The Neon Spectrum
Stephanie Gonelli, Pat Moonie, Joshua Orpin, Trevor Hanna
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Sweet and uplifting
Filmmaker Lee Galea follows up his 2013 film, Monster Pies, with this charming tale of one woman following her dreams and, in doing so, making a difference in the lives of those around her. Stephanie Gonelli plays Gale, a Brit who flies to Melbourne in search of her absent father. Despite making contact with Leonie (Pat Moonie), a trans woman who used to live with Gale’s father, she struggles to make traction on her investigation.
However, all is not lost, for as well as Leonie, Gale makes friends with homeless musician, Axel (Joshua Orpin) and grumpy gardener Frank (Trevor Hanna), who all strive to help her in her pursuit.
Set against the backdrop of a bright and cheerful Melbourne, The Neon Spectrum plays out like a modern fairy-tale, with Gonelli playing Gale as a live action Disney heroine, albeit somewhat more grounded. Hell, there’s even an evil aunt, who tries to prevent Gale from realising her dreams, that you can merrily boo and hiss at whenever she raises her head.
Galea has been quite vocal about his love for MGM’s Wizard of Oz, and its influences run deep from the monochromatic opening bursting into bright colour once we land in Melbourne, right through to Gale’s new trio of friends who are all in pursuit of something to make them feel whole.
Like A Streetcat Named Bob, The Neon Spectrum manages to be a feelgood film, whilst grappling with weighty themes. In this case, identity and loneliness. Whilst Gale, Axel and Frank all have their issues, it’s perhaps Leonie who has the most to tackle. Seemingly confident with who she is, Leonie struggles with how she sees herself being perceived by others. It’s a touching performance from Moonie and contrasts well with Gale’s outpouring of optimism.
Sweet and uplifting, The Neon Spectrum is an emotional journey that will ultimately leave you with a huge grin on your face.
The Neon Spectrum will screen at the following locations with each event followed by a cast/crew Q&A.
Cinema Nova: http://cinemanova.com.au/films/neon-spectrum-the