A master clockmaker and dedicated collector of antiques (Haywood), is unhealthily obsessed with the past and with death. A bachelor, he is having an affair with Terese (Dobrowolska), a beautiful and unhappily married social worker. Everything is fine until he buys a rare 18th-century cabinet and finds a braid of golden hair in a secret drawer. His growing attachment to the braid, with which he actually falls in love as if it were human, precipitates a crisis which, it becomes clear, is not the f
Dutch born but primarily Australian based filmmaker Paul (Man Of Flowers) Cox's highly individual and artistic (some would say 'arty') signature is firmly stamped all over his new movie, but in the event, although quite intruiging, it is unsatisfying and something of a disappointment.
Chris Haywood is excellent as Bernard, the troubled artiste and antique expert, and this somewhat bizarre tale is assembled with elegance, care, control and an uncompromising directorial distance. Unfortunately, the narrative line (which Cox co-adapted with Barry Dickins from Guy de Maupassant's novel) falls apart and the piece ends with disconcerting abruptness.
Although occasionally blackly funny, sometimes discomfiting and often interesting, the pace is slow, Bernard is not a sympathetic figure, and the overall feeling of this highly esoteric film is one of over-contrivance and aridity.