That’s Not Me

Directed by Gregory Erdstein.

Written by Gregory Erdstein & Alice Foulcher.

Hmmm. Great acting. Very perceptive characterisations. I want to like it. I want to support Australian Indie films. And Australian comedy. But…

Big problem. This movie is presented as the hilarious goings-on of identical twin sisters. The publicity features both twins (played by the very talented Alice Foulcher):

That's Not Me Poster

All the promos say: ‘Aspiring actress Polly is mistaken for her celebrity twin sister at every turn, and decides to use it to her own advantage.…’

Fabulous! Crazy co-incidences! Wacky scenes where one twin arrives as the other leaves! Twins swapping clothes! Twins playing practical jokes! It was nothing like that. It was the character study of A TWIN. Note: 1 (one) twin. And she turns out to be a loser. Or does she? I’m not sure. The weird thing is that the second twin doesn’t appear until the end of the movie.

I don’t know why the script editor (not blaming you, script editor) or a kindly friend or gaffer or granny or SOMEONE didn’t say:  Hey, this is a movie about twins, so shouldn’t there be twins be in it? Why is it that one of the twins doesn’t actually appear onscreen until 85 mins in? Didn’t anyone notice???

A nice character study of a confused late-twenties female but that’s not really what was promised. Such a missed opportunity.

Rams

Rams
written and directed by Grímur Hákonarson

I was expecting a comedy. Clearly I misread the publicity. I was so excited to see a film set in Iceland and support the Icelandic film industry – which seems to be the entire population of Iceland based on the final credits – that I assumed it would be a dark comedy because, well, aren’t all vaguely Nordic films zany and out-of-left-field and quirky, etc, etc, etc? ramsWell, there are a couple of comic moments – one involving a bulldozer – but Rams certainly won’t send you out of the cinema chortling with merriment. It will leave you feeling: Oh. Or perhaps: Oh? It’s bleak. Intense. Sad. Poignant. And structurally very clever: the gradual disentanglement, the mirrored actions, the rescues, the journey, the salvation.

Lots of close-ups of the craggy Gummi, (Sigurður Sigurjónsson), one of two bearded Icelandic-jumper-wearing brothers, who lives in an isolated valley in the north of the country and whose whole life is wrapped up in his sheep. Crisis arrives when it’s found that one of the prize rams has a deadly and contagious disease and drastic action must be taken…

On the way to Hotel Sel for hot chocolate

Not a still from the movie. Not northern Iceland. Not a valley. And no sheep. But still, it’s Iceland so it’s vaguely relevant (c) WJL 2013

Lots to love. The simple cream-coloured buildings. The tough, all-encompassing rural life. The grumpy brother next door, Kiddi (Theodór Júlíusson), who’s a bit of a bother. Sheep running upstairs. Sheep running up hills. Love those sheep. Like curly rectangles on sticks. Dramatic sweeping shots of the farms, the roads, snowscapes, yes, but snow is not the focus until those sheep take off pursued by the two brothers and a dog into the white… The changing seasons. The Christmas candles. The bath tubs. The beautiful restrained acting to capture the bond between Gummi and his beloved sheep. And an ending that must be said is a tad ABRUPT.

A tender film.

THE END