Menu

Cinema Review: Three Summers

This film is as PC as you can get. It is as though writer/director Ben Elton has aimed solely to create a script that would best suck up to the holier than thou group-think of arts funding bodies in Oz. Contrary to what you might expect, however, the movie is also a buoyant, refreshing and plain-speaking boy-meets-girl love story with a terrific soundtrack and an admirable determination to not fall back (too often) on the ‘quirky character’ for its laughs.

Rebecca Breeds plays a feisty fiddler/singer in her father’s (John Waters) folk-rock band. They are regular performers at ‘Westival’ (somewhere near Perth), an annual gathering of musos, buskers and punters that is meant to be seen here as a microcosm of Australian society. A handsome Irish theremin player (Robert Sheehan) arrives in the first of the three years covered and, after initially not connecting, he and Breeds are drawn to each other. But it is elsewhere that Elton wants to push his political barrow, and if he is not in the least subtle in his approach, I for one was not put out by it. Australia’s hateful, racist treatment of refugees has seen our ‘fair go’ nation devolve to the point where we are now rightfully looked upon as a pariah state by the civilised world, so if agit-prop is the only way to shake the population from its blind-eyed apathy, then go for it Ben. The scene featuring an Afghani trio that has been released from detention for the day is genuinely moving, as is (and you won’t believe it, but it’s true), Michael Caton, in suit and tie, doing an indigenous emu dance. The stereotypes are all there – Kelton Pell as the blackfella demanding a treaty, Magda Szubanski as the dipsy announcer who is everyone’s friend, an over-zealous security guard, a couple of do-gooders who have adopted an Afghan son… but it is the romance between Breeds and Sheehan that wins the day.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

Become a supporter of The Echo

A note from the editorial team

Some of The Echo’s editorial team: journalists Paul Bibby and Aslan Shand, editor Hans Lovejoy, photographer Jeff Dawson and Mandy Nolan

The Echo has never underestimated the intelligence and passion of its readers. In a world of corporate banality and predictability, The Echo has worked hard for more than 30 years to help keep Byron and the north coast unique with quality local journalism and creative ideas. We think this area needs more voices, reasoned analysis and ideas than just those provided by News Corp, lifestyle mags, Facebook groups and corporate newsletters.

The Echo is one hundred per cent locally owned and one hundred per cent independent. As you have probably gathered from what is happening in the media industry, it is not cheap to produce a weekly newspaper and a daily online news service of any quality.

We have always relied entirely on advertising to fund our operations, but often loyal readers who value our local, independent journalism have asked how they could help ensure our survival.

Any support you can provide to The Echo will make an enormous difference. You can make a one-off contribution or a monthly one. With your help, we can continue to support a better informed local community and a healthier democracy for another 30 years.”

Echonetdaily is made possible by the support of all of our advertisers and is brought to you by this week's sponsor Vast Furniture & Homewares Ballina.