Beautiful Kate (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

Beautiful Kate (2009)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Beautiful Kate Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Celebrated British-born actress Rachel Ward (The Thorn Birds, Against All Odds) makes her feature directorial debut with this unique and occasionally provocative drama, featuring longtime husband Bryan Brown and produced in Brown's native Australia. A loose adaptation of the 1982 novel by Newton Thornburg (Cutter's Way), it transposes the events of that roman from Chicago to an Australian farm. Ben Mendelsohn stars as Ned Kendall, a fortyish author who takes his young, slightly uncouth girlfriend, Toni (Maeve Dermody) along to visit his dying father, Bruce (Brown) a failed politician and farmer now cared for by daughter Sally (Rachel Griffiths) on the clan's Aussie property. The relationship between Ned and Bruce remains supremely dysfunctional, as father constantly berates and pushes his son; the focal points of their conflicts spring from the teenage death of Ned's twin sister Kate (Sophie Lowe) and the suicide of his older brother Cliff (Josh McFarlane). After Toni and Sally each storm out of the home in a nasty huff, director Ward intercuts two parallel narratives: the circumstances (including Kate's insatiable sexual curiosity during adolescence) that once led to the family's two tragic losses, and, in a contemporary framework, the delicate steps that Bruce and Ned begin to take toward reconciliation, in the period immediately preceding Bruce's death. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovimore
Rating: R (for strong sexual content and nudity, language and some violent images)
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 21, 2010
Roadshow Films - Official Site


Bryan Brown
as Bruce Kendall
Rachel Griffiths
as Sally Kendall
Ben Mendelsohn
as Ned Kendall

News & Interviews for Beautiful Kate

Critic Reviews for Beautiful Kate

All Critics (31)

Although it presents itself as a bastion of haunting thoughtfulness and a target of controversy, Beautiful Kate offers nothing more than familiar themes seen in plenty of Australian films before it.

Full Review… | January 5, 2012
Matt's Movie Reviews

A stylish and intriguing debut from Rachel Ward. However, despite its good looks, this film ulimately has little to say for itself.

Full Review… | August 5, 2010

A pedestrian Australian drama that's big on scenery and long, meaningful silences but short on story.

Full Review… | August 3, 2010
Daily Mirror (UK)

Beautifully acted and shot, this isn't comforting cinema but is bold and haunting, marking Ward out as a director of note.

August 3, 2010
Little White Lies

A skilfully modulated drama that moves between timeframes and emotional pitches with assurance.

Full Review… | August 2, 2010
Radio Times

Not the easiest of watches but remains compelling thanks to Mendelsohn's sure evocation of a man whose life has been buffeted by the past.

Full Review… | August 2, 2010
Sky Movies

Audience Reviews for Beautiful Kate


03/02/2011 (ONLINE)

An excellent drama that stirred me the wrong way... I'm puzzled, and to think that this is suppose to disgust me didn't, well, in the end it didn't. Morally it's insane yet innocently it seems harmless. This would of got just the 3 stars but I pushed in a half more for actually puzzling my view of this situation. I know what's right from wrong and yet I felt sorry for the true enemies or rather, the guilty ones.

I did not expect to be moved like that and feel something for this story but I was quite stunned in the end. I was actually not liking what was going on and then a sudden impact in the story started to sink in and now I was sad... I should be glad at what happened but I actually felt sorry for everybody even though they were all guilty for something.

A great Australian flick that builds up gradually. On the drama scale its a winner and for me, the story still lingered in my thoughts long after I saw the movie. Another film that I was 'Not Interested' in that I enjoyed surprisingly. Thanks to all those who kept recommending it till I finally said... Oh, alright then!

EightThirty .

Super Reviewer

Wow, this was a dark movie. Definitely not for all tastes, and a little slow to get moving, but once the family secrets started to come out, just enthralling. I think this movie did a good job as even though it deals with something pretty much inexcusable, it does make you pause slightly and wonder who the real victim was, or if they were all victims. Acting is superb as well. Was particularly impressed with Sophie Lowe who plays Kate in flashbacks.

Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

This Aussie drama of Rachel Ward's debut directional motion picture is interesting about a family so dysfunctional that you need another word for it.
When Bruce (Bryan Brown) and Ned (Ben Mendelsohn) go head-to-head, you're not just seeing two of Australia's best actors give their all, but a father and son unbotting a lifetime's worth of resentment and explosive rage. The supports are also flawless. As Sally, the youngest Kendall, Rachel Griffiths gives a grounded performance, while Maeve Dermody is excellent as Ned's sulky young fiancee, and Sophie Lowe proves that she's a talent to watch. With muscular direction from Ward (Brown's real-life wife), who adapted the screenplay from Newton Thornburg's American-set novel - this decidedly anti-popcorn movie does ultimately offer redemption and hope. It's an intense, disquieting experience - but a deeply rewarding one.

Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

Beautiful Kate Quotes

Ned Kendall: A man can live his whole life and never cop to his greatest achievement...
– Submitted by Luís Miguel R (3 years ago)

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