Hollywood is great, isn’t it? It has the glitz, glamor and the Hollywood sign, along with a golden little man by the name of Oscar. Hollywood has managed to successfully provide us with escapism at times when we needed it the most, Word War 1, World War 2, Korea, Vietnam, and wars and recessions that continue to erupt globally.
I sometimes find the type of movie that does well in theaters is very formulaic. The action has to happen ten minutes in, our hero must change from start to finish, the villain must be so bad that our hero seems really good and then we have the word genre, is your film a square peg and does it fit into the square hole?
I happen to like movies that leave me with unanswered questions, are not formulaic and therefore are definitely not your mainstream Hollywood movies. Australian films really do a fantastic job at fitting the bill here. There are four in particular that I like.
The first is A Japanese Story, it stars one of my favorite actresses, Toni Collette and the twist in this movie left me in complete and utter silent shock; for anyone who knows me, that’s a hard thing to do.
The second movie from Australia that I liked is Jindabyne starring Laura Linney, another fantastic actress and Gabriel Byrne. There are no easy answers to be had with this movie.
The third movie, which is full of symbolism about the pro-life debate is Long Weekend with Jim Caviezel, and why wouldn’t he want to do a pro-life movie? If you’ve read anything about the man you’ll know he’s passionate about his religion. I don’t care at all for the character he portrays in the movie. He gets what’s coming to him (pardon the pun, but you’ll get joke that when you watch the movie) at the very end of the film.
And finally, this is probably one of my favorite Australian films, Lantana, with the lovely Barbara Hershey (please let me look like that when I’m 64) and one of my all time favorite actors Geoffrey Rush, always top notch and never a disappointing performance, if you don’t believe me just watch any of his movies and tell me I am delusional!
I like these movies because they do not spoon feed me what I should think. I get to make up my own mind about what I have just seen, I get to decide whether or not I like the protagonist or not. Don’t get me wrong, I like Hollywood style movies too, but I very much like the movies that leave me with burning questions, sometimes they are questions that I can’t answer, but that’s life.