SURVIVING GEORGIA: DVD
After their flamboyant, hedonistic mother, Georgia (Caroline O'Connor) up and leaves them as young girls, Heidi (Pia Miranda) and Rose (Holly Valance) do the best to survive without her, but harbour deep resentment. After a 12 year silence, they are told their mother has died and left them a milk bar that she won gambling, back in their old country town - albeit with a condition attached. Rose is now a single mum, constantly relocating in a gypsy lifestyle, while Heidi is also single (but by choice) and working at a glass factory managed by James (Spencer McLaren). The girls accept the deal, unprepared for the consequences, which includes local cop (Shane Jacobson) and a surprise reunion.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
It's a pity that most patrons will probably have been made aware of the full details of this story before they see the film because the revelations are best discovered as fresh as the film makes them. What began as a heavy drama about a mother abandoning her daughters has ended up as a romantic comedy with good ballast and some highlight moments that help engage the audience with the characters.
It's not flawless, but the energy and passion of the filmmakers is evident as the serious subject matter provides a foundation for observational humour. Holly Valance and Pia Miranda are terrific as the sisters, and Shane Jacobson makes an enormous contribution with his comedic talents, without overbalancing the character. Indeed, his naturalistic performance helps ground the film as well as add some deeper resonances, thanks to some fine dialogue (backed by a degree of wisdom).
Caroline O'Connor is a breezy Georgia, who could have been even more effective had the film been made as a grey musical; not too many bubbly numbers but a good dose of vibrant musical energy.
The film had its world premiere at the 2010 Dungog Film Festival, where a standing room only crowd of almost 600 patrons gave it a rousing reception. It proves that the film has a solid payoff and commercial appeal. Try to avoid reading too much about it before you see it and take a good friend or partner to get the most out of a shared experience.
Published December 15, 2011
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SURVIVING GEORGIA: DVD (M)
CAST: Pia Miranda, Holly Valance, Shane Jacobson, Caroline O'Connor, Spencer McLaren, Toby Wallace, Katerina Kotsonis, Alyssa McClelland, Andrew Martin
PRODUCER: Spencer McLaren, Kate Whitbread
DIRECTOR: Sandra Scaberras, Kate Whitehead
SCRIPT: Sandra Scaberras
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Jon Webb
EDITOR: Cindy Clarkson
MUSIC: Brett Aplin
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Obie O'Brien
RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Filmways/IFM
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 13, 2011
SPECIAL FEATURES: .
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Filmways
DVD RELEASE: December 15, 2011
RIVERSIDE SCREEN PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 6 consecutive Tuesdays, starts February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.