Book illustrator Sophie (Susan Sarandon) is still grieving over her mother's death as she tries to complete an assignment, with support from her busy architect husband Craig (Sam Neill). When she begins to hear noises in the house, her two young daughters report toys lost and photos from the family album go missing, her condition worsens. Her suspicions fall on pretty new assistant at Craig's office, Mara (Emily Blunt), who she believes is preying on her husband and her family. She spies on Mara but is caught, although this doesn't stop her, as she grows ever more distraught at what she senses as a direct threat. Her suspicions seem to be well founded when she discovers evidence that implicates Mara - but it may be too late for her to avoid the most deadly danger that is threatening her, after she discovers Mara's secret.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Susan Sarandon, always reliable to give depth to troubled, highly strung characters, is well cast in this melodrama that revolves around her. She is a loving mother and hard working, talented professional illustrator in middle class Melbourne, with two pretty little daughters and a caring husband (Sam Neill). Her world begins to wobble out of control when she starts noticing odd, inexplicable things around her house. These early scenes give the film the impetus of a mystery, or even perhaps a psychological thriller, but there are a couple of gear changes that take it eventually into soap opera territory.
This would not matter if the screenplay and the direction were a little more workshopped to iron out inconsistencies and other bugs. The mood changes work against the film because there is not enough of the credibility that is needed to glue the film's elements firmly together - and to engage the audience.
Sam Neill is excellent as the increasingly pressured husband who tries to do the right thing and his character is well written. Emily Blunt, too, exudes the confidence she needs as Mara, a complex character with whom we are always on edge. The film's plot secret is the driver of the action, and when it is revealed, we perhaps understand motivations but it's hard to give the dramatic development much credence. Ann Turner is a talented filmmaker whose work since her 1989 debut with Celia has been notable, but she has overloaded the screenplay with psychological drama being played out as mystery thriller as the conflict between the two women at the centre of the plot escalates.
David Hirschfelder's score is excellent, as is Kim Buddee's production design, all beautifully shot by Martin McGrath. But by making Irresistible too many things at once, Turner has reduced its overall impact and its appeal.
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CAST: Susan Sarandon, Sam Neill, Emily Blunt, Charles 'Bud' Tingwell, William McInnes, Georgie Parker, Terry Norris, Joanna Hunt-Prokhovnik, Lauren Mikkor, Jill Forster
PRODUCER: Tatiana Kennedy, David Parker
DIRECTOR: Ann Turner
SCRIPT: Ann Turner
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Martin McGrath
EDITOR: Ken Sallows
MUSIC: David Hirschfelder
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Kim Buddee
RUNNING TIME: 103 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Palace
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 12, 2006