For a debut feature by writer, director Kelly Walker, this is an extraordinary breakdown of grief, love and affection of understanding how dramatic circumstances can sway people together.
Throughout a somewhat autobiographical screenplay from my fellow Australian, gracious Queensland girl Walker, as dramatic as it gets; zest for existence remains heavily present.
Life-long absolute best friends already, Fiona (Sara Amini) and Jane (Jeanette Maus) are now literally inseparable owning a start business together, however we only learn about their friendship through flashbacks, due to Fiona’s sudden suicide within the opening of stanza of the film.
An examination of bereavement for Jane at the funeral is widened when overhearing gossip on the church steps, she understandable stands up for her friend and herself, however things adjust slightly in the days after when offering to babysit Fiona’s child Bailey, for her widow Gemma (Corbin Reid) as she throws herself back into work to stay partially distracted. Fiona has a backstory which slowly unravels, including a prescription from her therapist, medication nobody seemed to know about.
Already friends, things progress romantically between Gemma and Jane whilst seemingly lost for answers seeking comfort within their loss, timing of affection is perfect as the relationship blooms.
Chemistry between these actors is elegance mixed with confusion and eventual clashes of understanding. Sexuality if explored, not labelled, maintaining realism, dignity and respect.
Sadly, this was one of the final roles for the late, incredible Jeanette Maus, feverishly committed to her at times overwhelmed character Jane.
Ein sad and happy moments always a powerhouse, even channelling Glenn Close. in The Big Chill (1983) during one particular scene.
Insurmountable screen presence of Corbin Reid, also obvious.
In a small role, look fast for another cool Aussie, Jess Riley.
Along the way there is some sleight humour, some heavier story revelations which I won’t reveal here are a little unanswered, but overall, the emphasis of an unintended love story spawned by grief works.
Already an experienced actor now destined for stardom in the director’s chair, an immense trajectory of Kelly Walker has only just begun.
Drama | Australia, 2019 | Digital Download | Dir.Kelly Walker |Sara Amini, Jeanette Maus, Corbin Reid