Wish You Were Here

  • Year:2012
  • Rating:MA
  • Director:Kieran Darcy-Smith
  • Cast:Wayne Blair, Tina Bursill, Joel Edgerton, Teresa Palmer, Felicity Price
  • Release Date:April 26, 2012
  • Distributor:hop
  • Running time:93 minutes
  • Film Worth:$18.00
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

Announcing its debut director Kieran Darcy-Smith as a talent to watch, this superbly crafted tale always roots its thrills in rich characterisation.

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In what might hopefully signal the beginning of a new trend, here's an Australian film with no imported stars in sight. Sure, Red Dog, Burning Man, A Few Best Men and The Hunter were all terrific films, but there's something curiously edifying these days about a local film stocked exclusively with local talent. That, however, is only one of the many pleasures to be found in Wish You Were Here, a tension-charged drama that announces debut feature film director, Kieran Darcy-Smith, as a major talent, and also offers a great one-two from actor Joel Edgerton, who follows up his brilliant turn in Warrior with another career-best performance here.

The film begins with a stark, haunting image of a strung out, forlorn Edgerton staggering through a rubbish-strewn field in Cambodia. It's the perfect kick-off for a movie filled with darkness, unease, and barely buried secrets. We then focus on Edgerton's Dave and his wife, Alice (Felicity Price), back at their beachside home in Sydney. Quietly distraught, the couple are still reeling from their recent holiday in South East Asia, during which the new boyfriend (Antony Starr) of Alice's younger sister, Steph (Teresa Palmer), has mysteriously disappeared. As the police start to circle, the truth is slowly, inexorably revealed.

Boasting top notch technical credits across the board (Jules O'Loughlin's cinematography deserves special praise), Wish You Were Here rides tightly on a finely crafted script (by Darcy-Smith and his wife and star, Felicity Price) which backs its thrilling elements with rich, front-and-centre characterisation, giving the film even greater impact and resonance. These are real, flesh-and-blood people (the performances are also uniformly superb), and not just pieces being moved around on a cinematic chess board. With the simmering, quietly powerful Wish You Were Here, you feel every painful revelation nearly as keenly as the characters do.

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