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Look Both Ways review

Sarah Watt’s feature debut begins with a death, ends in a downpour and frets over mortality in between. Crash meets Magnolia via Six Feet Under, then? For sure, but the Aussie director handles hefty material with a light, honest touch and marshals an earthy ensemble cast to keep it breathing. William McInnes is Nick, a photographer who discovers he has cancer; Justine Clarke is Meryl, a paranoid painter; and Anthony Hayes plays the grouchy Andy, a journalist who gets grouchier when his part-time girlfriend gets pregnant.

A death-blackspot railway line tends to be the meeting point for these fretful folk. Big symbolism? Watt has got it, along with an intermittent tendency for overstyling. But there’s warmth, wit and poetry here, and the key theme is gently but resolutely handled: death can hit you at any time, so you’d better get on with living.

 

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