ROMANTIC DRAMA; 1hr 30min
STARRING: William McInnes, Monic Hendrickx
Down on the farm: McInnes and Hendrickx
William McInnes (Look Both Ways) fairly bristles with loneliness as Queensland sheep farmer John Woldring, whose carefully constructed existence is rudely interrupted by the dramatic arrival of a traumatised Afghani woman (Dutch actress Hendrickx as Tahmeena) in the atmospheric romance Unfinished Sky. Filthy, bruised and terrified, Tahmeena is plainly on the run from someone or something, and while John is hardly the most approachable sort, he is by no means devoid of humanity. He takes Tahmeena in, helps her to heal and forges a deepening bond. But both their histories are complicated and for all John’s self-imposed isolation, the prying outside world is uncomfortably close.
McInnes as the bluff, wary, hurting farmer and Hendrickx as his lost and haunted counterpart share an expressive economy of emotion aptly tailored to writer-director Peter Duncan’s minimally worded reworking of the 1998 Dutch film De Poolse Bruid ("The Polish Bride"), in which Hendrickx also starred. By paring down the dialogue, Duncan (Passion) hones in on potent emotions, allowing the escalating action — a pendulum of tenderness to melodrama — to speak volumes for itself.