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New Zealand-born filmmaker Jane Campion directs the darkly humorous family drama Sweetie. Thin and mousy Kay (Karen Colson) works in a factory and lives a dreary existence with her well-meaning boyfriend, Louis (Tom Lycos). One day, her sister Dawn (Genevieve Lemon) arrives with her so-called manager, Bob (Michael Lake). Nicknamed Sweetie, Dawn is everything Kay is not: boisterous, impulsive, and overweight. Kay is consumed with uptight phobias, while Dawn hangs on to her unrealistic childhood dreams of show business. Meanwhile, their parents, Gordon (Jon Darling) and Flo (Dorothy Barry), are involved in a strange separation. Kay, Louis, and Gordon trick Dawn so they can visit Flo at a ranch in the Australian outback. Everyone gets together back at the family home where Dawn pulls an immature stunt, exposing the psychological realities of the situation. … More
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Critic Reviews for Sweetie
It's hard to sum up Sweetie, which happens to be one of the movie's strengths.
Jane Camion's stunning feature debut is a bold and audacious dark comedy about sexual politics and dysfunctional family relations.
[Jane Campion's] first full-fledged, no-doubt-about-it, stone-cold masterpiece.
a helter skelter ride through the offbeat life of a suburban Australian family whose youngest daughter is 'abnormal'
The director manages to sustain the film's quirky emotional tone, much more important than sustaining a plot.
A strong early effort from Jane Campion.
Audience Reviews for Sweetie
Jane Campion's style is never going to woo the masses with broad appeal, but that's part of what makes her such a dynamic film maker. Sweetie is an odd bit of cinema that is both sentimental and detached. A quirky and imaginative motion picture.More
A difficult and somewhat disturbing film that explores the troubled relationship between two very different sisters. Dawn (Genevieve Lemon), known to her family as Sweetie, is a blowzy, overweight woman with serious mental health issues and delusions of grandeur who shows up at her sister's with a producer/boyfriend in tow. Kay (Karen Colston) is the other sister, a shy, socially awkward young woman who has managed to snare a steady boyfriend in the handsome Louis (Tom Lycos). Their father (Michael Lake) moves in as well, when his wife, the girls' mother, leaves him, further complicating the living arrangements. The story seemed a bit disjointed at times, with unexplained gaps making it difficult to piece together the narrative into a coherent whole. But, it is director Campion's first feature film, with a limited budget, and shows the promise of her later films. As an audience, we are inexorably drawn into the downward spiral as this fragile family unit fractures and falls apart. Lemon and Colston were totally believable as the sisters caught in a love-hate relationship, and completely unable to relate to each other beyond a most juvenile level. And Lake was spot-on as the father so blinded by his love for his daughter that e could not see how truly damaged she was. Campion has proved herself a master at depicting the family dynamic in tortured situations, and this film is part of that legacy.More
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