Look Both Ways

Critics Consensus

With animated sequences adding imaginative quirkiness to the mix, this movie about death and disaster is insightful, empathic, and more uplifting than one would think.

76%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 58

75%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,352
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Movie Info

As the weekend looms, three troubled people are faced with potentially life-changing events. After her father's death, Meryl (Justine Clarke) is forced to cut her bereavement short to focus on a deadline for work. Nick (William McInnes), a reporter, awaits his cancer test results while his photographer Andy (Anthony Hayes) is preoccupied with his girlfriend's unplanned pregnancy. When a train crashed near Meryl, Nick and Andy interview her sparking a romance between Nick and the grieving woman.

Cast

Andreas Sobik
as Train Driver
Tamara Lees
as Policewoman
Mary Kostakidis
as SBS Newsreader
Jacquelyne Willcox
as Current Affairs Reporter
Tamara Lee
as Policewoman
Irene Dangov
as Train Driver's Wife
Jacquelynne Willcox
as Current Affairs Reporter
Alex Rafalowicz
as Train Driver's Son
Oliver Gilbert
as Jasmine, 'Jas'
Violet Gilbert
as Phil's Toddler
Joshua Clarke
as Boy In Wheelchair
Alirio Zavarce
as Smoking Cricketer
Craig Behenna
as Cricket Captain
Taimi Allan
as Pregnant Mother
Eliza Lovell
as Scared Mother
Carmel Johnson
as Charge Nurse
Rocky Feo
as Father of Sick Child
Aaron March
as Dinner Guest
Annie Lindner
as Dinner Guest
Daniel Whyte
as Dinner Guest
Evan Branford
as Teenager
Joe Weber
as Milk Bar Man
View All

Critic Reviews for Look Both Ways

All Critics (58) | Top Critics (25) | Fresh (44) | Rotten (14)

  • While [director Sarah] Watt begins to offer an interesting study in paranoia, tinged with some good comic moments, her multi-stranded plot and last-minute recourse to romance ultimately lost the interest of this viewer.

    August 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Dave Calhoun

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Lapses in judgement occasionally jar -- like the habit of playing middle of the road ballads over key scenes -- but the central romance is touching enough to lock us in while bringing out the moral of this story.

    August 22, 2006 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Jamie Russell

    BBC.com
    Top Critic
  • A black-humored screenplay, realistic performances, eye-catching artwork, and a few creative turns on some well-worn themes.

    July 21, 2006 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Filled with aloof and confused characters just treading water, and even if they are likable, it eventually becomes tiresome. It's like one big pity party.

    July 14, 2006 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Quote not available.

    June 24, 2006 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
    Dallas Morning News
    Top Critic
  • How each person copes with trauma and renewal adds up to a tender tale rich in memorable performances.

    June 16, 2006 | Rating: 3/4

Audience Reviews for Look Both Ways

  • Mar 28, 2012
    On the way home from her father's funeral, Meryl(Justine Clarke), an artst, imagines many scenes of catastrophe before witnessing a man being hit by a train, chasing after his dog. Covering the story for the local newspaper is Nick(William McInnes), a photographer, who has just been diagnosed with testicular cancer. Regardless, Andy(Anthony Hayes), a graduate of the Oliver Stone School of Journalism, complains to his editor, Phil(Andrew S. Gilbert), about the photo that is used with his story. In any case, Andy has more important things to worry about like his girlfriend Anna(Lisa Flanagan) being pregnant. I'll give "Look Both Ways" this much. It sure is different with occasional animated interludes but the shark in the pool is a little too obvious. Plus, I admire its willingness to tackle difficult subjects. Sadly, it never quite comes together as it goes from one extreme to another. And the movie also has an alarming lack of focus on characters who even when dealing with extremely important crises somehow also seem very self-involved at the same time, especially Meryl whose moroseness is inferred might originate more from her loneliness than anything else. Or maybe commuter trains in Australia have a very poor safety record, as there are many shots of people walking calmly along train tracks.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 14, 2009
    A deeply affecting film from first time Australian director Sarah Watt, who also wrote the screen play and did some of the animation. It is about death, and family, and career, and loneliness, and loving, and friendship. In short, it is about life. Terrific actors, a dynamite script, and characters one can identify with brought the story to life for this viewer. Justine Clark as Meryl, a struggling artist, and William McInness as Nick, a photojournalist who has just received devestating news, bear special mention. I watched it twice and found it just as deeply moving both times. Hard to believe this was a first time effort.
    Mark A Super Reviewer
  • Mar 27, 2007
    NICK: Do you think you're getting over the shock? MERYL: The <i>dad</i> shock or the <i>accident</i> shock? Do you think you can have two at once? Maybe I'm into 'bargaining' on one of them. Y'know, the seven stages of grief. What's the point in knowing where you're up to when you've still got to go through it anyway? This is one of those clever-clever films that feature an ensemble cast of characters who are all linked together in someway without knowing how, in the style of Heights and Crash. Unlike the latter, however, I never felt like I was being continually hit over the head with a stick or that coincidences and links became too contrived or over calculating. <i>Look Both Ways</i> is a film that everyone who has ever thought about or dealt with mortality or grief can relate to. Meryl, whose father has recently died, imagines her death everywhere she goes - train crashes, drownings, STDs. Nick, who has just discovered he has testicular cancer that has spread to his lungs, is on the verge of complete breakdown. Their paths cross at the scene of a train accident, and an unexpected connection is made. If the film sounds depressing, then it is at times, but it is also very thoughtful, funny, observant and beautiful. The acting is first rate (Justine Clarke is particularly brilliant) and the direction is very inventive - Meryl and Nick's thoughts are shown as animation or sped up photo montages and it's a very effective way of showing what they are thinking. The use of songs rather than a music score was also a good decision. Finally, there's another link between two characters that I had almost forgotten about that provide a nice and poignant twist, and the ending is done just right. Fantastic.
    Daniel P Super Reviewer

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