Welcome to another ‘Five Films to Watch’ post. For clarity, this selection features films that take place in either Australia or New Zealand. It may be that the films were funded or produced etc. elsewhere.
The Hunter (2011)
Willem Dafoe stars in a film that left me obsessed with the Tasmanian Tiger (I can’t be the only one!). Frances O’Connor and Sam Neill co-star in a movie that’ll make you want to get on a plane and fly to Tasmania… and keep at least one eye peeled for the Thylacine!
Based on Julia Leigh’s 1999 novel of the same name, Dafoe is paid to find the elusive creature but becomes part of a broken family whose husband/father disappeared whilst himself searching for the elusive marsupial.
It’s visually stunning but also heartbreaking!
Siam Sunset (1999)
Disclaimer: Not even an actual trailer, just one of the stunt guys uploading a scene!
One of those films that I likely discovered somewhere between 2 and 4am on either BBC2 or Channel 4 about twenty years ago.
Linus Roache, who I’m sure is a far better actor than his career record suggests, is a paint company chemist who travels to Australia to search for the colour Siam Sunset following the death of his wife. She was killed when a fridge fell from a plane and landed on top of her!
Jenny Agutter and her little brother are stranded in the outback and try to survive. They receive help from a local (Played by David Gulpilil) who is performing the aboriginal right of passage of going walkabout.
This 1971 film by Nicholas Roeg is held in extremely high regard my many.
Love Birds (2011)
Rhys Darby (Band Manager in Flight of the Conchords), Sally Hawkins and Bryan Brown star in this New Zealand based romance.
After being dumped by his girlfriend, Darby nurses a duck back to health and falls in love with a veterinarian (Played by Hawkins). It’a a kind of sweet (As bro!) light hearted romance sprinkled with the odd dose of serious stuff.
The Rage in Placid Lake (2003)
This film was my introduction to Ben Lee and so I went searching for other films starring him, only to buy all his albums instead… because he isn’t really in any other films!
Rose Byrne co-stars in an odd-ball sort of coming of age, borderline romance that, well… was just my thing!
Another Australian film worth watching that stars both the aforementioned Bryan Brown and Rose Byrne as well as first and foremost Heath Ledger, is Two Hands. Basically, he loses somebody else’s money… and he didn’t want to do that!