THE DAUGHTER (Australia 2015) ***

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the_daughter.jpgTHE DAUGHTER (Australia 2015) ***
Directed by Simon Stone

Starring: Geoffrey Rush, Sam Neill, Anna Torv

Review by Gilbert Seah

Based on the Henrik Ibsen’s 2-act play ‘The Wild Duck’, THE DAUGHTER is Simon Stone’s gut wrenching drama adapted to a small loving town in Australia. It stars Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush who plays an evil father with a fondness for younger women and with no redeeming qualities. About to be re-married, his son (Paul Schneider) visits, only to open dark skeletons in the closet. This leads to things getting from bad to worse, leading to a suicide.

The film was shot in New South Wales, in an area of abandoned factories and logging forests in a soft light, like what would be expected in Denmark. Written also by Stone, the film is a compelling watch despite its over serious content that might turn out to intense for certain audiences. The play is simplified a bit, with the removal of a few characters but with no reduction in the drama.

Rush is always a pleasure to watch, even in the role of a much displaced character.

THE DAUGHTER is Stone’s first film, a little difficult to watch because of its content and a bit slow moving, made slower with a lot of slow option sequences.

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Happy Birthday: Anna Torv

annatorvHappy Birthday actor Anna Torv

Born: June 7, 1979 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

QUOTES:

I don’t feel like I’ve hit my stride. So I wonder what the moment will be when I get to be who I want to be.

It doesn’t necessarily matter what your answer is to the question: What is art? So long as you have one.

I didn’t know much about video games. There are some awfully violent ones. But Heavenly Sword (2007) is different. I’ve had huge conversations with a friend who made it. I think what he wants to do is to make the player care. Yes, there’s killing. But the character I play in “Heavenly Sword”, “Nariko”, is ultimately protecting her family and this runaway girl. It’s a beautiful game. It’s beyond a video game. The landscape is to protect and to care. My friend is working toward a world where you get an emotion out of the people who are playing it. See if you can make them cry if they couldn’t save the people who they were trying to protect. This isn’t “Pac-Man”.

Sometimes there will be a line in the script and I just can’t imagine saying it. I’ll ask an American and they’ll say, “Oh, yeah. That’s how we say it.” We just say things differently in Australia – like torch. I’d ask, “Can I have the torch?” It seems to fall flat when I say, “Can I have the flashlight?”

That sex scene in The Pacific (2010)? You don’t get that on Fringe (2008), do you? I don’t think anyone finds them easy. It’s not that I’m embarrassed about my boobs. It’s just that some part of you really doesn’t want that out there. At the same time, you want to get good at it. In the moment, what you’re really thinking is, Shit, I need a mint.