The Eye of the Storm Reviews

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½ June 22, 2014
A dour and bitter sweet family drama starring Geoffrey Rush, Charlotte Rampling and Judy Davis. Rampling plays Elizabeth Hunter, the wealthy matriarch of a fractured and dysfunctional Australian family. As she hovers close to death, her children return from lives lacking real success in Europe to circle like vultures and try to secure the inheritance they desperately need. Although weak and at times delirious, the dying woman is still able to stir up deeply felt emotions of hurt, betrayal, loyalty and jealousy in her offspring and the nursing staff who look after her. The mood is lightened by several genuinely funny incidents and you do feel drawn into the situations that have obviously riven this family for many years. However, whilst the cast is superb, the directing from Fred Schepisi is patchy and makes it hard to really sympathise adequately with any of the characters. It seems more observational rather than empathetic giving it all a rather distant feeling. For me, this movie was caught between black comedy and melodrama and doesn't really successfully manage to be fully one or the other. I did however really love the genuine evocation of the 1970s in which the film is set which gave the whole thing a very chic and sophisticated air.
½ March 16, 2014
Watched this flick because the three actors are so good, and as usual they were worth watching, but in the movie itself, their three characters were people so horrible, one really couldn't care about them at all. I wish I'd passed this one by.
April 20, 2012
Although the story holds much promise, The Eye of the Storm survives mostly off the performances of the leading cast members.
June 4, 2012
Apart from showing up Geoffrey Rush once more as just a very average actor, this is also a boring piece of work that still sheds not much more light on the mystery as to why Patrick White is considered Australia's most eminent novelist. Very boring characters muddle about in cliche situations which over and over beg the question: Why would we care what these spoiled vacuous rich folk are up to? Both Rampling and Schepisi have done much much better work in the past.
½ October 19, 2013
Maybe it's just because I like Patrick White, but seriously, 58% fresh/45% liked it is not a fair score for this film.
September 22, 2013
Great cast but too long and it lost its way as it went on. Its interesting and its always good to see Rampling on the big screen
June 30, 2013
Pedestrian at best, THE EYE OF THE STORM, has the potential to be a scenery chewing masterpiece with stars like Geoffrey Rush, Judy Davis, and Charlotte Rampling. All are wasted in this dull interpretation of Patrick White's novel. Fred Schepisi is a marvelous director but even he seems to be phoning it in. What happened?
½ June 12, 2013
Great performances from Geoffrey Rush, Charlotte Rampling and Judy Davis in this psychological study of a dying selfish mother and her two children. But great performances can't balance the laborious script. What could be a very good film is just so so.
½ May 1, 2013
I went to see this film last night. I got free tickets because I am a Sky TV customer. I can see why they gave the tickets away. It was the worst film that I have seen in a long time. There did not seem to be any point to the story. Don't go and see it.
April 30, 2013
It's not exactly fun but it is sophisticated, well acted and directed Drama, that occasionally is cold but never exactly bad.
Super Reviewer
½ April 25, 2013
Rich matriarch Elizabeth (Rampling) finds herself living out her final days in the hands of two nurses and a devoted Jewish cook. Sniffing out their impending inheritance, her two children, Basil (Rush) and Dorothy (Davis), return from Europe for a final reconciliation. Basil is a fading star of the London stage while Dorothy is struggling to maintain a lavish Parisian lifestyle following her divorce from a European Prince. Both have a tense relationship with their mother and have shown her little attention previously, something the dying woman is all too happy to remind them of.
I've often sung the praises of Australian cinema but along comes Fred Schepisi's adaptation of a popular Aussie novel to leave me with platypus egg on my face. Schepisi was part of the Australian New Wave, a collective of film-makers from the country (and New Zealand) who emerged in the seventies with a series of landmark films like Peter Weir's 'Picnic at Hanging Rock', Ted Kotcheff's 'Wake in Fright', and Schepisi's own 'The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith'. Like the Australian outback, they were beautiful and challenging, often thinly hiding a deep-rooted colonial guilt. In the eighties, the various members of this movement left for the U.S, with mixed results. Schepisi, 'A Cry in the Dark' excluded, found himself lost in the fog of Hollywood mediocrity, helming comedies like 'Mr Baseball' and 'Roxanne'. Now he's returned to his homeland but, sadly, it's a return as bland as any of his American paycheck films.
Schepisi's direction is impressive, clearly influenced by Robert Altman, and the trio of lead performances are terrific, as you'd expect from such actors. The problem lies with the script, as bland and uninvolving a piece of drivel as you could hope to find. Australian readers won't like me saying this but 'TEOTS' feels very much like a British film, the sort that features lots of characters sipping tea and saying "bugger" for comic effect. Come on Oz, I know you can do better. Last year you thrilled us with 'Sleeping Beauty' and 'The Hunter'. This year you've started by putting us to sleep with tea and mediocrity.
January 11, 2013
A marvelous performance of the cast and an excelente argument.
November 9, 2012
The film is overtly theatrical, and this is evident the performances from its brilliant cast. Maybe the film would have fared better on stage - I'm not sure this story is right or entirely works on the screen. That said, however, it's too nicely done to dismiss.
November 7, 2012
A controlling mother is nearing the end. Her two children, who both feel they have disappointed her, travel round the world to see her. Relationships are complex, and in the film at least, I found Doorothy to be completely inlikeable, while Basil although somewhat strange, was more likeable. Now I think I should go back to Patrick White's book and see if that is his version too. (I have not read many of Patrick White's books because I find them hard going - but I'll give this one a go.)
October 26, 2012
Compressing White's lenghty, multi-layered tragicomic masterpiece into a film of under two hours was always going to be a near impossible task. The film makes a reasonable stab at it, but one comes away with an edited impression of the book, rather than a fully-realized cinematic recreation. Rampling is fantastic as the rampaging, egotistical, carnivorous Mrs Hunter, though, and Rush and Davis bring her appalling, pitiable children brilliantly to life - 10 out of 10 to the actors.
June 4, 2012
I actually enjoyed the relationships and portrayal of characters by actors. Interesting expose of a rich dying matriarch and her dysfunctional relationship with her adult (?) children. Well directed and a great screenplay.
October 9, 2012
well acted but depicts wholly unsympathetic people
September 19, 2012
If you are driven to see this drab, depressing, droning film, check "On Demand"; at least in the privacy of your home you can self-medicate; aiding, wading through a well-performed but meaningless tale of angst at the end .

Fine actors (Charlotte Rampling, Geoffrey Rush, Judy Davis) cannot salvage this story of a dying, wealthy, Australian matriarch, luring her hapless children back into the poisonous luxury of their ancestral adobe; the year is 1972, and the bitter taste of the Holocaust is still palatable in the role of a German housekeeper.

At first the viewer empathizes with "Elizabeth Hunter" (Rampling) beloved by her "help", shunned by her children, "Basil" (Rush), "Dorothy" (Davis); gathered around her deathbed to suck the spoils of her imminent demise. But as the film progresses, through a series of flashbacks, we recognize why her children strayed so far from the hearth; "mommy dearest" on steroids; she steals her daughter's lovers, refuses to attend her son's stage performances; beds whomever she fancies; she is amoral, unaccountable, vainglorious, self-centered; her erasure should have come at a precipitated rate.

Novels by James Michener and James Clavell address the calm, aka "eye" before the apocalyptic conclusion. "The Eye of the Storm" offers a behemoth's tiresome struggle against the inevitable; there is nothing calming about the process.


For Now.....Peneflix
September 11, 2012
Any Geoffrey Rush film is a must watch for me.
½ September 5, 2012
Families aren't always about love and laughters. Real families are also about hate, heartaches, and tears.
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