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Sunday, April 28, 2013

High Tide (1987)

A back up singer (Judy Davis) touring with a third rate Elvis impersonator (Frankie J. Holden) finds herself stuck in a small seaside town after she's fired. By chance, it's also the residence of her mother in law (Jan Adele) who's raising the daughter (Claudia Karvan) the woman abandoned as a child after her husband's death. There was a time in the 1980s when Judy Davis seemed on the verge of becoming one of the premier actresses of her generation (not unlike another famous Davis). It's superb performances like the one she gives in HIGH TIDE that gave the indication that she would be one of the great actresses but, for whatever reason, it never happened. But as a woman who lived her life on her own terms only to find she's come up against a wall, Davis gives an intense complex performance. The screenplay by Laura Jones has an indigenous feel to it, a look at an Australia that we Yanks rarely get to see. An essential "slice of life" film. Neatly directed by Gillian Armstrong (LITTLE WOMEN). With Colin Friels (Davis's real life husband).

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