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Australia 1991
Directed by
Mark Joffe
89 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars


In hindsight, by Australian standards,Spotswood has a stellar cast. Domestic stars Toni Collette, Russell Crowe and Ben Mendelsohn, all very young, are joined by Anthony Hopkins, who is convincing as the very English corporate time-and-motion man who gets a life via the working class people of a moccasin factory that seems to be caught in a time-warp in the Melbourne port suburb that gives the film its title.

Whilst some may, not without reasaon, find it all a bit too twee, take it in its own terms, which is part Ealing (its story and characters) part Jeunet and Caro (its retro style), and it is an impressively understated and distinctively Antipodean achievement.

Well written by Max Dann and Andrew Knight, with superb production design by Chris Kennedy it is wonderfully photographed by Ellery Ryan who gives the film a slightly rose-coloured, other-worldly look. Performances all round are excellent with Alwyn Kurts marvellous as the old-fashioned factory owner who values people over money.

FYI: Although set in 1966, I think I caught a glimpse of the West Gate Bridge which was only completed in 1978..




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