Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
Bliss Trailers & Photos
as Harry Joy
as Bettina Joy
as Honey Barbara
as David Joy
as Lucy Joy
as Alex Duval
as Mr. Des
as Adrian Clunes
as Ken McLaren
as Alice Dalton
as Harry's Father
News & Interviews for Bliss
Critic Reviews for Bliss
A droll, dry and mordantly amusing comedy-drama that exists in a Twilight Zone-esque world impossible to gauge or define.
Viciously funny, scathing in its satire and damning in its inescapable truths...offering one of the most tender and moving climaxes I've ever seen.
Audience Reviews for Bliss
An obscure Australian film whose weirdness and oddity is boldly presented. 25 years after its release, Bliss is still a fascinatingly bizarre experience as its caustic flavor still bites through its comic delirium.
This was one of those movies that came on after a movie I actually wanted to watch, but I was too lazy to change the channel. It was kinda confusing and didn't make a lot of sense and I think it's supposed to be funny ... but not really ... as far as I can tell.
Bliss by Ray Lawrence, 1985 (Director's Cut)
Greeted with a mass walkout at the Canne Film Festival [i]Bliss [/i]is a film that proves the pundits at Canne don't always get it right. Often critized for being too long and overly ambitous [i]Bliss [/i]can be a bit much to take in if you decide to watch this film at the wrong time. I, however, don't feel this is a negative thing by any means. For example I love [i]The Thin Red Line[/i] but I invariably fall asleep if I try to watch it late in the evening.
Coming in at just over 2 hours, the director's cut of [i]Bliss[/i] is a sprawling introspective look sociopolitical issues that are still relevant in Australia today. This introspection is played out through a cast of quirky characters and quirky local Australian humor.
The story centers around Harry Joy (Barry Otto), a highly successful man who works in advertising and loves to tell a good story. Almost immediately Harry Joy dies, for four minutes that is, until he is revived. His revival sparks a journey that leads him to believe that he is at turns mad or in hell. Ultimately he realizes he is neither and goes through a transformation of a deeply personal nature.
In some ways I was reminded of [i]Big Fish[/i] when I watched this fim. But where [i]Big Fish[/i] chose to deal simply with the relationship between father and son, [i]Bliss[/i] chooses to shoot for something much bigger in scope. It considers modern urban life and what consequences that brings to our society. Cancer is a major thematic point in the film, and one does not need to be a resident of Australia to realize the cancer maps that insurance companies use are just as prevelant in the United States. Other themes involve personal demonization in the pursuit of money, "In the end, what else is there." and the more complex dynamics of the modern family.
Juxtaposing Harry Joy's utterly corrupt family and hollow relationship between him and his equally hollow wife with the simplistic relationship Harry Joy discovers with Honey Barbara the film also delves into the dynamics of human relationships and what is lost is the hustle of modern life.
Admittedly these are themes that have been explored before in cinema, but it is the uniquely Australian flavor that makes the film particularly interesting. Similar themes are covered, but are looked at in a uniquely different light.
If I had any complaints about the film, it would be that there was a little too much voice over narration for my taste, but all in all that is a minor complaint to have.
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