Film Review: BLAME (2010) (or why slow and steady wins the race)

30 May

By Elizabeth Lamb

This is a film best seen in the Cinema, and not like Avatar or Sucker Punch or some other rubbish. Blame should be seen in a Cinema because it deserves your full attention. The best Australian films don’t try to wow us with wild effects on a shoestring budget, or use every zany filter post-production can provide to dazzle away shonkily conceived images. The best ones are carefully plotted, painstakingly written, and always mindful of their potential limitations while simultaneously overcoming them.

Happily, Blame is one such film.

Five people break into remote (and very pretty) house to manufacture an avenging suicide. As you can imagine, the victim wants to live. The motives of all involved are uncovered in a natural, gradual and tense exploration of responsibility for other’s actions and our own. And like any good small film, it keeps it’s characters, the performances, and the central theme at the forefront of the exercise. The nature of both individual and collective guilt and grieving is explored in actions, not words. Obligatory Australiana identifies the mood of isolation as much as the literal location, and so don’t cloy like your average ‘big brown land’ grant-haggling. This film unravels beautifully with long lingering shots of rural and personal isolation.

Damian De Montemas and Kestie Morassi drive the discoveries of the text. They work hard and it pays off, their self-recriminations and righteousness ringing true at every step. Though it starts out slow, their performances combined with the subtle placement of herrings and hints will hold your interest until things really kick off. Sophie Lowe is spooky and ethereal, Simon Stone provides a little comic relief, Mark Leonard Winter is an adult voice in the din, and Ashley Zuckerman manages a rarity: the fully-realised quiet person.

If the thriller is to be characterised by narrative structure, the twist is it. The bad ones are like Cruel Intentions 3: jerking zig-zags ricocheting between unlikely outcomes. The good ones, like Blame, make a twist look like a curve: a series of tiny doubting moments that spiral back on themselves until everything makes sense.

Blame – Opens June 16th

Exclusive to Cinema Nova

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One Response to “Film Review: BLAME (2010) (or why slow and steady wins the race)”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. BLAME (2010) – Hard Candy gone horribly off the rails, in a superb way « rudhro's ruminatoria - June 10, 2012

    […] one such film.” – written by Elizabeth Lamb / AUSTRALIAN FILM REVIEW Rate this:Share this:PrintEmailFacebookTwitterMoreDiggStumbleUponRedditPinterestLike this:LikeBe […]

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