Burning Man

DRAMA; 1hr 50min

STARRING: Matthew Goode, Bojana Novakovic, Jack Heanly

Shell-shocked: Goode

Bondi chef Tom (A Single Man’s Goode) is feeling the blistering heat in and out of the kitchen. Struggling solo with the care of his eight-year-old son, Oscar (Heanly), and with a fuse that sparks at the least provocation, he’s a series of explosions waiting to happen. But after setting Tom up as a case, writer-director Jonathan Teplitzky (Gettin’ Square) then gracefully pieces his dissociated existence together, contrasting the warm and glowy fragments of Tom’s past with his wife, Sarah (Novakovic), with the bitter and lonely shards of his present. Such is the dynamic, involving and pitiful anatomy of a man who has lost his way.


The images of fire, which take on a deeper resonance as the story progresses, are also a metaphor for Tom’s emotional compass. For if the past is indeed never really over, then to primarily live in grief and memory is to straddle two worlds without fully belonging in either. Burning Man does that, too, but energised by Goode’s tempered empathy (the English actor is seemingly inexhaustible, smashing every scene), its non-linear dexterity fits each timeframe exactly as it should.