New Zealand 1981
Roger Donaldson for Aardvark Films, New Zealand Film Commission
directed by Roger Donaldson
starring Bruno Lawrence, Anna Maria Monticelli (as Anna Jemison), Greer Robson-Kirk, Keith Aberdein, Desmond Kelly, Lynne Robson, Margaret Umbers, Sean Duffy, Bryan Johnson, Terence Donovan, Dick Rollo, Ian Barber, Mike Beytagh, Brian Chase, Ross Davies, Colin Fredricksen, Thomas King, Chris Pasco, Ewan Somerville, Frank Taylor, Ray Littlewood, Mike Wiggins, Doug McKenzie, Don Lee
written by Roger Donaldson, Peter Hansard, Bruno Lawrence, music by Sharon O'Neill
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Al (Bruno Lawrence) was once successful race driver, but nowadays he
owns a car graveyard somewhere in the middle of nowhere, New Zealand,
where he scavenges all the car wrecks coming in for spare parts he uses to
fix up eccentric cars for his clients, and also to build himself a race
car for a mini-comeback - and he couldn't be happier, especially thanks to
his 7 year old daughter Georgie (Greer Robson-Kirk), whom he loves more
than anything in the world, and who loves him back. Thing is, his wife
Jacqui (Anna Maria Monticelli) is less than happy about living on the
junkyard with him, especially since his work/passion consumes most of his
time, and he shows little interest in even going out with her or anything.
And even when she starts spelling out the warning signs that a break-up
might be imminent, he just ignores it ... until she moves out, taking
Georgie with her. Plus, of all people, she starts an affair with Al's best
friend Ray (Keith Aberdein).
Now as long as Al still has his race in
front of him, it seems he's keeping himself in check rather admirably, but
once he has won that, things get out of hand pretty quickly, resulting in
a short stay in jail, a restraining order - and ultimately a kidnapping
and hostage situation ...
Now here's a film that proves that
clever writing and a versatile directorial effort can go a long way when
it comes to shattering genre boundaries: Basically a drama about a
break-up, this film also features plenty of action thanks to it's car race
subplot (and the race is especially well-filmed), before it goes into
thriller territory in the finale - but in all of this genre hodgepodge the
actual story never gets lost, instead really carries the film. And add to
this some rather great locations and strong performances, and you've got
yourself a movie that's not to be missed!