DIRECTOR: P. J. HOGAN
COUNTRY: AUSTRALIA 1994
CINEMATOGRAPHY: MARTIN MCGRATH
MUSIC: PETER BEST & ABBA
CAST: Tony Colette (Muriel), Bill Hunter, Rachel Griffiths, Rosalind Hammond
SUPER FEATURES: Great little story. Well done
It is hard to say that this is a bad film, as the story is so nice, and so well done. And it gets your attention as it is moving along.
This is the story of Muriel, who has finally gotten done with high school and is now the loser in all the battles with the other girls for attention. She just isn't that good looking, and carries a few extra pounds that cause her to be laughed at. But this does not deter her abilities and her desire.
To grow up, or force it upon herself, she has to create a bit of a lie, and an opportunity to do just so allows her to get out of town and move to the city, where she can give herself a chance to grow.
As time goes by, she makes a friend or two, and learns to relate a little. She has also incurred a large expenditure of dad's money so she could leave town and start her new life. This she intends to pay, but this expenditure causes a terrible flap in her parent's life. The father is accused
of swindling the money, and it pretty much breaks his political career, which is shady at best in any case. But it makes the family situation with the other brothers and sisters even worse.
But things are improving for Muriel. Her new life is getting better, and she gets into an arranged marriage, which is actually a nice setup for her, and an advantage for her new husband. He is a foreigner that has defected from an oppressive country, and he has the ability to make it to the Olympics, and his marrying an Australian girl allows him to fulfill that dream, and give the country a chance at a medal.
While things get tough, and this marriage seems doomed to fail, the eventual honesty, and Muriel's desire to get a fresh start, finally pay off... and so does this film.
Much seems to be expected and desired from this film, but in its own way it surprises. It's never pretentious, and it does not overstep its abilities. It is well written and it is designed well, so that its characters make the best of it.
A very well directed film. It deserves better attention, than it has received, and really... this film deserves a look. There is so much other bad crap out there, and this film is not one of them.
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