DVD Review: Summer Coda (2010)

14 Apr

By Mia Robinson

(Drama/Romance 113 mins)

Australian writer/director Richard Gray delivers an impressive feature debut with Summer Coda.

Hitchhiking her way from Melbourne to Mildura, Heidi (Rachael Taylor) gets picked up by Michael (Alex Dimitriades).  We learn that at the age of seven Heidi’s parents divorced and she left Australia with her mother.  After twenty odd years living in Nevada, she returns to Australia for the first time to attend her father’s funeral. It’s here that Heidi meets relatives for the first time and tries to reconcile the memory of her father.  Opting to stay with Michael on his gorgeous, sprawling orange farm, rather than with the estranged family, the tension of a possible love affair begins brewing.

Heidi and Michael form an unspoken relationship of sorts, both seem to be dealing with personal conflicts and appear relieved to have the company of someone who knows nothing about them.  As the tension between Michael and Heidi intensifies, hidden details from their pasts are revealed.

Beautifully observed moments occur, particularly scenes involving the jovial, down-to-earth bunch of fruit pickers, including that of Angus Sampson as Frankie.    The cinematography is second to none as we are treated to a kaleidoscopic view of Australian images and sounds.  Whilst it may be a tad predictable at times, this doesn’t diminish from the enjoyment of the film, and it still restrains enough to allow for a good dose of ambiguity.  I could not help but to sit through most of this film with a goofy grin on my face, a feel good film; it kinda makes ya wanna go fruit picking.

Summer Coda is out through Madman entertainment.

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