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ENVY

SYNOPSIS:
At a public swimming pool, Kate (Linda Cropper), recognises her stolen black dress being worn by Rachel (Anna Lise Phillips), a young thief. While Rachel is swimming, Kate reclaims her dress and unwittingly sets off a dangerous chain of events.

Envy grabs the attention immediately as the camera settles on young, blonde and nervous-looking Rachel (Anna Lise Phillips) at a suburban shopping mall. As if caught by a surveillance camera, she looks briefly down the lens (and directly at us in the audience) before leaving the frame. Later we will discover the significance of this moment but for now it's all the information we're given as the destinies of Rachel and Kate (Linda Cropper) collide.

On the surface Envy is about a successful, secure middle class woman and a young thief fighting over possession of a black dress. Underneath it's about class and sexual politics - rich topics given a vivid workout after Kate's house is invaded by Rachel and two criminal accomplices who initiate a humiliating assault on Kate's teenage son Matt (Wade Osborne). The territory becomes darker when Matt blames his mother for what has happened, identifying with Rachel and her 'family' while rejecting his own. Kate's husband Phil (Jeff Truman, also the film's writer) tries to remain rational, believing the police 'have a good chance of catching them'.

Debut director Julie Money shows remarkable assurance with material rarely tackled in Australian cinema. The Boys (1997) and the excellent but forgotten Vicious (1988) are two of the very few local productions to travel anywhere near the places Envy visits. Linda Cropper gives a standout performance as a woman whose actions force us to question our concepts of justice, revenge and acceptable limits and has a formidable screen adversary in Anna Lise Phillips as the equally calculating Rachel. A few wobbly lines and variable supporting performances notwithstanding, this compact effort succeeds because it has something provocative to say and a fearless determination to make us feel uneasy in our comfortable seats.
Richard Kuipers

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

ENVY (M)
(AUS)

CAST: Linda Cropper, Jeff Truman, Anna Lise Phillips, Wade Osborne, Scott Major.

PRODUCERS: Peter Broderick, Michael Cook, Julie Money

DIRECTOR: Julie Money

SCRIPT: Trevor Shearston, Jeff Truman

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Graeme Wood

EDITOR: Roberta Horslie

MUSIC: Andy Evans

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Donna Brown

RUNNING TIME: 83 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTORS: Peter Broderick, Michael Cook, Julie Money

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: Brisbane: Sept 27; Sydney: Oct 11; Hobart: Nov 2; Adel: Nov 8; Melb: Nov 15; ACT: Nov 29; WA: Dec

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Magna Pacific
VIDEO RELEASE August 14, 2002







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