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Sweetie (Jane Campion, 1989) wr. Jane Campion, Gerard Lee, dp Sally Bongers; Genevieve Lemon, Karen Colston, Tom Lycos, Jon Darling, Dorothy Barry, Michael Lake, Paul Livingston

IMDb user summary:
Based solely on a tea leaf reading, superstitious and introspective Kay believes she and Louis are destined to fall in love with each other, he who she is able to convince of the same despite he just having gotten engaged to her co-worker, Cheryl. That destiny may change with the fortunes of what she sees as the next symbol of their relationship, a somewhat sickly elder tree Louis plants in their garden for their one year anniversary. Their relationship is placed under a strain with the arrival of Kay's formerly institutionalized sister Dawn - nicknamed Sweetie - and Sweetie's current boyfriend, Bob, who Sweetie believes will help her get into show business. Kay's pleas to her father Gordon to help get Sweetie out of her house go largely ignored, as he has never judged Sweetie, who he still sees as his performing loving little girl. Gordon is facing his own issues as Kay and Sweetie's mother, Flo, has just left him on a trial separation, their issues largely stemming from his ...

Roger Ebert:
In my reviews, I try never to discuss whether "you," whoever you are, will enjoy a movie or not. I do not know you and would not presume to guess your tastes. I imagine most people will have a hard time with Sweetie, simply because I did the first time. But this movie is real, it's the genuine article, and it's there on the screen in all of its defiant strangeness. Most movies slide right through our minds without hitting anything. This one screams and shouts every step of the way. Roger Ebert.

Luke Buckmaster:
The New Zealand-born writer-director Jane Campion has made a career of depicting strange and complex female protagonists in strange and complex environments, from a mute Scotswoman sold into marriage (Holly Hunter in The Piano) to a guru-smitten Australian (Kate Winslet in Holy Smoke) and a creative writing teacher who breaks bad (Meg Ryan in In The Cut). ... The world of Sweetie – a beautifully strange and compelling film debut – is bent out of shape with almost intangibly subtle precision. Campion offsets what could have been a morose drama with an atmosphere that becomes increasingly, and unnervingly, mystical. That approach would go on to inform her later work, including 1993’s stunning The Piano and TV’s Top of the Lake. The Guardian.

Garry Gillard | New: 20 October, 2020 | Now: 20 October, 2020