The Turning (15) Home Ents Review

Still from The Turning

Dir. Simon Stone, David Wenham, Claire McCarthy, Robert Connolly, Tony Ayres, Stephen Page, Mia Wasikowska, Justin Kurzel, Warwick Thornton, Australia, 2014, 172 mins.

Cast: Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Rose Byrne, Miranda Otta, Matt Nable, Myles Pollard, Peta Brady, Toby Wallace

Eighteen short films of varying length, each with a different director, make up this film. The stories are all individual and the only connection between them is the setting: a small remote coastal town in Australia. The themes cover childhood, addiction, violence, particularly domestic violence, jealousy and death. However, there is seemingly little or no connection between these different themes.

The movie is based on short stories by the Australian writer, Tim Winton, and each of the short films within The Turning is introduced by its title. Sometimes it is hard to relate the title to the content of a particular segment. Established and new directors contribute. The new directors include Mia Wasikowska whose first film this is. She directs Low and Clear View, which shows his world from a child’s viewpoint.

There are some top quality actors on show. Apart from Cate Blanchett in Reunion, an interesting film which stops just as we are beginning to enjoy it, there is Rose Byrne in the title film The Turning – well acted but introduces Jesus Christ at the end!

Two films about childhood are worthy of our attention, Big World about friendship and Cockleshell. One of my favourites is Sand which again features two boys as rivals. Directed by Stephen Page, it is beautifully photographed and tense at times as falling sand threatens to engulf one small boy.

But overall the films are too short – just as we get really absorbed in a story-line, it finishes. At the same time at three hours the film is too long and a number of the shorts just make one fall asleep!

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The Turning is out now on DVD.

Carlie Newman

Author: Carlie Newman

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