LADIES IN BLACK (PG) A beautiful outfit cut from the right material Australia, 109 min
A sincerely sweet bundle of nostalgic joy, unwrapped amidst a lovely, light-drenched and laid-back Sydney of yesteryear. It is the summer of 1959, and to while away an agonising wait for exam results that may get her into university, a bright teenager lands a position as a sales assistant at the city’s finest department store. While learning a little about style, commerce and customer service during working hours, Lisa (a luminous Angourie Rice) learns a lot about life after hours from Magda (Julia Ormond), the imperious head of the store’s glamour outfits section. Though the movie trades ably on its glorious looks — the period production design and vintage fashions are both exquisite — there is a thematic substance behind all that style which is not to be denied. The acting ensemble, which includes Rachael Taylor, Susie Porter, Noni Hazlehurst and promising newcomer Alison McGirr is flawless. In fact, it is hard to recall a bettercast Australian movie in recent times. Directed by Bruce Beresford from the novel by Madeleine St John.