Movie Review #4876: JUNIPER
Poignant Kiwi outing based around the relationship between a grieving teen, his alcoholic and ailing grandmother and his self-absorbed father, set in the late 80s on a farm somewhere in kiwiland when and where of course there was no internet, no cell phones, no social media of any sort.
Gran has come to stay along with her nurse as she recovers from a broken leg and brings with her quite a few cases of Mother’s Ruin. The sense of remoteness conveys nicely the isolation each feels as dad skips off to London leaving son and grandmother with the long suffering and terribly patient live-in nurse.
Son and granny slowly start to realise there is more to the other than meets the eye which begins a series of amusing events that bring them closer together. We rather predictably figure all is not quite what it seems and the reveals start to surface as we go, culminating in some difficult yet understandable moments.
Charlotte Rampling is exquisite as granny Ruth, Marton Csokas goes well as dad, and George Ferrier is a Heath Ledger lookalike as young Sam. Some overt depictions of kiwiana remind us that our national identity in these challenging times is alive and well and overall, bitter sweet and compelling viewing.
Currently showing at the usual cinemas.
Warning though: suicide themes are depicted.
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I'm a movie nut from way back with my first ever being The Hallelujah Trail from 1964. Ever since, I've been mesmerized by the giant screen, and the darkness that went on forever. Despite the infernally uncomfortable seats, (plus having to stand for God Save the Queen), I've been enticed ever since to duck into a theatre whenever I can for a few hours of escapism.