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Goddess (Mark Lamprell, 2013) wr. Mark Lamprell, Joanna Weinberg, prod. Andrena Finlay, Richard Keddie, dp Damian Wyvill; Laura Michelle Kelly, Ronan Keating; musical comedy; Aust release 14 March 2013

The best stuff in Goddess is the musical comedy. Most of the many songs come from composer/lyricist Joanna Weinberg and were road tested in her original one-woman show called ‘Sinksongs’. Weinberg did the film’s score – smart, poppy arrangements – with Bryony Marks. The smart, ticklish and relentlessly silly choreography is by Kelley Abbey and Lamprell and the tech team have great fun exploiting ancient film musical clichés for comic effect throughout. ...
But what gives the film its beguiling drive and energy is the performers. I really liked Hugo Johnstone-Burt who plays a corporate flack who first sees the potential in Elspeth ... But it's Broadway and West End star Kelly that dominates. On stage she played Mary Poppins and her Elspeth is a close relative; she doesn’t do angst, but she’s a genius at expressing ebullience. Kelly is so much fun to be around that it’s possible to miss the fact that the script of Goddess is thin and episodic. ...
And since the film has some truly compelling ideas (and a less than elegant delivery),Goddess presents one of the occasional dilemmas of film criticism where one is faced with a picture that on so many levels just isn’t very good… and yet, there’s something irresistible about it. Peter Galvin, SBS.

The film's strengths are the songs and the settings, plus the inventive and clever choreography by Kelley Abbey, not limited to Szubanski's routine. Its weaker-spots are the abandonment of the dramatic tone in favour of sketch comedy in scenes involving neighbours and minor support characters. But it always redeems itself with one its effective songs, where lyrics and melody work really well, either as exuberant flashes or reflective ballads. Andrew L. Urban, urbancinefile.

Garry Gillard | New: 1 December, 2013 | Now: 6 April, 2020