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DOING TIME FOR PATSY CLINE

SYNOPSIS:
Ralph (Matt Day) is a young country singer/songwriter, who leaves his parents’ outback property to try and make it in Nashville. He hitches a ride with Boyd (Richard Roxburgh) and his girlfriend, Patsy (Miranda Otto) - named after Patsy Cline - who are heading in the same direction. Next thing he knows, Ralph has a gun at his head, and Boyd is throwing drugs out the window of the car. Patsy, who is in the early stages of an illness, escapes, but Ralph and Boyd are put into gaol. In less than 24 hours, Ralph’s life has gone down the toilet. All he can think about is the intriguing, beguiling Patsy, with her red hair and green eyes. And the songs they can sing together….. But when it comes down to it, Ralph has to give up his dreams, even those of Patsy - all for Patsy’s sake.

"There is much to like in this tale of youthful love that can never be. That is the essence which gives the film its romantic, almost idealistic and sensitive appeal. The naïve young man who comes face to face with what seems to him a sophisticated and alluring, mysterious woman - older, but not by too much - easily succumbs to her charms. But there is another side to this story, the tough lessons of life. The three leads, Otto, Roxburgh and Day, generate enough chemistry and tension to carry the movie along, Day came hot off the set of Bill Bennett’s Kiss or Kill, which gave him a surge of confidence working with Bennett’s improvisational techniques. All three are complete characters and each finds a brand new screen persona. The bitter sweet story has some entertaining detours, the look is handsome and the music, as part of the story, is contemporary country. The ballad at the heart of the story, Dead Red Roses, has a nice blue edge to it."
Andrew L. Urban

"The premise of this charmer about a naïve songwriter country boy with romantic dreams is fresh and appealing with Matt Day, Miranda Otto and Richard Roxburgh bringing it to life with top notch performances. While the integration of daydreams gives the film a extra, fable-like dimension, it become monotonous at times and somewhat disturbs the story flow. Day has a terrific camera presence and portrays the vulnerable Ralph as an endearing character; his relationships with both Patsy and bad boy Boyd are satisfying in their development. Otto’s grasp of the character is complete, and her vocals tantalising. Richard Roxburgh gives a terrific performance as Boyd; the writing perhaps gives this character too much scope to be believable, but entertaining nonetheless. The most memorable scenes feature the character players: Ralph’s mum and dad are beautifully underplayed and who could forget those three, oh so macho, roughneck crims in the adjoining cell, jamming their beloved country music. The production design elicits a warm, sensuous glow, reflecting the story’s illusionary nature, while Andrew Lesnie’s cinematography offers stunning shots of the stark, vast Australian countryside."
Louise Keller

"One can imagine that this curious little Australian film sounded interesting on paper. A country bumpkin seeking fame and fortune as a country singer in Nashville gets waylaid by a drug dealer and inadvertently ends up in jail, while being smitten by the dealer's alluring girlfriend, Patsy. Clever idea, but one that somehow seems a bit lost. The film, which includes some rather nice fantasy sequences, has a curious aimlessness about it, a lack of direction and substance. Despite appealing performances by a notable trio of fine actors - Matt Day, Richard Roxburgh and the always illuminating Miranda Otto - none of them play characters that are particularly well defined. Somewhere in Patsy Cline there is a wonderful film waiting to leap out at you, but this isn't it."
Paul Fischer

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MATT DAY INTERVIEW
RICHARD ROXBURGH INTERVIEW

DOING TIME FOR PATSY CLINE (M)
(Australia)

CAST: Richard Roxburgh, Miranda Otto, Matt Day, Tony Barry, Kiri Paramore, Laurence Coy, Annie Byron, Roy Billing, Gus Mercurio, Betty Bobbitt, Frank Whitten, Tom Long, Wayne Pygram, Jeff Truman

DIRECTOR: Chris Kennedy

PRODUCER: Chris Kennedy, John Winter

SCRIPT: Chris Kennedy

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Andrew Lesnie

EDITOR: Ken Sallows

MUSIC: Peter Best

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Roger Ford

COSTUME DESIGNER: Louise Wakefield

RUNNING TIME: 95 minutes

INTERNATIONAL SALES: Southern Star

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Dendy

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 25, 1997







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