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Jindabyne (2006)

tomatometer

65

Average Rating: 6.5/10
Reviews Counted: 97
Fresh: 63 | Rotten: 34

Jindabyne's disparate themes may not quite cohere, but the film features fine performances from Linney and Byrne.

55

Average Rating: 6/10
Critic Reviews: 33
Fresh: 18 | Rotten: 15

Jindabyne's disparate themes may not quite cohere, but the film features fine performances from Linney and Byrne.

audience

50

liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 8,100

My Rating

Movie Info

A family is touched by the shadows of hatred and violence in this Australian drama adapted from a short story by Raymond Carver. Stewart (Gabriel Byrne) and Claire (Laura Linney) are a married couple in their early fourties; Stewart runs a gas station while Claire looks after their son, Tom (Sean Rees-Wemyss). Tom has been grounded for the weekend after killing a small animal with his friend Caylin (Eva Lazzaro), and Claire keeps an eye on him while Stewart goes off on a fishing trip with his

R,

Drama

Beatrix Christian

Oct 2, 2007

$0.2M

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All Critics (100) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (63) | Rotten (34) | DVD (10)

The movie's remaining revelations build slowly into a set of surprisingly powerful emotional beats.

June 20, 2007 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A fish tale worth telling and worth hearing.

June 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The frustration here is that none of this leads anywhere. Perhaps that is the point, that some mysteries are never solved, but Jindabyne could give us a little more to work with.

June 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Clearly, in his bid to repurpose Carver's story, Lawrence misses the writer's prevailing ethos: the sense of self-contained internal misery and that haunting quality of being hopelessly human.

May 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The seamless overall blend of involving domestic turmoil and haunted national self-questioning is quite some achievement.

May 24, 2007 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An affecting character study, anchored by scraped-bare and often heartbreaking performances by Laura Linney and Gabriel Byrne.

May 18, 2007 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Although Jindabyne's cinematography features sweeping scenes of the Australian countryside as stunning as any of those opening shots from Brokeback Mountain, it ultimately has some bigger issues.

August 25, 2008 Full Review Source: ReelzChannel.com

Less a moral dilemma than a meditation on the differences between men and women in matters of social decorum.

November 17, 2007 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope | Comment (1)
Laramie Movie Scope

Intense relationship drama for adults only.

October 22, 2007 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

While it's most certainly not light viewing, and it's entirely devoid of 'Hollywood moments', this is a fine, intelligent, troubling film.

October 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

A whole lot of padding turns a fine enough story into a dour, wordy slog.

September 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

The film is novelistic in its nuance, in the patience of its storytelling and in the complexity of its mostly unhappy characters.

August 3, 2007
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

There is some great acting here, and some scenes do have an undercurrent of elemental power in them that tugs at your ankles. But the film never pulls you in.

July 20, 2007 Full Review Source: Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

"I do just what I want to do/ I want everything and I want you, too/I wish I could explain to you/But the things men without women do/You just don't understand."

June 29, 2007 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

The filmmakers do not feel the need to fill in every single blank for viewers by the time the credits roll. Just as in reality, these characters' problems are not going to be solved with the wave of a magic wand; there are no short cuts to happiness.

June 22, 2007 Full Review Source: IGN Movies
IGN Movies

Impressively directed, thoroughly engaging drama with terrific performances and a superb script. This is one of the best films of the year.

June 19, 2007 Full Review Source: ViewLondon
ViewLondon

For all the pains it takes to establish mood and character, Jindabyne hides under its own uneasy surfaces; it never allows enough sense of what this community really is, of what's to be grieved when it comes apart.

June 18, 2007 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Jindabyne is not about just one murder but about the death by a thousand cuts that happens in its aftermath.

June 14, 2007
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Apart from a contrived ending, Jindabyne comes as close as can be to a perfect drama.

June 12, 2007 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

It's safe to describe Jindabyne as a haunted movie.

June 8, 2007
Kansas City Star

A tense and spare examination of how these married people relate to each other after years of pain, mistrust and secrets have taken their toll.

June 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

So slow, cold and aloof that it's almost off-putting. As a result, it's hard to care much about what happens to any of these characters.

June 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Thanks to Beatrix Christian's beautiful screenplay, what was once a story about the way men and women communicate has grown into a haunting study of Australian race relations and gender dynamics.

June 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

Audience Reviews for Jindabyne

This is a difficult movie to watch. Understanding Stewart's and Claire's relationship isn't easy. The story is not really about the girl's murder, yet we keep seeing the murderer weave in and out of the movie. I will have to watch it a second time to try to understand it

I thought I had seen this movie before, but it was part of the movie 'Short Cuts' I remembered (based on the same short story by Raymond Carver).
May 27, 2009
Redlats

Super Reviewer

here is a case of an intimate film that tries to encompass too much.
A simple morality tale; of not doing what society will have you believe to be the "right thing" and the conseqences of not only your actions, but the mores society places on you.

The film attempts to instill a sense of displacement; all of the charactors are trying to make the best of things, even though they are clinging to symbolic gestures and icons of attachment to time, place, and the people around them. In truth, an almost existential tone pervades this effort, and as such, it could have held its ground; but the spiritual overtones are devisive and distracting.

The impetus of the film comes from four fishing buddies who discover a recently dead body while on their much anticipated yearly fishing trip. Rather than make the day hike out of the canyon to report the body, they spend the weekend as they normally would, and only report the incident after leaving at their normal time.

The truth eventually comes out and the community and family are outraged by their callous insensitivity; ignoring that the girl was already dead so it would make no difference to her (and in such a remote location it wasn't as if the delay would have made any difference in potentially catching the killer - and at this point no-one has any idea of how she died).

The fisherman believe they've done enough by simply tying her to a tree limb so her body wouldn't float downstream and over a waterfall, and it is ironic that this bow to "humanity" leads to the discovery of their "insensitivity" and sets off a chain reaction of hate.

Of course the real issue is that the dead girl was an Aboriginie, so their neglect appears to be racial (when it was really just a snap reaction to having to waste their only time off in order to report their findings).

Laura Linney, as one of the wives of the fisherman, then goes on a Quixonic quest to appease her own sense of self as much as appeasing the Aboriginal population. This takes her to the Aboriginal "funeral", a sequence that goes on way too long and is ackward - perhaps by intention.

The undercurrent to all this surface action is the sense of disenfrancisement - even the city itself, Jindabyne, was moved from its original location because it was in the way of a new reservoir. There are plenty of scenes of the children facing the dangers of the unknown swimming and playing in and around the reservoir, many of which seem to interupt the narrative, and serving the sole purpose of reminding the viewer that we're all just fish out of water.

I admire the vision, but felt that the execution could have been tighter.
October 27, 2008
maxthesax
paul sandberg

Super Reviewer

Beautifully shot outback drama which captures the countryside in all its glory. Unfortunately the plot meanders on for way too long and even Laura Linney can't sustain your interest.
December 23, 2007
gor41
Gordon A

Super Reviewer

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Latest News on Jindabyne

April 26, 2007:
Critical Consensus: This Film Is "Condemned"; "Next" Vexes; Guess "Invisible," "Kickin' It" Tomatometers!
This week at the movies, we've got clairvoyants ("Next," with Nicolas Cage and Julianne...

Foreign Titles

  • Jindabyne, Australie (FR)
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