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Jindabyne, in the southeast section of New South Wales, was moved to its current site from its original site upon the building of a hydroelectric dam, the resulting reservoir, Lake Jindabyne, which now sits atop the original townsite. Among its residents are a group of friends who socialize together: married Stewart and Claire, a service station owner/former race car driver and a pharmacist respectively, and their adolescent son Tommy; married Carl and Jude, who have been guardians to their adolescent granddaughter Caylin-Calandria, Tommy's friend and disruptive classmate, ever since her mother's passing; Rocco and his new aborigine girlfriend, Carmel, a teacher at Tommy and Caylin-Calandria's school; and young parents Billy and Elissa, Billy who works casually as a mechanic for Stewart. Despite Stewart and Claire loving each other, there has long been disharmony in their household. Claire left for eighteen months following Tommy's birth due to post-partum depression. Then, Stewart's ...Written by
The screenplay is based on the short story "So much water so close to home" by American writer Raymond Carver. The song "Everything's Turning to White" by Australian singer-songwriter Paul Kelly was also inspired by Carver's story. See more »
Just before the fishing trip, Stewart dyes his graying hair black. At the river, the gray reappears, but his hair inexplicably turns jet-black again upon his return. See more »
We don't step over bodies in order to enjoy our leisure activities. You're a pack of bloody idiots. I'm ashamed of you. The whole town's ashamed of you.
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Good Aussie film that loses its way down the road of political correctness
As an exploration of a shaky marriage sinking further into the mire as a result of a particular 'incident' where several fisherman find a dead Aboriginal girl in a river and defer reporting their find to the authorities with predictable moral consequences, then Ray Lawrence's Jindabyne succeeds very well. As a commentary on racist attitudes and the even more shaky road to reconciliation between Whites and Blacks in Australia then I think Jindabyne falls well short and the denouement is quite laughable.
Laura Linney's portrayal of a fish-out-of-water American in the Australian landscape attempting to come to grips with her failing marital relationship and anxiety-ridden motherhood is superb. Linney really knows how to convey tension from the screen to the audience. Gabe Byrne as Linney's husband and continual source of disappointment to her is always good and the rest of the cast is fine. I know that multi-layering can raise the quality of a film above the routine, but in this case Lawrence would have done better to concentrate on what basis a relationship stands or falls, rather than using this theme as a way of making a political statement. In doing so, his characters lost their humanity.
Nowhere near as good as his previous effort Lantana.
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