Strange Planet review

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With her shoestring debut Love And Other Catastrophes, Aussie writer/director Emma-Kate Croghan launched her career and, in part, that of the wonderful Frances O'Connor (Mansfield Park).

Croghan's follow-up, Strange Planet - - a kind of upbeat, Down Under This Life - - is a model of progress and maturity. Not only has Croghan's interest moved from university students to twentysomething professionals, but her much-expanded budget is right up there on the screen, in a depiction of Sydney which is vibrant and evocative.

The story follows a year in the messy love lives of two groups of friends, one male, one female, leading to the moment when, as we well know, they are all destined to meet. Strange Planet may not be particularly profound, but a bittersweet script and a cast of attractive young stars, aided by the classy Hugo Weaving, make it highly watchable.

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