ROMANTIC DRAMA; 1hr 53min
STARRING: Rachael Taylor, Alex Dimitriades
Connecting: Dimitriades and Taylor
While hitchhiking through rural Victoria, a pretty American girl (Taylor as Heidi) thumbs a ride from an easygoing guy (Dimitriades as Michael). All we know about her at this stage is that she plays a mean fiddle and a nimble game of pool, and that she has some kind of score to settle. Michael is an orange grower who doesn’t know what he is getting into until he is irrevocably there. It turns out that Heidi is trying to reconnect with both her childhood and her late father’s new family while Michael sorely needs to connect with someone.
Writer-director Richard Gray’s Summer Coda is technically a romantic drama but it’s equally a picturesque meditation on an elemental way of life. It’s easy to go with Gray’s mellow flow when that flow is a sun-dappled turn through a riverside orange grove. It’s also very mellow indeed (So many Significant Pauses! So much implied and left unsaid!), which leaves oodles of time to ponder where it might be leading. Too much time for some, no doubt. There’s a lot to be said for cutting to the chase.