Sunday, April 10, 2011

Movie review: South Solitary

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George Wadsworth (Barry Otto) is sent to work as head lighthouse keeper at South Solitary, a bleak island off the coast of Australia. He is accompanied by his spinster niece, Meredith (Miranda Otto), who keeps house and does some secretary work for him. The island is already inhabited by Harry Stanley, together with his rather inhospitable wife and children; and Jack Fleet, an ex-soldier left emotionally and psychologically scarred by WWI. Stanley and Fleet both work shifts at the lighthouse.

Meredith is sweet and friendly, but she has apparently been starved for affection throughout her life. Uncle Wadsworth, her only family is very crusty and undemonstrative at the best of times. Unsurprisingly, this leads to Meredith looking for love in all the wrong places, and making some major mistakes in her life.

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Don't be put off by the first half of the film, which is very slow, and slightly depressing. The story doesn't begin to blossom until the last 40 minutes or so, but it's worth the wait.

South Solitary was filmed on location in Australia, at Cape Nelson and Cape Otway. I've been to the Cape Otway lighthouse, so I found it fascinating to see this beautiful place captured here on film.

There was some profanity in the dialogue, and one scene that I fast-forwarded through, as well as a couple of other scenes that were a bit uncomfortable to watch.

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The verdict: a quietly beautiful film that will reward the patient viewer. South Solitary could have benefited from being half an hour shorter, but it is still more than worth sitting through. The film ends on a beautiful, uplifting note. Oh, and Tolkien fans will get a kick out of seeing Lord of the Rings alumni Miranda Otto (Eowyn) and Marton Csokas (Celeborn) reunited here. 

I shouldn't close this review without mentioning the soundtrack, and of course the scenery, both of which are stunning. *** ff 12+ YT 

8 comments:

Charleybrown said...

Hi Elise!
I just watched the film the other night and I agree with you that it was beautifully filmed (although I imagine you're more familiar with the landscape!)
I was left wanting more with its conclusion but overall I thought it was sweet.

Carolyn said...

Hi! My name is Carolyn I've been reading your blog for about a month now and I really appreciate it. BTW I'm Amy's sister she is a frequent commenter on your blog and I got to know it through her.
Love in Christ!

Abby said...

I had never heard of this film till now, but after reading you're review I might have a look - I find that sometimes its the films/books with the slower starts that are ones most worth finishing. :)

I've just started my own blog - I'd really appreciate if you could take a look, although I haven't posted much yet. Many thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I just stared following your blog recently, and I am looking through some older posts. lol Where did you find this film? Is it on you tube? I couldn't seem to find it there or at my library. It looks so sweet!

Thanks,
Rae

The Editrix said...

Hi Rae! Well, it's a "small" Australian film, so it doesn't surprise me that you weren't able to find it. I watched it on Youtube recently, but I think it must have been taken down. I'm not sure how you could get a hold of a copy, short of ordering it from Australia on sites like Ebay or Fishpond. I hope you get the chance to watch it one day!

Charleybrown said...

The channel on Youtube where I watched it is still active:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwfKizJfmJU&list=PL5084ABE4827C42E4

Anonymous said...

haha thanks. I hope I get the chance too! lol I wasn't aware it was an Australian film. That makes sense! lol

Maybe it will be up on youtube again in the future.

Thanks!
Rae

Anonymous said...

Oh thanks Charleybrown! I didn't see your comment when I replied. I'm glad it's on there, hopefully I will get a chance to see it.

Rae