Beautiful Kate review

A smouldering drama set in the ozzie outback

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Actors-turned-directors love features with opportunities for Big Acting, and ex-Thorn Bird Rachel Ward’s film, a handsome, highly-strung outback mystery-melodrama, positively bulges with smouldering confrontations.

At the centre of the maelstrom is writer Ned (Ben Mendelsohn), who returns home to visit his estranged, dying dad.

Bryan Brown gives a fine, sheet-chewing performance as the latter, leaking venom and wee over long-suffering daughter Sally (a wonderfully subdued Rachel Griffiths).

Ward weaves a deft hidden family tragedy, but you’ll see the revelations coming a country mile away.

Compared with the austere Samson & Delilah (see DVD review, p178), it’s all a bit Tennessee Williams.

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Freelance Writer

Kate is a freelance film journalist and critic. Her bylines have appeared online and in print for GamesRadar, Total Film, the BFI, Sight & Sounds, and