Reviews and reports from SXSW Film and Interactive 05
D: Cate Shortland; with Abbie Cornish, Sam Worthington, Lynette Curran, Erik Thomson, Hollie Andrew
Narrative Feature Discoveries From Down Under
Everyone has already decided what kind of girl Heidi (Cornish) is: Like her mother (Olivia Pigeot), she's the kind who attaches to men for survival. Heidi leaves home and consorts with a string of losers in a snowy New South Wales resort village, finally landing with Joe (Worthington), a townie with whom a more meaningful relationship potentially emerges. Gracefully and bravely acted 23-year-old Cornish is sensational the film follows Heidi through a somnolent, atmospheric haze, counterpointing her moments of teenage wonderment with her free fall into adulthood and sexuality; Shortland mixes film speeds within a scene and uses contrapuntal sound to contrast the fairy-tale stillness of Jindabyne's lakeside landscape with the rudeness of its debauched tourist culture: the apple bongs and boilermakers, the hookups and hostility toward and within the locals. This is a remarkably articulate film, artistically and emotionally, with much to say about how people connect (or don't).