On a Friday after a horrific train crash, three newsmen in Adelaide must take stock: Nick, a photojournalist, learns he has cancer; Andy, a writer with two children who has a bad relationship with his ex, learns his girlfriend Anna is pregnant; Phil, an editor, realizes he's missing his children's growing up. That afternoon, Meryl, an artist who illustrates sympathy cards and constantly imagines disasters, witnesses a train accident kill a man. At the crash site, she meets Nick, and a relationship flowers over the next three days which makes them both question their lives, wants and needs. Nick's mother, Andy's kids and ex, the dead man's girlfriend, the driver of the train, and his son round out an ensemble of grief and sorrow as each character becomes linked to another through the train accident. Can decisions to act bring hope?Written by
I don't give it a 10, because the style is not totally agreeable to me (I'm too old). But this film was a shocking surprise for all its richness. When my friend said "Australian film", I immediately said, "Yes, it's been too long since I've seen one. I always like their films".
I had recently watched the older American film , Grand Canyon, and found apt comparisons. But here's what my companion and I loved about "Look Both Ways" - the characters were real, the scenery real, the main topic (death) made us squirm, but we recognized the reality that we would rather avoid. THe acting was superb, I especially believed Justine Clark as Meryl - her face IS the person who conjures those troubling cartoons. The film, the actors, the scenery was so unpretentious that we could believe it all. The cartoon flashes are peculiar, but we loved the artwork - can we buy copies? Loved the soundtrack too.
Grand Canyon, by contrast, is too clearly a story by a screenwriter, it has the production values of Hollywood (the better side of Hollywood, but still slick), it has well-known, attractive and very good actors. The story flows so well ... but you KNOW you're watching a fictional story that is acted and produced by world class talent. In other words, you cannot mistake it for reality.
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