Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
Australia/France, 1994. CiBy 2000, Film Victoria, House & Moorhouse Films. Screenplay by P.J. Hogan. Cinematography by Martin McGrath. Produced by Lynda House, Jocelyn Moorhouse. Music by Peter Best. Production Design by Paddy Reardon. Costume Design by Terry Ryan. Film Editing by Jill Bilcock.
Movies about the journey towards self-discovery are never old hat when they’re done well, and this one has the added pleasure of a soundtrack rife with ABBA tunes! Toni Collette jump-started a marvelous career with her performance as a frumpy, miserable suburban Australian girl whose two main obsessions are achieving something in life through becoming a bride, and listening to her favourite Swedish pop group of the seventies. She’s awkward and clumsy, conning her way through situations and doing her best to avoid what she hates about herself until a new best friend (Rachel Griffiths, also gaining equally deserved attention for herself) helps her see herself in a new light. It’s full of memorable dialogue (‘You’re terrible, Muriel!’) and hilarious situations, then backs it up by being truly touching and fully allowing its charismatic main character to blossom to a full, independent self. Did we mention there’s also lots of ABBA? See it, it’s one of my favourite movies.
Golden Globe Award Nomination: Best Actress-Musical/Comedy (Toni Collette)