Look Both Ways Review

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A sudden railway accident causes grief and existential angst but also brings people together.


Arriving on these shores already loaded with awards, Sarah Watt’s slight Australian ensemble drama owes a clear debt to Messrs Anderson and Altman. The action meanders around the lives of seven characters whose fates are tied to a harsh suburban railway accident, frequently focusing on the tentative relationship between William McInnes’ cancer-stricken news photographer and Justine Clarke’s fatalistic artist.

Despite some rather heavyhanded stylistic riffs, Watt’s debut is remarkably assured, teasing out naturalistic turns from an unstarry cast and approaching the — let’s face it — thumpingly depressing material with stark, wry humour and a rugged sense of battered optimism. Strange and surprisingly poignant; the force of Magnolia is strong in this one.

A dreamy but tough ensemble indie that delivers its existential angst with a straight-up Aussie drawl.