Jindabyne: Film #12 of Film 365

Tuesday 29th March 2011

Director: Ray Lawrence
Year: 2006
Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Laura Linney

I had some trepidation about watching this. Not because I thought it would be bad, necessarily, but because it was 10.15 at night and I wasn't sure I was going to be able to stay awake. I did manage that (for all but 5 minutes), so the film can't have been too bad.

Jindabyne begins with a girl driving into the town of Jindabyne, then being chased by a truck driver. It then cuts to some of the families who live in this inland Australian town, and follows them as they live their lives. The two stories do connect, and not in the most obvious of ways.

Both stories are enjoyable, and with some additional material would have felt like good films in their own right. The problem here is that you feel like the filmmakers are asking you to watch a film and a half. I don't think it's that there wouldn't have been enough material for both movies, just that some of it was never written. I understand what the film was trying to do - in order to get the audience to engage with one story both were felt to be needed - but to me it just felt a little flabby, and like the writers couldn't be quite concise enough. Having watched enough movies where this has been very well done in the past couple of weeks (Pieces of April and Ginger Snaps: Unleashed come to mind), I found this fairly unforgivable.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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About Me

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I live in Bristol with my husband Dan (who I married in July 2007), my son Joe (born 2012) and daughter Jess (born 2015). I work at UWE (the University of the West of England) in Bristol as a Research and Open Access Librarian. I'm orginally from Exeter, so moving back to Bristol is a bit like coming home - especially as I studied for my undergraduate degree here (also at UWE). I love travelling and movies, although I get to do a lot less of both since the birth of our children. Although we have still managed to fit in holidays to the Isles of Scilly, Chamonix and a summer in California since Joe was born.