Aussie land­mark finds mixed suc­cess

Is im­pres­sive but too long, writes

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - MOVIES -

Tim Win­ton’s The Turn­ing. HERE’S no deny­ing the film adap­ta­tion of Tim Win­ton’s book The Turn­ing is am­bi­tious. Boast­ing an Aus­tralian cast that in­cludes Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weav­ing, the col­lec­tion of short sto­ries is brought to life in 17 short films, each tack­led by a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tor, writer and ac­tors.

Like the book, the shorts don’t run chrono­log­i­cally and to­gether, The Turn­ing in at a stag­ger­ing three hours long.

The re­sult is a film that’s of­ten beau­ti­ful, oc­ca­sion­ally chal­leng­ing, but most of all, im­pres­sive.

Pro­ducer and di­rec­tor Robert Con­nolly should be ap­plauded for his de­ter­mi­na­tion to bring the book to life in such a unique way.

See­ing The Turn­ing is meant to be an event. There’s an in­ter­mis­sion, a colour-printed pro­gram (and po­ten­tially live ap­pear­ances by the cast or film­mak­ers.) In­di­vid­u­ally, the seg­ments might seems hap­haz­ard but watch­ing them as a whole makes fas­ci­nat­ing.

Yes, The Turn­ing is very, very long and the men­tal marathon re­quired is chal­leng­ing in parts. With dif­fer­ent ac­tors play re­cur­ring char­ac­ters, mak­ing sense of the shorts might be dif­fi­cult at

clocks times for those who haven’t read the book.

The stand­out seg­ments are those which bring a light­ness of touch – Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh’s in­fec­tious on­screen mirth in Re­union and Mia Wasikowska’s di­rec­to­rial de­but, Long, Clear View.

Among the other no­table di­rect­ing de­buts are the vis­ually stun­ning films Sand, by Ban­garra Dance Theatre artis­tic di­rec­tor Stephen Page, and Im­mu­nity, from Yaron Lif­s­chitz, artis­tic di­rec­tor and CEO of Circa Con­tem­po­rary Cir­cus.

While the seg­ments all show­case qual­ity film­mak­ing and per­for­mances, some are less mem­o­rable, oth­ers too sim­i­lar in tone.

A stand­out turn by Rose Byrne, sport­ing a black eye and a bo­gan ac­cent as an abused wife in ti­tle short The Turn­ing, is both shock­ing and a re­minder of how bloody good she is in dra­matic roles.

While au­di­ences who haven’t read the book will ques­tion whether some sec­tions could have been cut to stream­line the story, this flawed but in­spir­ing film is a great ad­di­tion to Aus­tralian film­mak­ing.

Tim Win­ton’s The Turn­ing opens to­day.

Rose Byrne as abused wife Rae in the ti­tle short in the big-screen adap­ta­tion

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