Galore (Rhys Graham, 2013) wr. Rhys Graham, prod. Philippa Campey, dp Stefan Duscio; Lily Sullivan, Ashleigh Cummings, Toby Wallace, Oscar Redding, Maya Stange, Daniel Webber, Natasha Novak; teen drama; Aust release 19 June 2014
It became evident that something had gone badly wrong when 'Australian film' came to be regarded, in a perverse way, as a genre itself, a tufted rug of conventions intended to satisfy the palettes of latte sipping city slickers.
A story about disaffected youth set in days leading up to the 2003 Canberra bushfires, Galore embodies virtually all the 'genre's' trademarks. It is an intimate portrait of best friends bogged down by technical and storytelling Oz film clichés.
There is a car crash, infidelity, the unexpected death of a central character, a cautionary message about teenage rebellion, yearning voice over narration, something hurled through a window and cinematography that mostly oscillates between two modes: summery and wintry. We see the first when life is peachy and love is in the air and the second when the worm turns and voilà: the needle and the damage done. Luke Buckmaster, Crikey.
Rhys Graham's meaninglessly titled directorial debut, the Canberra-set Galore, is almost pure pastiche. Buttery summer photography? Tick. Girl and boyfriend trouble? Of course. Drinking to excess at wild parties? Sigh. Half of this story of teen angst seems to consist of two female best friends (Ashleigh Cummings and Lily Sullivan) semi-whispering to each other – but what are they saying? There seems to be a lesbian subtext, but it’s never clear if this is intentional. Lynden Barber, Limelight.
Galore is a particularly disappointing film because it could and should have been so much better. The setting - a community placed in real danger by bush fires - has a great deal to offer, and movies about adolescent kids experimenting with sex and friendship provide promising material. Unfortunately the girls are not very interesting, their characters as shallow and as limited as their vocabulary. ... I couldn't really decide about the acting because either the diction of the young actors was uniformly poor or the sound recording was; the endless four-letter words came over loud and clear, but not much else. So Galore is a mess, though there are moments when you can see what it might have been. David Stratton, At the Movies, 17 June 2014.
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