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Byron Shire
May 8, 2021

Tweed set to go Mental over new movie

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A new movie by Muriel’s Wedding writer-director PJ Hogan is set to sneak preview at Tweed City next week.

Once again, much of the film has been shot in and around Tweed Heads.

The advance screening, hosted by Tweed Shire Council, is on Wednesday 3 October at 6pm at Hoyts Cinema, Tweed City Shopping Centre. Lily Sullivan, who plays Coral in the movie, will be a special guest at the event.

Mental, rated MA15+, reunites writer-director PJ Hogan with his original leading lady Toni Collette for the first time since Muriel’s Wedding. The former Tweed resident is the man who directed Peter Pan, My Best Friend’s Wedding and gave the phrase ‘you’re terrible Muriel’ a permanent place in Australian culture.

The impressive ensemble cast in Mental also includes Anthony LaPaglia, Rebecca Gibney, Liev Schreiber, Deborah Mailman, Kerry Fox, Caroline Goodall and Sam Clark.

The film follows the story of the Moochmore girls who are certain they all suffer from some kind of undiagnosed mental illness – because if they’re not crazy then they’re just unpopular. Their mother Shirley (Gibney) – unable to cope with her demanding teenage daughters and philandering politician husband, Barry (LaPaglia) – suffers a nervous breakdown.

After Barry commits his wife to a mental institution (telling his constituents that she’s ‘on holiday’) he finds himself alone with five teenage girls he barely knows. Desperate, he impulsively picks up a hitchhiker named Shaz (Collette) and installs her in his home as nanny to his daughters.

The son of former Tweed Shire councillor, the late Tom Hogan, PJ Hogan has described the film as autobiographical, as was Muriel’s Wedding.

Many scenes were filmed in Banora Point where Hogan grew up, while others were shot in the council chambers, the mayor’s office and Murwillumbah.

The opening scene is an aerial shot of the summit of Wollumbin / Mount Warning, which also features as a location later in the film.

Mayor of Tweed, Councillor Barry Longland*, said he believes many Tweed residents will be keen to see the Tweed up on the big screen at the advance screening on October 3.

‘There are many local people who either worked on the film in the crew or were extras who will be curious to see the finished product, while others will want to catch a glimpse of their street or local scenes,’ Councillor Longland said.

‘The film’s writer-director PJ Hogan grew up in the Tweed, and says this is an autobiographical tale.’

‘The Tweed is a popular film location and is establishing itself as a major filming destination in its own right following the recent success of other feature films made in the region, such as Lou. Mental is further proof of that and I am sure residents will be proud that it was filmed in the Tweed.’

We ask guests to note this film is MA15+ with strong coarse language and themes.

Tickets for the advance screening on Wednesday 3 October at Hoyts Cinema are $7 and available from Tweed Shire Council on 02 6670 2400 or in person from Council offices at Murwillumbah Civic and Cultural Centre, Tumbulgum Road or Tweed Heads Civic and Cultural Centre, corner of Brett and Wharf streets. Tickets are limited and advanced bookings are recommended. Tickets will be available at the door if not sold out beforehand.

Five dollars from every ticket sold will go to the Tweed Kenya Mentoring Program to help provide safe water for isolated Kenyan communities.

The Australian film begins its general release in Australian cinemas on 4 October.

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  1. It’s a bloody good movie…
    (there is joke in that statement somewhere.-)
    I saw it in Brisbane when I won a double pass to the Q&A with PJ Hogan and Lily Sullivan.
    I love how the movie starts off with
    “The Sound of Music”‘s “The Hills Are Alive”,
    and then flies over Wollumbin / Mt.Warning with an overhead shot of the mountain.
    Not a movie the prudish will enjoy though.
    And all the hype you are hearing about Lily Sullivan being the next Toni Collette could be right on the money,too.
    My advice would be to take a look at the movie poster with Toni Collette jumping on the white sofa,before you view the movie,because you will never view that poster the same way again after seeing the movie.
    It will do for white furniture what
    “A Clockwork Orange” did for the song
    “Singing in the Rain”.-)
    And don’t forget to take your sense of humour along with you.
    Also,I have to agree with Marc Fennell when he says
    Liev Schreiber does the best Australian accent by an American in a film ever.Big statement,but true.


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