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Face to Face

Face to Face (Michael Rymer, 2010) wr. David Williamson from his play; Vince Colosimo, Ingrid Thornton, Matthew Newton

This is said to be from a 'play of the same name which is in turn based on the transcripts from real conflict resolution sessions' (Michael Rymer)—as if that were a good thing. It sounds to me like a lazy scenarist (the play already existed) following a lazy playwright (the transcripts already existed). However, the result is surprisingly engaging, despite the static nature of most of the film (which adds only a few flashbacks to what is basically still a play shot from different camera angles). And I put that down to some very good acting—which I would characterise as 'naturalistic'—from all except Sigrid Thornton, who sounds like she has strayed from the local village theatre group. Vince Colosimo was particularly good, and it's always interesting watching Matthew Newton.

This is an ensemble performance piece and everyone has to be pitch perfect to make it work, and they are. The risk is that the screenplay turns into a series of soap opera revelations, but this is easily avoided by sensitive writing and focused direction, together with exceptional editing. Andrew Urban, Urban Cinefile.

Garry Gillard | New: 23 October, 2012 | Now: 5 April, 2020