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Sweetie (1989)

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An introspective young woman's life is upturned by the arrival of her maladjusted sister.

Director:

Jane Campion

Writers:

Gerard Lee (screenplay), Jane Campion (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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3 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Geneviève Lemon Geneviève Lemon ... Dawn 'Sweetie'
Karen Colston Karen Colston ... Kay
Tom Lycos Tom Lycos ... Louis
Jon Darling Jon Darling ... Gordon
Dorothy Barry Dorothy Barry ... Flo
Michael Lake Michael Lake ... Bob
Andre Pataczek Andre Pataczek ... Clayton
Jean Hadgraft Jean Hadgraft ... Mrs. Schneller
Paul Livingston ... Teddy Schneller
Louise Fox Louise Fox ... Cheryl
Ann Merchant Ann Merchant ... Paula
Robyn Frank Robyn Frank ... Ruth (as Robin Frank)
Bronwyn Morgan Bronwyn Morgan ... Sue
Sean Fennell Sean Fennell ... Boy Clerk
Sean Callinan Sean Callinan ... Simboo
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Storyline

Based solely on a tea leaf reading, superstitious and introspective Kay believes she and Louis are destined to fall in love with each other, he who she is able to convince of the same despite he just having gotten engaged to her co-worker, Cheryl. That destiny may change with the fortunes of what she sees as the next symbol of their relationship, a somewhat sickly elder tree Louis plants in their garden for their one year anniversary. Their relationship is placed under a strain with the arrival of Kay's formerly institutionalized sister Dawn - nicknamed Sweetie - and Sweetie's current boyfriend, Bob, who Sweetie believes will help her get into show business. Kay's pleas to her father Gordon to help get Sweetie out of her house go largely ignored, as he has never judged Sweetie, who he still sees as his performing loving little girl. Gordon is facing his own issues as Kay and Sweetie's mother, Flo, has just left him on a trial separation, their issues largely stemming from his ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 September 1989 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Душечка See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$938,065
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This picture was one of fifty Australian films selected for preservation as part of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia's Kodak / Atlab Cinema Collection Restoration Project. See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits first list Jane Campion as director and then there is a note 'For my sister'. See more »

Connections

Featured in 40,000 Years of Dreaming (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

On the Right Road
Composed by Tony Backhouse
Performed by the Café of the Gate of Salvation Choir (solo: Alice Papademetriou)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
a unique vision
6 January 2011 | by mjneu59See all my reviews

Australian filmmaker Jane Campion's unorthodox daydream of family ties will likely infuriate more people than it pleases, defeating expectations as easily as it defies casual analysis. Describing it in any detail would only spoil the joy of discovery, for both the story and the idiosyncratic style of the film itself, which turns an already cockeyed domestic melodrama (introducing the oddball in-laws of an estranged young couple) into a sometimes grotesque but strangely compassionate portrait of sad, eccentric people living on the fringes of Down Under society.

Campion challenges the viewer's perception of what is or isn't real, using a portentous, artfully composed visual scheme, emphasizing in every shot her eye for geometry and deadpan comic detail. And then, mid-way through the story, along comes Sweetie herself to upset all the symmetry. Her younger sister calls her "a dark force"; her father treats her (affectionately) as the child she'll always be to him; and her mother, out of exasperation, simply walks away from all the subsequent turmoil. In a nutshell, Sweetie is the loose cannon in every family closet, and as played by newcomer Geneviève Lemon she's one of the more obscene and compelling characters ever to crash a movie scenario. Her story is, by turns, tender, pathetic, amusing, ominous, totally unique, and just plain weird.


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