The Eye of the Storm - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Eye of the Storm Reviews

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October 10, 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 24, 2012
I enjoyed it but can't help thinking that there is much more to the story than a film adaptation can really ever hope to achieve - at least this film adaptation didn't achieve what the novel must. You can see the attempt at capturing White's penchant for strikingly visceral leitmotif - think flies on preserved fruit or worms in dark earthy soil - but it's far too literal an interpretation of work that is literally dense and packed full of humanity. Something a little bit more PoMo or original in the presentation may have lifted the film to great heights. As it stands it is a nice film with particularly nice performances and nice costumes and nice sets. And not much else.
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.
½ September 1, 2012
What is worse than having children with mother issues? Watching a movie about children with mother issues.
June 15, 2012
Great cast struggling in a boring story causing episodes of overacting.
½ June 3, 2012
While the tone of Patrick White's novel has been captured here, the film itself is somewhat disjointed despite commanding performances by Charlotte Rampling,Judy Davis and Geoffery Rush. And most of the supporting cast are great too, notably Colin Friels and Helen Morse. It's a pity that Schepisi and Morris didn't create a more cohesive movie.
½ April 20, 2012
While the actors provided wonderful performances, the situation the characters are placed in seems completely contrived to allow them to spout stereotypical liberal and conservative diatribes; ideologies that we see so often in the news. None of the characters says anything remotely unique or enlightening. We already know these characters as we meet and see them every day in ourvlives
April 11, 2012
IffyEach day they take out a tube. He has breathing tubes. Chest tubes to drain blood. IV's for all kind of monitoring and pain relief. He basically has to start breathing on his own then has to eat and shit on his own before we can leave
½ November 29, 2011
a crazy Australian royal dying woman and her two screwed up but fully grown kids? No thank you
November 29, 2011
Well made Australian drama about a dysfunctional well-to-do family. Despite being a solid production, this film is a tedious affair that most likely plays out better in its original format as a novel.
½ October 29, 2011
Charlotte Rampling as the passive-aggressive, Centennial Park matron is a terror and a delight.
½ October 23, 2011
Great film -so well done and really enjoyed it.
Super Reviewer
½ October 20, 2011
'The Eye of the Storm'. Three brilliant central performances and a 2nd to final, climactic act that was perfect!
½ October 15, 2011
Totally satisfying - absolutely superb performances by all.
October 6, 2011
An excellent adaptation of Patrick White's novel.
October 4, 2011
A lot to like in this film, but ultimately a little clumsy and quite unfocused. Great performances though!
½ October 2, 2011
Based on Patrick White's novel, Fred Schepisi's The Eye of the Storm is a frolicsome, surprisingly humourous, and ultimately moving portrayal of the decay of a rich dynasty.

Charlotte Rampling plays Elizabeth Hunter, a dying matriarch who summons her itinerant children home from their disappointingly unsuccessful lives to be present at her death. (The title refers to a storm she survived as a younger woman, making her believe can choose her own moment to go.) But her children are far more concerned about the inheritance they might receive.

This is an actor's film, almost seeming a theatrical piece at times that showcases the talents of the three main actors. Rampling is spike-tongued and tactless and yet, as always, remains luminous, even as she falls into insensible death. Judy Davis is brittle and dynamic as the penniless, divorced French Princess struggling to retain her glamour. And Geoffrey Rush is obsequious and yet entirely feckless as the failed actor, Basil; his voice over full of delightful wryness. Most notable of the supporting cast is Alexandra Schepisi, the director's daughter, who has a delicious naughtiness and great sensuality to her nurse. And an unrecognisable Helen Morse manages to make the bizarre, theatrical German housekeeper sympathetic and tragic. She, along with the carers, seem to be the only ones who have true regard for the dying woman.

Schepisi wisely lets the drama play itself out through the character dynamic, though there are some directorial flourishes that seem to focus unsubtly on the decay of the family - constant cracks in walls lingered over or a button popping as Rush eats yet another sweet. It could all have been very contrived under a lesser director.

Ultimately this is gently moving, as the hen-pecked siblings come to terms with their past, their circumstance, and achieve a redemptive forgiveness towards their domineering mother, as she finally relinquishes control. It is in no way as gloomy as it could be, with some lovely played humour, a jolly jazz score, and is a delightful excursion into a decadent past.
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