No CGI, no car chases, no explosions or fight scenes, how refreshing to watch a movie with a wonderful story featuring wonderfully normal people. I really had no expectations of this movie and isn't that the case when you discover a real gem? It's nostalgic, sweet, romantic like a classic Hollywood movie that is often watched on a rainy Sunday afternoon. It's lovely and it made me feel good. The whole movie was enchanting, it pulled me in and kept me interested throughout and left me wanting more. The dialogue was wonderful, so many movies today substitute characters, story and dialogue for special effects and action. Here the special effects are a stunning recreation of Sydney in 1959. If I used 1 word to describe this movie, it would be charming.
Julia Ormond was incredible as Magda, an Eastern European immigrant in a not always friendly environment. It was exciting to watch Rachael Taylor's character blossom, the style of this era really suited her, the hair the makeup, the clothes, all I can say is WOW! She was incredibly beautiful. It was exciting to watch how her character grew and changed yet still had a spark of innocence. Angourie Rice blossomed as well, this was mostly her coming of age story, she wasn't quite an ugly duckling who is well on her way to becoming a swan, I hope.
We only get a peek of about 6 months into the lives of these fascinating people and can't help but expect everything worked out for the best. I do miss the time when women were ladies and men were gentlemen, when people were polite to each other and talked in a more respectable manner. It's refreshing to not hear people using crass vulgar in your face language. Something that really stands out for me is how different life was in that time. It was very common for people to leave school early because they needed to work and earn money to survive. People were more mature and independent, work was necessary, you couldn't be a 30 year old child living with your parents. Life was hard and you had to grow up and deal with your responsibilities. This movie brought back a lot of those memories for me and how life was so different.
It's kind of an old fashioned type of movie and I loved it. The characters were interesting and the acting was wonderful. The whole time I was watching this I didn't want it to be a movie, I wanted it to be a series so I could come back week after week and learn more about all the different characters. I strongly suggest you watch this movie, if for no other reason, it will make you smile and feel good.
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