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For Love Alone

For Love Alone (Stephen Wallace, 1986) prod. Margaret Fink for Waranta, wr. Stephen Wallace, from novel by Christina Stead, dp Alun Bollinger, music Nathan Waks, design John Stoddart, ed. Henry Dangar; Helen Buday, Sam Neill, Hugo Weaving, Huw Williams, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Odile Le Clezio, John Polson, Judy Farr, Regina Gaigalas; Kodak colour, 35mm, 102 min.

I started watching For Love Alone (Stephen Wallace, 1986) because of Christina Stead’s novel on which Wallace based the script, and probably persevered, for the second time, only because of that. It’s stacked with then present (Hugh Keays-Byrne) and future stars (Hugo Weaving, Helen Buday, John Polson – even Naomi Watts' first five seconds in a film, with one line: ‘Hello’) but it remains verbal, never really becoming cinematic, despite the (seriously) great work of Alun Bollinger. The film-makers are in control, not the actors.

... in the end, it is fatally passionless. We never really care about Tess. The high expectations held for the film were largely unfulfilled, and its performance at the box-office was disappointing. Stratton: 181.

... story is tedious and its dialogue stilted. Helen Barlow, Murray: 195.

Garry Gillard | New: 16 October, 2012 | Now: 6 April, 2020