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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Strangerland (2015)

When their sexually promiscuous 15 year old daughter (Maddison Brown) is involved in a scandal, her family relocates to a small dusty town in the Australian outback hoping to start over. But the daughter continues her sexually promiscuous ways and when she and her brother (Nicholas Hamilton) disappear in the middle of the night, the town suspects their parents (Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes) may be responsible. Directed by Kim Farrant in her feature film debut, the film starts off very well but after awhile it goes off the tracks and never finds its way back. One has to admire Nicole Kidman once again. Has any contemporary actress taken such risk taking roles in interesting films that almost no one sees? It's another first rate performance but the screenplay and direction leave her adrift, a diamond looking for the proper setting that just isn't there. Other than the son, there's no character that we can invest in. The parents are crappy parents and not without complicity in their daughter's behavior, the daughter is a slut, the policeman (Hugo Weaving) investigating the case is inept and the townspeople in general are cretins. The film gives us no closure and I have no problem with that but it doesn't give us anything else either. See it for Kidman's performance and P.J. Dillon's super cinematography (a sand storm is a corker) but go in with low expectations. With Lisa Flanagan and Meyne Wyatt.    

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