COMEDY; 1hr 36min
STARRING: Sacha Horler, Matt Day, Jonathan Segat, Portia Bradley
The castle: from left, Bradley, Day, Horler and Segat
Lightning can strike at any time and in many forms. For Melbourne nurse’s aide Natalie (Horler), her nemesis is a brain aneurism that slices her reality in two, leaving her isolated and immobilised on one shore and her husband, Ross (Day), and two young children (Segat and Bradley) struggling to cope on the other. Released from hospital, the newly fragile and unemployed Natalie tries to rejoin the world. Her efforts evolve as an on-tenterhooks, passion-killing process, snappily divided by writer-director Sarah Watt (Look Both Ways) into telling segments and anchored in an Australian suburbia whose familiarity you can smell and taste.
Watt is generous with her characters, rounding them out and caring for them through the everyday increments that make up the fabric of a family. She is obviously in tune with actors, too: led by the intuitive Horler, the ensemble cast does her proud with true-to-life performances that never take refuge in cheap-shot folksy — which, where “ordinary” Australians on film are concerned, is a damned sight more difficult than it looks.