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Australia 1991
Directed by
Paul Cox
91 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
1.5 stars

Golden Braid

Loosely based on a short story, "La Chevelure", by Guy De Maupassant. Paul Cox's film tells the story of a reclusive clock restorer, Bernard (Chris Haywood), who finds in an old cabinet a braid of hair which becomes a surrogate for his lost loves.

Scripted by Cox with Barry Dickens and relocated to contemporary Melbourne the film never convinces despite trying to bridge the time gap with antique furnishings and even becomes unintentionally funny in its striving to be deeply meaningful. This is not helped by the casting of Haywood, an actor better known for his knockabout characters, who utters his poetico-philosophical reflections on love and death and other related matters as if he were reading a menu, although arguably his down-to-earth manner keeps the film from going completely off the rails.

Certainly less helpful to Cox's aspirations is the casting of Paul Chubb, a character actor often seen in comedies, as a Salvation Army major and husband to Terese (Gosia Dobrowolska) with whom Bernard, a pantsman of some prowess, is having a torrid affair. Strictly for fans of Cox's oeuvre




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