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Based on a book by Tim Winton.
An Australian art film, lasting two and half tedious hours. It's composed of nine smaller segment films none of which relate to one another. Each of which explores various 'turning points' in the depicted characters' lives. But as soon as you engage with the plot, off it goes to yet another unrelated storyline. Its like watching a series of movie trailers. Not enjoyable.
An ambitious collaboration gives mixed results. Some stories are outstanding - Sand is beautiful, Reunion hilarious and On Her Knees insightful. Others such as Abbreviation, Immunity and Boner McPharlin's Moll fail to capture the depth of Winton's characters that made his stories so admirable.
Overlong, overwrought and overly depressing The Turning is another example of an Australian film or in this particular case 18 mini-films existing for seemingly the sole reason to showcase just how sad and miserably us Aussie's can be and how life here is obviously just far too tough. With much talent and much promise behind this project it is therefore sad to admit that this 3 hour wannabe opus developed by Balibo director Robert Connolly is just such a miserable and tough watch.
Based upon a collection of author Tim Winton's short stories The Turning's ties that bind are all participants are alive and going through the motions, motions that rarely if ever detour from a soul hurting ambiance of depression that tinges the entire film with such a sour taste it's hard to see why it exists other than to try and be realistic and haunting but what we end up with is a film that could act as some form of torture for those asked to sit down with it for 3 hours. This raggedly assembled collages of pain go from trailer trash domestic abuse cases, man called "Bonar", cops caught up in corruption and creepy ginger kids who like to play with loaded rifles. These mini-episodes of grief and depravity are all so short and uninvolving that you forget that not only in front of the camera is talent but behind it also.
Featuring a varied collection of some of Australia's favourite and best actors including Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Rose Byrne and Richard Roxburgh the film promises to be a fine showcase to strut the acting ability of our nation but in the end product it would be suffice to say that only Rose Byrne and Hugo Weaving make any sort of go at material that must of been hard to work with. behind the camera also we have many fine Australian based directors in Justin Kurzel, Warwick Thornton and Tony Ayres along with actors David Wenham and Mia Wasikowska trying their hands at developing some nice little tales of hard lives. Many of the pieces are fine looking and feature a well constructed score but its hard to recommend them on this alone.
The Turning is a missed opportunity that offered to gather together some of the finest film centric people Australia has to offer but thanks to a disjointed feel to the material, a reliance of being emotional rather than entertaining and a bunch of truly unneeded episodes the film is just a complete train wreck that at 3 hours is a particular journey you don't need to or should want to take. All on screen and behind screen have done better and will do better in the future making The Turning a film you can avoid without a second doubt.
1 and a half depressing life snapshots out of 5
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Too long and too many stories to engage anyone. That said the scenery and acting was tip top. Not sure any really stood out. But it was good to spot the like of Weaving, Blanchett etc
"The Returning" isn't fully satisfying, but it has big ambitious in every frame. Best Part : Damaged Good, Big World
An ample amount of patience would be required to get through this anthology of short films based on Tim Winton's stories. Visually lovely, most stories good, well executed, and thematically linked by loss and melancholy, but the pacing is so consistently languid - and the overall film is so long - it becomes rather boring.
definitely lost attention in some of them, but overall really enjoyed it
As Soon As One Story Gets Going, It Abruptly Ceases (Typical Of Winton's Writing Style), Somewhat Unfinished, And On Again We Go To The Next One. I Found Such A Film Montage Very Frustrating To Watch. The Aussie Landscape / Photography Looked Fantastic, I Rate That Highly, With Some Stories Having An Inviting Theme Of Intrigue...But, The 3hrs Is Just Too Many Ideas To Sit Through. An Art Piece Of Short Character Work By A Host Of Aussie Actors Is All This Can Ever Hope To Be.
The Turning is certainly an ambitious and challenging film with all these stories crammed into 3 hours this film in a way reminds me of Cloud Atlas. The Turning was difficult to watch for a fair bit of the time but nonetheless it was enjoyable to watch through to see all these different stories and characters
Literally hurt my eyes and ears to watch this pathetic excuse for a movie.. way too long, boring, absolutely nothing happens :)