Waiting

Waiting (Jackie McKimmie, 1991) Noni Hazlehurst (AFI Best Actress), Deborra-Lee Furness, Frank Whitten, Helen Jones, Denis Moore, Fiona Press, Ray Barrett

Little ripper of a film, mostly about women: Hazlehurst really was pregnant, as you'll see—if you can ever get hold of a copy ... which you now easily can, as it's been released on DVD. It features in my 'best openings' list:

Noni Hazlehurst is swimming out of a pool on a country property. But why is she puffing so much? She's only gently breast-stroking. She reaches the edge and starts to emerge from the water. Omigod! She's ... naked! And her breasts are ginormous! Oh my dear god!! She's 8.75 months pregnant!! No special effects in this film. She really was.

Waiting is dominated by women immersed in female concerns, including motherhood, childbirth and (occasionally) body image, but it is not so much a feminist statement as a story that dramatises various dilemmas facing women in the post-1970s feminist era of independent womanhood. McKimmie deals with practices like home birthing and surrogate parenting with a light touch and approaches her characters with warmth and good humour while still recognising their flaws.
Fiona Press won Best Supporting Actress at the 1991 AFI Awards and the film was also nominated for Best Director, Supporting Actress (Helen Jones), Editing (Michael Honey) and Costume Design (Murray Picknett). Deborra-Lee Furness, Noni Hazlehurst, Helen Jones and Fiona Press were collectively awarded the Silver Seashell for Best Female Performance at Spain’s San Sebastian Film Festival. McKimmie received an honorary mention for the OCIC Award at the Venice Film Festival. Lynden Barber.


New: 24 November, 2012 | Now: 18 April, 2013 | garrygillard[at]gmail.com