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Look Both Ways (2005)

During one unusually hot and tragic weekend, four people struggle after hearing some life-changing news, this in turn brings them together.


Sarah Watt


Sarah Watt
22 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mary Kostakidis Mary Kostakidis ... SBS Newsreader
Justine Clarke ... Meryl Lee
Daniela Farinacci Daniela Farinacci ... Julia
Robbie Hoad Robbie Hoad ... Rob (as Rob Hoad)
William McInnes ... Nick
Leon Teague Leon Teague ... Doctor
Andrew S. Gilbert Andrew S. Gilbert ... Phil
Anthony Hayes ... Andy Walker
Elena Carapetis ... Maria
Tamara Lee Tamara Lee ... Policewoman (as Tamara Lees)
Andreas Sobik Andreas Sobik ... Train Driver
Lisa Flanagan Lisa Flanagan ... Anna
Irena Dangov Irena Dangov ... Train Driver's Wife
Jacquelynne Willcox Jacquelynne Willcox ... Current Affairs Reporter
Laura Peisley Laura Peisley ... Emily


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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Love, death and the whole damn thing. See more »


Drama | Mystery | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violent images, sexual content and thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

18 August 2005 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Jobbra is, balra is See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,430, 16 April 2006

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hibiscus Films See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The photographic sequences for the internal mental imaginings of Nick (William McInnes) were all created by a VFX team, which was led by Visual Effects Designer & Supervisor Peter Webb, at Iloura Digital Pictures in Melbourne in Victoria, Australia. The pictures used were from a broad collection of found, assembled, and commissioned photographs, as well as other digitally generated imagery. See more »


Meryl Lee: Maybe it was meant to be... Maybe the right thing happens.
See more »


References The Saddle Club (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

A cheerful romantic comedy about death and dying
27 August 2005 | by Philby-3See all my reviews

This year's Australian movies have been small-scale, about ordinary people, scenic and derivative ("Oyster Farmer", "Peaches"), if occasionally on target ("Three Dollars"). "Look Both Ways" is small-scale, about ordinary people, not particularly scenic (the locations are less salubrious parts of Adelaide – "railway cuttings") but definitely not derivative. Visually it is one of the most original movies I have seen for a long time. The visuals tell much of the story and barely a scene is superfluous. It's not just the use of animation to convey a character's thought and feelings; every scene has something in it that's part of the story, but this picture show is never intrusive. Sarah Watt, the animator whose first feature this is would have been a natural in the silent movie era.

The action in the film covers a hot February weekend in Adelaide and starts with a death – a man out walking his dog somehow winds up under a slow-moving passing freight train (there are no fences). Meanwhile ruggedly handsome newspaper photographer Nick (William McGuiness) has just been informed by one of those doctors with a personality by-pass that he has a rather serious, in fact probably terminal case of testicular cancer (which is pretty tough really since the 5 year survival rate for this form of cancer is 95%).

He tells his editor Phil (Andrew S Gilbert) who sends him out with brash reporter Andy (Anthony Hayes) to cover the man under train story. On site Nick meets artist Meryl (Justine Clarke) who has witnessed the death. The next morning they meet again, and by the evening they are… mustn't spoil the story. Andy is having relationship problems with Anna (Lisa Flanagan) his attractive and pregnant Koori girlfriend, which is not surprising since he is treating her like trash, as well as with his ex-wife. The train-driver is brooding over the accident, watched over by his silent though strangely composed son and the dead man's girlfriend is trying to come to terms with her loss.

The interwoven stories are of course reminiscent of "Lantana", many a Robert Altman movie starting with "Nashville", and Paul Thomas Anderson's "Magnolia". The trick is to wrap them all up together in a satisfying way, and Sarah Watt largely achieves this, though you have to concentrate at the end on a flying photographic montage if you want a hopeful, if not happy ending. Although William McGuiness and Justine Clarke are the lead actors, the rest of the cast shine as well; even the minor roles are well executed – for example Maggie Dence as Nick's mother, Edwin Hodgeman as his now-dead father, Sacha Horler as Meryl's flatmate and Andreas Sobik as the train driver (who has only one line of dialogue).

You can't help wondering what Sarah Watt would do if she had a budget the size Peter Jackson now has. Jackson started out making cheap splatter films in NZ which were gory but inventive, and went on to greater things. Perhaps Sarah is not such an eccentric genius but she is very honest with her material – her emotions are true, and not an exercise in audience manipulation - and her visual sense extraordinary. She is telling it like she sees and feels it, and the audience cannot but respond positively.

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