Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Unfinished Sky (DVD Review)

Courtesy of E1 Entertainment

Dir: Peter Duncan (Passion (1999), A Little Bit of Soul, Children of the Revolution)
Cast: William McInnes, Monic Hendrickx, Bille Brown, Christopher Sommers, David Field
Australia, 2007

Reason to see: Been loving Australian film recently

Unfinished Sky is an Australian remake of The Polish Bride, a 1998 film from The Netherlands. Both films centre on a farmer who takes in a woman on the run. In Unfinished Sky, William McInnes plays the farmer John Woldring and Monic Hendrickx plays the Afghani refuee Tahmeena.

Interesting to note, that Monic Hendrickx is reprising the role from The Polish Bride here in Unfinished Sky which is incredible considering the different back stories of the two women, but she plays the role with such a deep understanding and adeptly showcases not only the terror and torment of the hardship she endured, but also a gentle fragility and a strong inner strength of determination. It's a graciously varied and fantastic performance to watch. Pairing the almost exclusively two hander film is William McInnes as the farmer, John Woldring, who lives a very reclusive life on his farm with the exception of his dog. Unlikely pairing for the two souls to meet, yet the most unlikely stories can often turn into the most interesting one. The beautiful thing here is that is to see not only the joint journey of John and Tahmeena, but also their separate yet parallel journeys of self-discovery, change, trust and hope.

The performances are brave, vulnerable and telling a tale of people who are in different ways imperfect and broken, but inevitably and gently propel themselves forward in life. All of this unfolds amidst the gorgeous cinematography and award winning cinematography from Bob Humpheys. In fact, Unfinished Sky is the well deserved winner if 5 AFI (Australian Film Institute) Awards, including best actor (William McInnes), actress (Monic Hendrickx), adapted screenplay (Peter Duncan), cinematography (Bob Humphreys), original score and sound along with 9 other wins from numerous Australian film industry awards.

A film that embraces the human spirit, not only for it's resilience but also the power of change, hope and the willingness to take a chance.

DVD Extras:
  • Cast & Crew Interviews (37 minutes, 9 interviews) - Quite a nice selection of interviews with the cast & crew including writer/director Peter Duncan, actors Monic Hendrickx (Tahmeena), William McInnes (John), Bille Brown (Bob), Christopher Sommers (Mike), producers Cathy Overett & Anton Smit, director of photography Bob Humphreys and production designer Laurie Faen. I especially enjoyed the actor interviews as they went into more detail about their characters and specifically Monic Hendrickx who discusses not only this performance but also about reprising this character from The Polish Bride. The interviews with director of photography Bob Humphreys and production designer Laurie Faen are great, giving great insights on how the visual style of the film and how it changed at different stages as the film progressed.
  • Behind the Scenes Footage (8 minutes) - This is literally behind the scenes footage, mostly of exteriors filmed and has a bit of a 'from afar' feel as there is no voice over, description, titles, explanations. Interesting to watch, but rather unusual and free form style.
  • Trailer
Unfinished Sky was released on DVD July 6, 2010 as is available at Amazon.ca
& Amazon.com

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'll watch it again
I'd recommend it to drama fans, especially if you enjoy stories of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances

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© Shannon Ridler, 2010

Courtesy of E1 Entertainment


Anonymous said...

WOW that movie sounds AWESOME!!!! Thanks for reviewing it, I'll be watching for it.

You know what I'd really like to know? With all these movies you review... what are your all-time favorites? What's on your movie shelf at home?

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

I bet you would actually quite enjoy this film, Jana!

Wow - all-time fave lists. That's a tough one, there are so many movies out there to love. And at home list - very different list, those would definitely more be along the lines of highly re-watchable. I'll have to give it some thought!

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