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Oscar and Lucinda Review

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Oscar and Lucinda, two misfits in 19th century Australia go on a bizarre but romantic adventure across the huge country...

★★★★

Gloriously offbeat, this romantic fantasy of two spectacularly eccentric misfits has lots going for it bit is so bizarre, it may struggle to find an audience.

Australia's trail blazing woman director Gillian Armstrong (Little Women) brings all her powers of poetic vision, acute observations and absorbing storytelling to her most ambitious work yet, a faithful, magical adaptation of Peter Carey’s Booker Prize winning novel.

The chronicle of this off couple’s lives is narrated by Oscar’s grandson(Geoffrey Rush). Oscar’s is a lonely childhood among religious zealots in Devon, where he develops twin passions, God and gambling. The singular Lucinda, reared in Australia b a formidable mother is a “proud square peg” in a society of round holes. Her youthful fervour is for glasswear and games of chance. Once frown up into the red-headed duo of Fiennes and Blanchett, they meet over a card table aboard a ship to Australia where Oscar is to be a missionary and heiress Lucinda is to revolutionise her glassworks. Their relationship hindered by scandal and misunderstanding. Oscar conceives an outrageous romantic and epic adventure for which he is woefully equipped: he will tote an entire church made of glass across the wilds of Australia in Lucinda’s name to minister friend Rev. Hasset (Hinds).

Emotionally rich and beautifully visualise , the story affords priceless opportunities for its’ colourful oddballs’ lives to unfolds memorably in dismay and triumph. In his first endearing role, Fiennes is sublime, hilarious and heartrending. Blanchett is a delight, while the supporting cast’s characters (Hinds, Tom Wilkinson, Clive Russell) enhance a nicely detailed portrait of new notions challenging a straitjacketed society.

Bravely and surely negotiating startling twists of mood and plot to reach a stunning climax, this is a rare celebration of life.

A faithful and intriguing adaptation but a perhaps a little offbeat for mainstream audiences.