Friday, August 06, 2010

Movie of
the Month:
Part 20




I recently
reviewed
the follow-
ing film
for Vid-
eo Librarian
, and thought the results were worth sharing.


MY YEAR WITHOUT SEX [***1/2]
(Sarah Watt, Australia, 2009, 96 mins.)

The title promises comedy, but My Year Without Sex quickly
turns dark before the mood starts to lift. It begins as Ross (Matt
Day, Muriel's Wedding), a Melbourne audio technician, celebrates
his 39th birthday. All seems well until his wife, Natalie (Sacha Hor-
ler), who works in a retirement home, suffers a brain aneurysm.
Her recovery is slow--and far more realistic than what narrative
features usually depict--and Ross worries about their future.

When Natalie returns home, life normalizes, though they avoid
anything that could impede her recovery, like sex. Instead, Ross
gets her a dog after hearing a speaker on the radio claim they can
help people to live longer. Director Sarah Watt (Look Both Ways)
continues to track the events of the next 12 months: eight-year-
old Ruby (Portia Bradley) suffers a minor injury, Ross takes on
additional work as an assistant soccer coach (Jonathan Segat
plays their 12-year-old footy fanatic son Louis), the family
takes an ill-starred vacation, and Natalie changes careers.



All the while, they bicker about faith and parenting, make up, and
socialize with Anglican priest Margaret (Maude Davy, a standout)
and Uncle Greg (Fred Whitlock) and Winona (Katie Wall), a photo-
genic couple with fancier possessions, but problems of their own.

While her previous film featured animated segments, each section
of My Year Without Sex opens with a brief montage that intro-
duces the theme to come, a unique touch. Unlike most American
family dramedies, which toggle between quirk and sentiment, like
Little Miss Sunshine
, Watt sees both the humor and sorrow in ev-
eryday life without getting too big, too cute, or too soft. It's a re-
freshing change, and the cast is terrific. Highly recommended.

Click here for Movie of the Month, Part 19: Alice -
A Look into Alice's Adventures in Wonderland




Endnote: Slightly revised from the original text. I didn't provide
a DVD pick for July, but if I had, it would've been Mystery Train
(click here for review). Image from The Sydney Morning Herald.

1 comment:

kathy fennessy said...

"Animal Kingdom," a very different kind of Melbourne movie, opens at the Metro on 8/27.