Thursday, February 9, 2012

Review: Any Questions for Ben?

Any Questions for Ben?
Dir. Rob Sitch
Country: Australia
Aus Rating: M15+
Running Time: 114mins

The first film by the wildly successful Working Dog production house to hit our screens in twelve years comes from a peculiar place. Some fifteen years ago they were winning audience charm with The Castle, a tale of suburban “Aussie battler” pride and the miracle of a simple sponge cake. With Any Questions For Ben? the gears have shifted 180 degrees to observing inner-city woes of the affluent. It’s hard not to be taken aback by the sudden lack of audience perspective, especially at a time when phrases like “the 1%” and “occupy” have entered our daily lexicon and sympathy for the rich withers on the vine. While it’s hardly unacceptable to make a film about a handsome 27-year-old man who earns a six figure income by seemingly doing little at all and expect us to feel compassion when he realises that loft apartments and bar-hopping just isn’t satisfying anymore, it’s also not hard to see why so many people will cringe and dismiss it as the out of touch follies of three well off middle-aged white men – director Rob Sitch and his co-writers Santo Cilauro and Tom Gleisner. I enjoyed the movie and even I can’t put up a proper defense to the scorn that others have heaped upon it.

Read the rest at Onya Magazine

The scorn of which I speak is some really vitriolic reviews that have popped up in the Herald Sun and, most prominently, Crikey. As I say in the piece, it's hard to really object with so many of the issues that I've head people have with it, and yet I still liked it. "Positiveish" is how I described my stance on the film earlier today on Twitter. If nothing else it gives us Felicity Ward's wonderful performance, the first acting name to go on my own personal supporting actress ballot. Let's hope 2012 has plenty more in store. B-

Also, it's really frustrating spell and grammar checking a review of a film with punctuation in the title. It really, really is.

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