Sweet Country Reviews

  • Aug 22, 2019

    Exceptional photography and visuals and an australian western story. I don't get the strange foreshadowing editing, though.

    Exceptional photography and visuals and an australian western story. I don't get the strange foreshadowing editing, though.

  • Jun 18, 2019

    Powerful and harrowing Australian drama with some terrific performances especially from indigenous cast. Beautiful cinematography of Aussie outback scenery set the tone for this rough yet poignant story.

    Powerful and harrowing Australian drama with some terrific performances especially from indigenous cast. Beautiful cinematography of Aussie outback scenery set the tone for this rough yet poignant story.

  • May 05, 2019

    It is brutal. And, also brilliant.

    It is brutal. And, also brilliant.

  • Apr 13, 2019

    Sweet Country is a modern day Australian classic. A searing document of history handled with great expertise and craft. Set in 1920s Northern Territory it is based on true life events. The story of an Indigenous man accused of murder, wrongfully. It is a harsh, unsparing film but also one of devastating beauty. Thanks to amazing cinematography by director Warwick Thornton. The outback of Australia has never looked better. Thornton has also constructed a story that shines a light on the harshness of outback life and the stark reality of indigenous life. It's not a world of rose coloured glasses. It's authentic tho the bone. It's also a pleasure to the see the great Bryan Brown and Sam Neill on our screens but also special mention to the dignified performance of Hamilton Morris. This is an important Australian film.

    Sweet Country is a modern day Australian classic. A searing document of history handled with great expertise and craft. Set in 1920s Northern Territory it is based on true life events. The story of an Indigenous man accused of murder, wrongfully. It is a harsh, unsparing film but also one of devastating beauty. Thanks to amazing cinematography by director Warwick Thornton. The outback of Australia has never looked better. Thornton has also constructed a story that shines a light on the harshness of outback life and the stark reality of indigenous life. It's not a world of rose coloured glasses. It's authentic tho the bone. It's also a pleasure to the see the great Bryan Brown and Sam Neill on our screens but also special mention to the dignified performance of Hamilton Morris. This is an important Australian film.

  • Feb 08, 2019

    Yet another Australian movie financed largely by Government grants that ticks all the Political Correctness boxes. As predictable as night follows day. When will Australia stop throwing buckets of public funds at hate-based movie makers wanting to create division for divisionâ(TM)s sake? The script (what little there is) by Steven McGregor and David Tranter is supposedly set in the 1920s but, the endless prolific swearing sounds more like 2018 â" seems they canâ(TM)t see past their own era. Yes, itâ(TM)s a sad case but their characters are one dimensional and totally predictable, as are the majority of situations posed in their loosely based plot. Editor, Nick Meyers seems to be trying to add interest by cutting in flash forwards (and back) but this simply makes the lack of up-front, solid interest, more noticeable. If local director Warwick Thornton grew up watching spaghetti westerns â" then he didnâ(TM)t have a chance, because all heâ(TM)s doing is transposing them into Australiana. The movie is also painfully stretched out it could be watched at 2 x speed and the viewer would miss nothing. Thorntonâ(TM)s photographic direction is excellent (he should stay with this as his chosen profession) or was it actually co-photographer Dylan River who guided much of this? Equally good, was the sound recordistâ(TM)s professional work but, he also doubles as co-writer and leaves something to be desired â" maybe stay in the field your best at. The unrelentingly nasty, foul-mouthed characters are simply too obviously set-up to be believed or taken seriously â" other than by viewers who do not balance their viewing habits and watch only this type of â~entertainmentâ(TM) or are guilty partners of the â~them and usâ(TM) hate driven crowd â" those who continually drag this sorry world down to their pathetic levels. Brian Brownâ(TM)s Police Sergeantâ~s character is so superficial you could almost hear the production executives calling for a â~marketableâ(TM) name to be added to the cast â" same applies for Sam Neil, who plays the only â~Christianâ(TM) to inhabit this crude land (and Sam plays this out in his obvious atheistic manner) The Aboriginal casting is good and Matt Day does considerably well playing Judge Taylor. Maybe itâ(TM)s time for Australian moviemaking to grow up and move forward. Much time and money will be spent on marketing this movie overseas but might be better invested in a more positive endeavour. Not sure why American Johnny Cash, singing Thomas Dorseyâ(TM)s âPeace in the Valleyâ? was chosen for the end credits? If it was for satirical contrast - it simply didnâ(TM)t quite work. Perhaps then, it was intended for the American market...?

    Yet another Australian movie financed largely by Government grants that ticks all the Political Correctness boxes. As predictable as night follows day. When will Australia stop throwing buckets of public funds at hate-based movie makers wanting to create division for divisionâ(TM)s sake? The script (what little there is) by Steven McGregor and David Tranter is supposedly set in the 1920s but, the endless prolific swearing sounds more like 2018 â" seems they canâ(TM)t see past their own era. Yes, itâ(TM)s a sad case but their characters are one dimensional and totally predictable, as are the majority of situations posed in their loosely based plot. Editor, Nick Meyers seems to be trying to add interest by cutting in flash forwards (and back) but this simply makes the lack of up-front, solid interest, more noticeable. If local director Warwick Thornton grew up watching spaghetti westerns â" then he didnâ(TM)t have a chance, because all heâ(TM)s doing is transposing them into Australiana. The movie is also painfully stretched out it could be watched at 2 x speed and the viewer would miss nothing. Thorntonâ(TM)s photographic direction is excellent (he should stay with this as his chosen profession) or was it actually co-photographer Dylan River who guided much of this? Equally good, was the sound recordistâ(TM)s professional work but, he also doubles as co-writer and leaves something to be desired â" maybe stay in the field your best at. The unrelentingly nasty, foul-mouthed characters are simply too obviously set-up to be believed or taken seriously â" other than by viewers who do not balance their viewing habits and watch only this type of â~entertainmentâ(TM) or are guilty partners of the â~them and usâ(TM) hate driven crowd â" those who continually drag this sorry world down to their pathetic levels. Brian Brownâ(TM)s Police Sergeantâ~s character is so superficial you could almost hear the production executives calling for a â~marketableâ(TM) name to be added to the cast â" same applies for Sam Neil, who plays the only â~Christianâ(TM) to inhabit this crude land (and Sam plays this out in his obvious atheistic manner) The Aboriginal casting is good and Matt Day does considerably well playing Judge Taylor. Maybe itâ(TM)s time for Australian moviemaking to grow up and move forward. Much time and money will be spent on marketing this movie overseas but might be better invested in a more positive endeavour. Not sure why American Johnny Cash, singing Thomas Dorseyâ(TM)s âPeace in the Valleyâ? was chosen for the end credits? If it was for satirical contrast - it simply didnâ(TM)t quite work. Perhaps then, it was intended for the American market...?

  • Jan 25, 2019

    Brutal, realistic depiction of our shameful past.

    Brutal, realistic depiction of our shameful past.

  • Jan 09, 2019

    Australian Western taking place in the 1920s around Alice Springs at a time when relations between whitefellas and blackfellas was particularly bad. Ewen Leslie plays a WWI vet who moves to the Outback to take over a station and starts causing trouble with his hard-drinking and negative approach to the Indigenous people (in contrast to the more equal treatment advocated by Sam Neill's missionary). Soon, Leslie has been killed by Hamilton Morris in an act of self-defence and Bryan Brown's constable is sent to track him down (and his wife, Natassia Gorey Furber), with the assistance of Gibson John, an Indigenous man expected to track outside of his own country. Director Warwick Thornton uses this plot (from screenwriter David Tranter) to interrogate Australian attitudes toward Indigenous people and the unequal application of the law. In other words, the European colonists want one version of justice for themselves but apply another version (frontier justice) to the Aboriginal people. It isn't too far a leap to suggest that this same double standard is still applied today - so this is an important message to contemplate. Thornton himself is a Kaytej man from Alice Springs and the film employed a large number of local Indigenous people both in front of and behind the camera (Thornton and his son Dylan River worked together as cinematographers and the film looks beautiful). It is excellent that there is an Indigenous voice (or voices) in film. Unfortunately, the "sweet" in the title may be meant ironically.

    Australian Western taking place in the 1920s around Alice Springs at a time when relations between whitefellas and blackfellas was particularly bad. Ewen Leslie plays a WWI vet who moves to the Outback to take over a station and starts causing trouble with his hard-drinking and negative approach to the Indigenous people (in contrast to the more equal treatment advocated by Sam Neill's missionary). Soon, Leslie has been killed by Hamilton Morris in an act of self-defence and Bryan Brown's constable is sent to track him down (and his wife, Natassia Gorey Furber), with the assistance of Gibson John, an Indigenous man expected to track outside of his own country. Director Warwick Thornton uses this plot (from screenwriter David Tranter) to interrogate Australian attitudes toward Indigenous people and the unequal application of the law. In other words, the European colonists want one version of justice for themselves but apply another version (frontier justice) to the Aboriginal people. It isn't too far a leap to suggest that this same double standard is still applied today - so this is an important message to contemplate. Thornton himself is a Kaytej man from Alice Springs and the film employed a large number of local Indigenous people both in front of and behind the camera (Thornton and his son Dylan River worked together as cinematographers and the film looks beautiful). It is excellent that there is an Indigenous voice (or voices) in film. Unfortunately, the "sweet" in the title may be meant ironically.

  • Dec 23, 2018

    Excellent, all be it, so depressing

    Excellent, all be it, so depressing

  • Dec 15, 2018

    one of the year's great films. beautifully shot and acted. for a film with no music at all(except in the closing credits), it is surprisingly gripping. A sad, epic tale of "justice" in the wilds of turn of the century australia. a must-see!

    one of the year's great films. beautifully shot and acted. for a film with no music at all(except in the closing credits), it is surprisingly gripping. A sad, epic tale of "justice" in the wilds of turn of the century australia. a must-see!

  • Nov 17, 2018

    Australian film making at its very best here, amazing cinematography and direction by Warwick Thornton supported by the best cast out there. A must see for any movie fan just to see how cinema can be perfectly done, the best since Rabbit Proof Fence. In my top 5 movies I have seen this year. Will be watching again.

    Australian film making at its very best here, amazing cinematography and direction by Warwick Thornton supported by the best cast out there. A must see for any movie fan just to see how cinema can be perfectly done, the best since Rabbit Proof Fence. In my top 5 movies I have seen this year. Will be watching again.