The Turning (2015)
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Critic Reviews for The Turning
The film rewards the patient, with the most compelling entries stacked in the back half.
If nothing else, The Turning is probably value for money. Quantity counts for something, after all, as do good intentions. But they can't ever fully satisfy.
Winton is important to Australian culture, but a less fragmented, reverent approach would serve his work better.
The films are rich and diverse, moving from the warm humour of Cate Blanchett reconnecting with her mother-in-law to a battered Rose Byrne having visions of Jesus.
Life-changing moments feature in each of the nine short films in this Australian anthology, and each is told with remarkable artistry and sensitivity.
Audience Reviews for The Turning
Between a 6/10 and 7/10, with each episode produced by its own individual creative team, the lack of continuity can disorientate. But it's this daring mix of styles that gives The Turning its creative energy and distinct off-kilter flavor.
The problem I have with cinematic anthologies, even one as masterful as The Turning, is artistic fatigue. Had the production been two or two and a half hours, I could've walked away content. But it would take a very special form of abstract art...one that can continuously resonate with me and my inner being...for me to happily indulge for 3 hours. Individually, the stories that The Turning brings to the big screen are beautiful and wonderfully crafted. But I burnt out watching them all collectively.
The problem with Australia (and all of the West for that matter) is the media portrayal of those places as foreign or exotic or someplace simply different from other Western countries (which they are obviously) when in fact nowadays the similarities outweigh the differences by far, and surprisingly so. Herein a collection of short films about Australian life and perspective, quietly intelligent, that underscore that point exactly. Yes, Down Under, drive on the other side of the road, whatever, but the humanity, the day to day, the life, the living, very much similar ... and too the longing for someplace foreign, or exotic, or someplace simply different: very much similar. Jonathan Auf Der's 3 hours slice-o-life gives that perspective, insight, and warmly so, but you'll need to be prepared for that 3 hour sitdown, that's for sure.
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