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RATS AND CATS

SYNOPSIS:
After destroying his high profile acting career with a series of indiscretions, Darren McWarren (Jason Gann) has moved to Gladdington, a small town in Western Victoria where he can do whatever he wants. When Front Row magazine journalist Ben (Adam Zwar) begins researching McWarren's life for a 'Where are they now' feature, he finds the former star has become the frontman for rock band Black Diamond, and something of a modern Errol Flynn, with girls at his beck and call - and guys wanting to fight him. And he declares his love for Cindy (Anya Beyersdorf), the 'masseuse' he drives to her clients. But he can't quite be Darren, slipping into his past characters, regurgitating their lines.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Notable for his short film Wilfred which became a popular series for SBS TV, director Tony Rogers' assured handling and the cast's boots'n'all delivery make this unheralded black comedy a pleasant surprise. Jason Gann's characterisation of the once famous Darren McWarren is a wily piece of work, compressing the self adulation and sense of invincibility with some oozing out of compassion and feeling for his fellow humans. But not much.

Adam Zwar is also excellent as the earnest journalist trying to put all of Warren's pieces together into a jigsaw for his story, finding it a daunting and challenging task. Anya Beyersdorf has a smaller but important role as Cindy, and Paul Denny is engaging as Warren's gofer, Bruce.

The dialogue is artfully natural and does much to fashion the characters, while the story flashes through the plot points with ease, understating its dark take on fame and its attendant downsides.

Visually excellent - it was shot on HD - the film goes through its paces with controlled pace and the location on the Victorian seaboard is a welcome change for Australian film.

Entertaining and funny, truthful and surprising, Rats and Cats should find a strong cult following.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

RATS AND CATS (M)
(Aust, 2007)

CAST: Jason Gann, Adam Zwar, Anya Beyersdorf, Paul Denny, Alexis Porter, Jess Beazley, Gary Rens, Belle Leslie, Angus Sampson, Matthew Moloney

PRODUCER: Jason Byrne

DIRECTOR: Tony Rogers

SCRIPT: Jason Gann

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Anna Howard ACS

EDITOR: Richard Hamer, Bill Murphy

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Brian Lang

RUNNING TIME: 88 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: The Difference Engine

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: May 15, 2008







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