In Gregor Jordan's adaptation of the acclaimed novel by Tim Winton, the stunning landscape of Western Australia is the backdrop for an impassioned tale of love and grief. Stuck in a loveless relationship with legendary local fisherman Jim Buckridge (David Wenham), the despondent Georgie (Kelly Macdonald) becomes enamored with Lu (Garrett Hedlund), a young poacher who is encroaching on her tyrannical partner's territory. A reticent loner with a tragic past who gave up his life as a musician, Lu is wary of letting Georgie in. But their fervent attraction gets the better of them, and secrets are uncovered that will change their lives. When Jim finds out about the affair, Lu flees into the punishing terrain with no intention of returning, and Georgie sets off on a chase to bring her lover back. Three tempestuous characters, worn down by traumas, find themselves bound together and forced to face one another's inner conflicts in this blistering outback melodrama. Fuelled by the palpable ...Written by
Toronto International Film Festival
Unusually, in parallel with publication of the novel 'Dirt Music', a "soundtrack" was produced, put together by the author Tim Winton and musician/music radio presenter Lucky Oceans; it included both bluegrass and classical music and was intended to embody the quote in the novel, "Anything you could play on a verandah. You know, without electricity. Dirt music." See more »
Plenty of Dirt, not a lot of music !
This is a strange little film- not without its merits, but another Aussie feature that relies too heavily on landscape and moodiness than on a coherent and compelling narrative. Based on a Tim Winton novel; the beauty and harshness of the West Australian coast is majestically depicted here, but the plot is muddied and muddled with flashbacks and endless super wide vistas and perturbed close ups to really hit the target.
Scottish Kelly Macdonald does a passable Australian accent and for me she is the best thing in this film. Always interesting, nay fascinating, Kelly imbues her character here with a mixture of yearning and sorrow, but the backstory for her feels shoehorned and lacks credulity. Likewise American Garret Hedlund is really fine here, but did we need both leads to be imported? A Hemsworth would have fit the bill just as well as the good looking drifter that Garrett embodies here. His flashbacks and perspectives are more front and centre, but I personally found them less successful and somewhat obtuse. Perhaps the prosaic elements of the novel made this a little unfilmable but experienced Director Gregor Jordan certainly gave it a shot. I just didn't really feel much watching this. Nice to look at; but a bit ho hum and certainly the music and the dirt were less than compelling. On the plus side, it is always a treat to see Aussie veteran Chris Haywood pop up.
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