A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
Directed By: Matthew Saville
Written By: Matthew Saville
Produced By: Nick Batzias, Matthew Saville, Kirsty Stark
Starring: Anthony LaPaglia, Wayne Anthoney, Nick Batzias
Running Time: 109 Minutes
Navigating not just through suburban Adelaide inspecting various properties and their value, Matthew Saville’s A Month Of Sundays cleverly navigates through its characters and their pasts. A pleasant piece that showcases star and executive producer Anthony LaPaglia quite favourably, his latest film amid his run of homegrown outings film is about a midlife crisis, connection, false promises and moving on, resulting in a sweet little tale about a man in need.
Real estate agent Frank Mollard (LaPaglia) is having trouble settling in by himself following a divorce with his wife Wendy (Justine Clark) and is finding it even more difficult to connect with his teenage son Frank Jr (Indiana Crowfer) as he juggles these personal issues with a difficult period on the property front.
Following yet another stressful day out in the suburbs, Frank receives a phone call from his mother, who has been dead for about a year…
It’s from this call that Frank sets off on a journey to discover more about the strange occurrence but in doing so, he discovers more about himself than he ever could have fathomed.
The film is rather cheesy and formulaic, however it possesses an honesty and quintessential Australian charm to it that is enveloping for audiences familiar with the setting.
Through the craft of various characters, the chemistry established within their relationships creates a lovely balance that bounces between one another and allows the audience to understand them rather well. Some of the dialogue is emotionally charged and impactful, whilst other moments are genuinely and effortlessly funny, which is a credit to the performances of LaPaglia and John Clarke for example.
At times, A Month Of Sundays in the the way its shot and edited, feels rather amateur. Recurring examples of this are the filmmaker’s insistence to incorporate long takes into the film, which, while looking visually impressive, add nothing to the theme, tone, story or the characters themselves.
This bleeds into other examples such as a shot involving a sprinkler system that is designed to be irritatingly humorous, but instead feels tiresome and ill fitting for the scene. The last example lingers in order to capture some balloons and an overpassing aeroplane in the background, but what it does to further the plot or add anything of significance is puzzling.
Charming at times, emotionally fluctuant with a brilliant central performance from LaPaglia, A Month Of Sundays is one that you don’t need to rush out for, but could be right up the alley of a particular crowd. With the more disciplined, ordinary visual style and perhaps a bit of fine tuning in the overall story, this could’ve been a really lovely little piece to keep the momentum of excellent Australian films going strong.