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Australia 1985
Directed by
Glenda Hambly
94 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars


The two main strengths of documentary maker Glenda Hambly's first and to date only feature film is that it is solidly grounded in research that she was doing for the West Australian Department of Community Welfare and Noni Hazlehurst's performance as Fran, the good-natured and loving but irresponsible mother of 3 young children, all to different and now absent fathers.

Adeptly describing the social and psychological environment to which Fran belongs, Hambly not only shows the systemic problems that create broken homes within the narrative framework but creates a credible portrait of an individual instance of them through her main character. Annie Byron is also good as Fran's supportive Plain Jane neighbour, whilst, for her age, Narelle Simpson is impressive as Fran's eldest daughter trying to come to terms with her mother's waywardness. Although not what most audiences would consider entertaining, within the social realist style Fran is a commendable contender.




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