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The Crossing Review

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Set in a small Oz country town in the mid-60s, The Crossing traces the interlocking fates of Meg (Spencer) and her two lovers, Johnny (Crowe) and Sam (Mammone). When Sam returns home from the big city to reclaim Meg, he finds himself competing with the stay-at-home Johnny who has taken up with his old buddy's girl. Naturally Meg is torn between the rooted Johnny and the first love who abandoned her in his haste to escape from the smalltown claustrophobia.

★★★★★

With it's deceptively homely title and its inevitably tragic resolution, this Australian love story is a rather strained combination of the homespun and the symbolic. From the opening scenes, which cut between two young lovers enjoying a roll in the hay and the Anzac Day commemorations of the older townsfolk, director George Ogilvie is busy underlining the portentous overtones of this tale of a doomed love triangle in the middle of nowhere.

Although Ogilvie is evenhanded with his sympathies, the rather knowing camera work and the sense of inevitable tragedy which hangs over the film are ultimately too obvious to carry much weight. The largely untried cast are believable enough and the conservatism of smalltown life is suitably stifling but by the time the three lovers find themselves locked in a car race and heading for the level crossing at the outskirts of town, the denouement has become more plain predictable than just inevitable.

Overcast with an impending sense of doom, this is pretty far away from the feel-good factor