11 user 5 critic

Tom White (2004)

An architect experiences a mental breakdown with life-changing results.


Alkinos Tsilimidos


Daniel Keene
6 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Colin Friels ... Tom White
Rachael Blake ... Helen White
Dan Spielman ... Matt
Loene Carmen ... Christine
David Field ... Phil
Bill Hunter ... Malcolm
Jarryd Jinks Jarryd Jinks ... Jet
Angela Punch McGregor Angela Punch McGregor ... Irene
Kevin Harrington Kevin Harrington ... Neil
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gloria Ajenstat Gloria Ajenstat ... Nurse
Arthur Angel ... Paul
Jonathan auf der Heide ... Himself
Nick Barkla ... Darren Burrows
John Brumpton ... Plain clothes officer
Jack Charles ... Harry


An architect experiences a mental breakdown with life-changing results.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Tom is on a little vacation from reality.




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Release Date:

19 August 2004 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Missing Tom See more »

Filming Locations:

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Risky business
5 January 2014 | by tomsviewSee all my reviews

"Tom White" is an edgy movie that goes in directions you don't expect. Although it is an Australian film, what happens to Tom White could take place in any modern city.

Tom, played by Colin Friels, is an architect with a wife and two children who has a typical suburban lifestyle - comfortable, but predictable. He feels trapped, and after problems at work, has a breakdown. He abandons family and job and enters another realm altogether, that of a homeless person, his life then becomes anything but comfortable and predictable.

The director of "Tom White", Alkinos Tsilimidos, said in an interview, "I think without risk, life can be pretty boring, so I approach making my films with risk. If it was safe territory, I mean, how boring would it be to turn up to work and know you're in safe territory?"

"Tom White" is not safe territory.

Tom is a flawed character; that he retains our sympathy is a credit to Colin Friels' screen chemistry. The experiences Tom has on the streets are risky - physically and morally. He is mugged, and for a while, he shares a house, and eventually a bed with a young gay man, although he isn't gay.

He moves onto an affair with a woman who works in a fairground played by Loene Carmen, the memorable star of "The Year My Voice Broke." She is trying to break from the drug scene but the affair ends brutally as do many of Tom's encounters on the streets.

Tom is invited into the world of derelict buildings and Salvation Army refuges when he joins up with Malcolm, something of a street philosopher played by Bill Hunter. Finally, Tom encounters a boy from a dysfunctional home; a relationship that could easily be misunderstood. However, he protects the boy and begins to realise how much he has let down his own family.

The scene where he meets his wife again is powerful, but unpredictable like everything else in the movie. Rachael Blake as Helen White communicates a lot with just a look; she is quite brilliant. In the end, although Tom has been affected by all the characters he met, we doubt that he has found the answers he sought because he hardly knew the questions to ask.

The film has a similar theme to "Kiss the Sky" starring William Petersen. Although that movie has a different setting, the main character abandons family and job to seek something within himself that he can hardly explain. Both films end on an ambiguous note.

"Tom White" received many awards and Colin Friels was justly praised for his role as Tom. Although some segments play better than others, it is a challenging and compelling movie.

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