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Scholar, Writer, Mother, Dreamer. Editor of Luminarium, an online library for English Literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Movie Monday 1

With the state of Hollywood declining — fewer movies produced and most of them not worth writing home about, or indeed even blogging about — I thought I'd write about a few films from Australia.  You may have missed some or all of these gems when they first came around, since they did not have the publicity budgets nor wide releases of American studio pictures.  They are worth noting, and certainly worth renting on DVD or (*shudder*) VHS.

  Muriel's Wedding (1995)
Muriel is an awkward young woman who wants to fit in with the popular girls. That she is overweight, has no job, no dress sense, and loves Abba does not endear her to them, however, and they tell her they no longer want to have anything to do with her. Muriel has always dreamt that a princess wedding would prove that she is "good enough", but through various turns of the plot she discovers that family, friends, and accepting oneself are what really matters. Funny, poignant, and entertaining with delectable acting performances by Toni Collette (Sixth Sense) and Rachel Griffiths (Six Feet Under).


  Cosi (1997)
'Cosi' is about what happens when a man who graduates from theatre school cannot get hired as a director, and accepts a post at a mental home to direct the drama therapy group. The inmates soon decide they want to do Mozart's opera "Cosi Fan Tutte" — only problem is none of them know how to act or how to sing, and to boot, they are all, well... crazy! I know, it sounds like it could be really bad, and had it been an American film, it would have been full of schtick and unbearable "ha ha, now you should laugh" moments. But the script, the direction, and most of all, the acting are so subtle and nuanced that the film is actually mad genius. A lovely turn by Toni Collette.


  Angel Baby (1997)
The story of two schizophrenics who meet in therapy and fall in love. A beautiful, multi-faceted script and luminous performances, this movie will stay with you for a long time. Not recommended if you're already feeling down...


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