As part of the Sydney Writers' Festival (2006) at the City Recital Hall, Angel Place Sydney.
An Australian Trainspotting? Ack, who could say such a thing. Abbie Cornish's histrionics just expose the meaningless, heartless core of this movie. She's better here than in Somersault, but that is just saying that water is wet, or heroin is addictive.
How and why did this couple get organised? Oh, they just did, didn't they... in some pre-movie pre-heroin romance. How very insightful. The cliché is that chemistry postgrads cook up recreational pharmaceuticals to supplement their meagre incomes, so it's good to see some innovation on that front, even if it leaves A/Prof Geoffrey Rush in a shallow, monied, godfather role. Yes, Ledger does well. Yes, Abbie looks great, but there is no novelty in her empty, meaningless fits of rage.
The whole baby sequence is reminiscent of Angel Baby, deprived of redemption. The ending compounds that. It lacks the impact of baby Dawn, but most things do, I guess.
Where the Scots movie used humour to make the characters human, this one merely focusses on their weaknesses, their inarticulacies, their dead-endedness. If the pretension of art is to increase the scope of thinkable things, this aims at humility. Perhaps it is an unwitting rejoinder to Australian Heartlands.
(Let me just add that it's not terrible, and it might have been the UV coating on my glasses that lead me to divine the words "kick me" in most scenes. Others in the cinema presumably saw "charity" and chortled at some of the yeasty moments.)