(out of 5)
A pharmacist (Joseph Fiennes) has moved his family to a barren town in the Australian bush to get away from the problems of their past, most of them having to do with his lethal Lolita of a daughter. He and wife Nicole Kidman are at their wits’ end about what to do with her while also worrying about their antisocial, sleepwalking son, and then something devastating happens: the two children wander off into the night and disappear without a trace. Now this couple, who are already having a difficult time adjusting to the small town minds around them and the empty, haunting landscape just beyond, have to face secrets they’ve been trying to avoid while tracking down their kids, a task left to a police officer (Hugo Weaving) who tries to make the most of the few clues he is given. Beautifully photographed and richly atmospheric, this one has great performances and a terrific premise that is held together by confident direction and intelligent dialogue. The switching of perspective between Weaving, Kidman and Fiennes is uncomfortable, though, and one is never sure whose story it is supposed to be since not all three pay off equally before the powerful conclusion.
Directed by Kim Farrant
Cinematography by P.J. Dillon
Music by Keefus Ciancia
Production Design by Melinda Doring
Costume Design by Emily Seresin
Film Editing by Veronika Jenet