LOOK BOTH WAYS: DVD
Set over a hot Australian country town weekend, several people dealing with unexpected events find their lives intersecting. Nick (William McInnes) visits a doctor for a routine medical and is given a devastating diagnosis but has to wait until Monday for specialist advice. Meryl (Justine Clark), returning from a family funeral, has until Monday to finish her art project or lose her job. Andy (Anthony Hayes) is thrown by his girlfriend's ultimatum and has until Monday to consider the news of her unplanned pregnancy, while dealing with ex wife and children. He and Nick and Meryl are also connected through a tragic rail accident.
Review by Louise Keller:
A wry black comedy about life, death and relationships, Look Both Ways is an original and appealing film with a unique slant. All the characters are trying to stay afloat in their lives, which are punctuated by adversity. It's an impressive debut for writer /director Sarah Watt, whose multi-layered characters are interesting on more than one level. I especially like the effective use of hand-painted animated sequences, symbolising inner thoughts, usually of a pessimistic, but amusingly portrayed.
Set in Adelaide after a recent train derailment in which there were many fatalities, we meet a group of characters each of whom is dealing with a crisis of some kind. They're a likeable bunch, whose lives intersect through circumstance and coincidence. Nick (William McInnes) works as a photographer on the local paper. He sees life through his lens, but is feeling totally disoriented since the doctors diagnosed him with cancer. His imagination runs riot as his life flashes before his eyes, and he finds himself drawn to Justine Clarke's Meryl, an artist with a vivid imagination, brought to life through her sketches. She visualizes sharks devouring her, or a car squashing her as she walks home. Her father has just died, and both Nick and Justine are suffocating from the fear of death. Nick's plight also impacts on his professional relationships, both with his editor (Andrew S. Gilbert) who starts to take a greater interest in his young family, and Anthony Hayes' Andy, a selfish chauvinistic journalist with a dysfunctional broken marriage and a newly pregnant girlfriend (Lisa Flanagan). (Watch out for an overtly pregnant Sacha Horler in a cameo.)
McInnes and Clarke are especially charismatic as they clumsily fall into each other's arms in a romance of errors. This romance is an unusual one - they meet on Friday, sleep together on Saturday, followed by a disastrous lunch with his mother on Sunday. There are also subplots concerning Nick's father who died a year earlier, a young woman whose photo after the tragic death of her husband on the train tracks becomes front page news, the train driver who is shocked by the events and the bitter deserted girlfriend who finds herself pregnant and vulnerable.
As the story winds its way to its conclusion, the heavens open up and a symbolic downpour is a watershed. Look Both Ways is a poignant film that exposes the funny side of serious topics. How to cope with death is one thing; but how to cope with one's life is quite another. It explores the big issues and the small, enabling us to not only look carefully, but to look at life from all angles.
There's an audio commentary on the DVD with Sarah Watt, William McInnes, Justine Clarke and Barbara Masel.
Published February 2, 2006
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LOOK BOTH WAYS: DVD (M)
CAST: William McInnes, Justine Clark, Anthony Hayes, Sacha Horler,[BREAK]Lisa Flanagan, Andrew S. Gilbert, Daniela Farinacci, Maggie Dence, Edwin Hodgeman, Andreas Sobik
PRODUCER: Bridget Ikin
DIRECTOR: Sarah Watt
SCRIPT: Sarah Watt
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Ray Argall
EDITOR: Denise Haratzis ACE
MUSIC: Amanda Brown
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Rita Zanchetta
OTHER: Sarah Watt, Clare Callinan (animation painting)
RUNNING TIME: 100 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Dendy
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: August 18, 2005
PRESENTATION: Widescreen; 5.1 surround audio
SPECIAL FEATURES: Commentary with Sarah Watt, William McInnes, Justine Clarke and Barbara Masel ; Australian and International Trailers
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: AV Channel
DVD RELEASE: February 1, 2006