No, it wasn’t French

Last night, we went to the movies. I thought we were going to see the French comedy My Best Friend. It seems I was the only one who thought that. The rest of my friends, and indeed the whole cinema, was there to watch the latest Australian film…

Romulus, My Father

Beautiful tension in rural Australia

This is Eric Bana showing how he can be the Everyman. You’ve seen him in Black Hawk Down, Hulk, Chopper and even The Castle. But here he’s not comic nor an action hero, simply the title character. Told through the eyes of Raimond Gaita, the young son of Romulus, who is trying to cope with life in the country when his family is quite insane.

Not quirky insane, actually insane. It’s quite tragic at times, and there are periods of sustained tension where you really don’t have a clue what’s going to happen next, but the whole film is quite beautiful. Australia (specifically the state of Victoria, or even the town of Maldon) is shown off very nicely indeed too.

Kodi Smit-McPhee, who plays Raimond, pulls off an impressive performance. The whole cast handles the themes with a dramatic yet sensitive touch. Expect some award nominations here.

If you want a comparison with another recent film, it is probably closest to Richard E. Grant’s Wah-Wah, which is also about a boy living in the bush and having to deal with some crazy family issues, although its setting is Swaziland rather than Victoria. It’s a good film too.

My rating: 3.0 stars
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