Martin is a fisherman without a boat, his brother Steven having re-purposed it as a tourist tripper. With their childhood home now a get-away for London money, Martin is displaced to the estate above the harbour.
The unlikely friendship that kindles between a struggling stand-up comedian from L.A., forced to move back home with his tail between his legs, and a tragically flawed, but charming and charismatic, alcoholic dermatologist.
Hoping that self-employment through gig economy can solve their financial woes, a hard-up UK delivery driver and his wife struggling to raise a family end up trapped in the vicious circle of this modern-day form of labour exploitation.
Bellbird follows on from Hamish Bennett's award-winning short film Ross & Beth (2014). See more »
Doesn't sound like she taught you anything.
Must have done something.
I was real shit at reading. Now, I'm only a little bit shit.
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Assured, sensitive and often funny
I had little idea what to expect when this premiered on the big screen in Sydney (June 2019) and found an assured well-crafted story with lots of heart, no baloney, and a good few laughs along the way. The subject matter is quiet and low-key, but never dull, and the storytelling clear and smart (one example: a sequence intercut between a few hesitant ukulele notes developing into a tune, and a character getting to grips with performing his work). The intent of every sequence is clear, often with a dash of sly wit. Marshall Napier in particular gives a flawless performance as a very real character. The style owes a bit to "Boy" and "Hunt for the Wilderpeople" (not a bad thing) and the delicate balance between low-key realism and warm comedy is hardly ever strained. There's so little to quibble about, all relatively trivial (a horrible cut in one sequence, a slightly out-of-style use of hand-held camera in another) that the main impression remaining is the obvious assurance of the writer/director, however long he's been at it. More to the point, experiencing this film was so evocative and entertaining that I've logged in afresh to write this first review in the hope that others might also enjoy it. And no, I have no connection at all with the production, though I wish I could say that I did.
25 of 28 people found this review helpful.
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