracks and that is friendship, which is the core of Mystic Pizza.
This unbreakable duo of friends consists of a then unknown, yet incredibly very striking Julia Roberts. She gives a bright, charismatic performance as the wayward and confused Daisy. Her care free nature is a strong contrast to the level headed, smart and introverted Kat, played by the absolutely gorgeous Annabeth Gish. Last, but certainly not least, is the tempestuous and indecisive Jojo. There's also the men in their lives, the handsome upper class WASP type Charles, the unavailable dad Tim (William R. Moses) who has his wandering eyes set on Kat and Bill (Vincent D'Onofrio), the long suffering husband-to-be of Jojo.
Mystic Pizza is definitely one of the better coming-of-age, small town friendship films and it hasn't been done better than this ever since. A fine film, worthy of a lot more than 6.1/10.
Nine 1/2 Weeks (1986)
Not nearly as bad as people make it out to be
If there is an 80s answer to The Last Tango in Paris, it's undoubtedly Adrian Lyne's stylish and engrossing erotic drama Nine 1/2 Weeks. Like its predecessor, critics and audiences were divided in regards to the films artistic value. Some saw it as exploitive, soft core pornography. Most audiences were evidently so distracted by the firestorm of controversy of both films, that they either side stepped around the artistic merit of Nine 1/2 Weeks, or they were simply distracted/repulsed by it and chose to dismiss its worth. Perhaps the most surprising aspect to me about this film was how tame it is. Perhaps our over stimulated, over sexualised, desensitised present day has numbed my inner prude, but I really fail to see how the sex in this film was such a big deal in 1986?
At the very centre of this film is a love story without the happy ending. It's also a sentiment on surfaces, and how the 80s were all about appearance. This could not be more relevant in 2014, a time when we seem to have taken a few steps backward rather than forward in regard to artificiality, greed and vanity. John and Elizabeth could very much exist in today's world... John, a man motivated purely by money and sex, and Elizabeth - a lonely woman probably looking for an exit from her superficial life. Her exit is provided by John and an exhausting, passionate and at times aloof and disturbing affair begins. It's a relatively simple story, but its execution and performances are where it succeeds.
One of the most amazing things about this film is its cinematography. New York City never looked so enticing with its fog shrouded, Canyon like rain swept streets, to its wet and misty alley ways, it really as important to the film as its central characters. Only in New York can a man meet a woman at a market in such a fleetingly brief encounter, fall in love, and have it all disintegrate in a matter of weeks.
Forget about Fifty Shades of Grey, Nine 1/2 Weeks did it much, much better.
52 Tuesdays (2013)
What a supportive daughter!
What astounded me most about 52 Tuesdays was Billie's almost unusually warm response to her mother's decision to have sex reassignment surgery. The young teenager treats it with humour, understanding and an almost detached manner despite the fact that her mother essentially demands she move out while she goes through the transitioning process. Her sexual exploration and "acting out" that proceeds the mother's revelation could be taken as a sign of a neglected, confused young girl.
The strongest aspect of this film in my opinion was the performances. Tilda Cobham-Hervey gives a spectacular breakout performance and the supporting cast are equally good. The only thing that disappointed me about this film was the dialogue, which tended to seem unnatural at times. For example, when Billie walks in on her school peers engaging in sexual acts, she's randomly asked if she would like to "play a game"... and says yes in such an impulsive manner that bothered me because it seemed contrived and unlike Billie, who seemed to have a lot of insight and awareness into such hedonistic behaviour. It seemed more fitting that Billie would hesitate such an invitation or be so above it that she would decline it. There were a few other lines that seemed a little insincere, but I'll let them slide on account of a mostly solid script and decent characterisation.
The vulgarity was off putting at times and bordered on shock value. Why would a mother let her lesbian partner take videos of herself for her daughter, then expose her breasts? This certainly isn't the norm for an Australian family, so I suppose it was just a slice of life for these atypical people. Ultimately however, Billie was very admirable and likable. She always had a zest for life. I suppose her increasing promiscuity throughout the film was an extension of her mothers own gender doubts and an exploration of human sexuality that most of the youth will encounter.
Rich characterisation compensates for what is not a very plot-driven narrative. Although the film did not exactly drag, it's tepid pace may affect the younger 'ADHD' smart-phone generation who need constant stimulation and action to enjoy a film. If you appreciate a decent, richly layered character study, offering an unlikely "slice of life" with satisfying character progression, then see this film. It is well made and very engrossing. I will certainly look out for the upcoming films of the cast and crew involved, particularly the director, Sophie Hyde and the lead actress (Tilda Cobham-Harvey).
Out of the Blue (1980)
Criterion needs to pick this one up
I couldn't believe how almost nobody had heard of this film when I saw it in the early 00s on video. It truly is an undiscovered gem. Linda Manz, who plays the lead role of Cebe, proves dynamite really does come in small packages - her performance was nothing short of extraordinary. My heart broke every time she acted out, because all I could think of was how her rebellious behavior was nothing but a sad reflection of her mother and father's poor parenting skills and her lack of emotional connection to other people was probably just a manifestation of their absent parenting toward her. At just 16 years old, she should not of been wandering the streets on her lonesome, she should of been put in a stable home environment and sent to school. However, when your mother is a junkie and your father is in and out of jail (and tries to molest you), you don't have much hope in the world. We see her at school only briefly and had she remained there without playing truant, I highly doubt she would be able to establish a connection or bond with the other kids.
Being a teenager is hard enough, and the troubles youth endure are almost endless, but when you come from such a disastrous home environment, your chances for rehabilitation and stability are low. However, Cebe was young and there was a chance for a turn around in her behavior. By the end, however, any kind of glimmer of hope for this young woman is literally obliterated.
The film itself, while somewhat amateur and almost 'no-budget', is extraordinary thanks to some very solid performances. I watched it on a low quality VHS, but I was still engrossed in the story. I felt unbelievably sad for all of the characters and I appreciated the fact that the final moments were realistic and true to Cebe's destructive, anarchist type character. There was no tacked on, Hollywood fairy tale ending for Cebe, because in real life, there rarely is. Yes, the film is quite nihilistic in its pursuit, but it's also very realistic and the method acting gives it a natural quality reminiscent of the work of John Cassavetes. It's a groundbreaking character study that still has such relevance today - perhaps even more so in our apathetic, zombie-like teenage society. I had always a soft spot for this film, having been a wayward, misguided teen myself. Fortunately my home life was more nurturing and solid than Cebe's, so I was able to turn my negativity around before it was too late.
I have hoped for years the Criterion Collection (a company who restore and release classic or important films) would snatch up this title and give it the proper DVD/Blu ray treatment it deserved, remastered with special features and what not. It seems like the perfect title for their catalog... obscure, yet nothing short of amazing.
Blue Velvet (1986)
Blue Velvet - an 80s classic!
Title: Blue Velvet
Cast: Kyle MacLachlan, Laura Dern, Dennis Hopper, Isabella Rossellini.
Production Year: 1986
Director: David Lynch
Rating out of Five: Five
Blue Velvet, Blue Velvet, Blue Velvet. I saw this film for the first time today, and was amazed at its audacity. Its a stunning film, strange, but alluring and beautiful. David Lynch (Mulholland Dr., The Elephant Man, Eraserhead) has created this masterful vision of a dark and ghastly underworld, beneath the veneer of an almost-perfect small, neat and sleepy All-American town. The film begins with young Jeffery Beaumont, who discovers a human ear in a field of overgrown grass, and takes it the police.
When they refuse to begin an investigation, Jeffery conducts it himself with the help of a town sheriff's daughter, Sandy. What the two discover is bizarre and one of the scariest villains to grace our screen, rapist / homicidal kidnapper Frank Booth (ok, so why didn't Dennis Hopper covet an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor???)...the rest is a puzzle that I will not dare to spoil, you must see it for yourself. Although, do it at your own risk, the film can be very graphic at times, however I can see why it became one of the most influential films to grace the silver screen! This title is certainly worthy of nothing under five out of five.