Sundance Review: Clubland
by Alex Billington
January 23, 2007
Clubland is an Australian feature that is a whimsical, fast paced (but not too fast), never dull, funky and exciting romantic drama. A teen-aged boy, Tim (Khan Chittenden), who lives with his comedian entertainer mother (Brenda Blethyn) and mentally-challenged brother (Richard Wilson) meets a cute young girl (Emma Booth) and falls in love with her, all while struggling with his own sexuality and family matters. It's a delightful love story as good as The Science of Sleep, with as much great comedy, content, romance, and drama to be compared to Science of Sleeps' excellence.
What's so great about Clubland is that I can sit through this 108 minute movie and not ever experience a dull moment - a rarity and certainly fantastic experience that is appreciated. Director Cherie Nowlan never takes it too far or too short, it's always right on target in every scene. Also featuring an entourage cast with truly exquisite performances all around from a handful of Australian actors. It comes down to an incredible "showdown" involving everyone from Tim's family at his house at the end, where his mother breaks down and the conclusion builds up. All around an exhilarating romance that needs to make its way across the ocean to America where it'll become instantly cherished - and it just did, as it was bought by Warner Independent! One of my own personal favorite films from Sundance so far!
Reader Feedback - 7 Comments
Is Brenda Blethyn an Oscar candidate?
Dominic Ripley on Jan 24, 2007
When is the Australian release, I'd really prefer to see it at least at the same time as America!
david porteus on Feb 11, 2007
Havent seen the movie, yet but from what my band told who play in it at the end (on the prowl featuring Rockpile Jones, Kim Counstable, Mark Lord, Roderic Crundle and Gary Haptwood) its worth watching in the cinemas in may on the 17th i think
John fyfe on Mar 3, 2007
I was very disappointed with this film. It dragged on, with little continuity and I found the Disabled Brother, Mark particularly irritating. Mainly because his motor functions did not fit with the very high level of vocabulary which had strangely been scripted for the character. In some cases he's acting makes more of a mockery to the condition he is trying to portray and so comes across and unbelievable. This character played an important role in the movie and it must be said that for anyone to pull this off with an success is a hugely difficult task. My only comment is that if you can't do it right, don't do it at all.
Neil Hamp-Adams on Jan 13, 2009
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