Complete A-Z list

Beautiful Kate


Stars: Ben Mendelsohn, Rachel Griffiths, Bryan Brown, Maeve Dermody, Josh McFarlane, Sophie Lowe

Director: Rachel Ward

Incest and tedium in the Australian outback. A son (Mendelsohn) returns, with his new fiancée (Dermody), to visit his dying father (Brown) and his surviving younger sister (Griffiths).

In flashback, the family's past tragedies are revealed. The son's twin sister, Kate (Lowe), was killed in a crash, the car being driven by their older brother (McFarlane). That, of course, is not all, but actress Ward, who wrote the film as well as directing, is unable to persuade us why we would care about all this.

Her statement that 'the young female characters are yearning to find and express their sexual identities' sounds like verbal diarrhoea speak for 'want to get laid'.

The outpost setting within which the characters potter about is bleak without being interesting, like the story itself. But perhaps the patient and alert viewer may glean more from this than I did.

David Quinlan

Australia 2009. UK Distributor: Matchbox Films. Colour by Atlab.
99 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 25 Jul 2010