Tom (played by Matthew Goode) is a chef. He lives in Sydney where he owns and runs a chic Bondi bistro. His is a full but chaotic life and the unsociable chef working hours just add to the apparent fragmentation of his world. He is clearly suffering from trauma and struggling to “keep it all together”, but at first it is not clear why. He cares for his young son Oscar (by Jack Heanly) and sees various friends and family (by Gia Carides, Essie Davis, Kate Beahan, Anthony Hayes and Rachel Griffiths) when he has time. His life is a struggle – his business partner Sally (by Kerry Fox) and his workmate (by Dan Wylie) worry about his increasingly erratic and self-destructive behaviour. We meet Sarah (by Bojana Novakovic), Tom’s beautiful wife and Oscar’s mother, and we start to understand more about Tom’s life and the tragedy that has overtaken this family ….
This movie is great. At first, the viewer is presented with a jumble of images and it is not until the movie plays out that you begin piece the whole amazing scenario together. The chronology is jumbled also, some things you see several times and can’t place them until they fit, other things you only see in part and recognise it again later – but it all gradually make sense as the film proceeds. You will need to stick with this one though, for a while it’s a bit of a challenge to work out what’s going on, as scenes unfold out of sequence and are abruptly terminated before they’ve run their course. But this is entirely appropriate as it perfectly depicts Tom’s state of mind throughout this difficult period of his life. Some viewers may find some scenes, images and ideas presented to be confronting, but I just thought they were honest. The directing is marvellous, well done Jonathan Teplitzky – and the key roles are all brutally honest, strong and authentic. Matthew Goode is utterly believable in this wonderful performance and Bojana Novakovic plays Sara beautifully. Young Jack Heanly is very good as Oscar – he shows an empathy beyond his years. The women involved with Tom are all great, it is hard to pick a stand-out here as they are all marvellous. It is good to see Garry McDonald in an important role in this one. It’s excellent.
Made in 2011. Directed by Jonathan Teplitzky