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Peaches (2004)

  Directed by: Craig Monahan
Written by: Sue Smith
Starring: Matthew Le Nevez, Emma Lung, Jacqueline McKenzie, Hugo Weaving
Links: Peaches on the IMDb
Genre: Drama
Awards: AFI Awards: Best Film 2005 (nominee)

This movie gets: 8.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"This year's Somersault" - a review by pearly

We usually only get one or two decent Australian films a year, and this year, Peaches takes one of those spots. It's directed by Craig Monahan, the guy who did The Interview (1998) all those years ago, but unfortunately hasn't done much else. For Peaches, he reunites with Hugo Weaving as the main male protagonist, and enlists Jacqueline McKenzie as his other big name.

Set in a sleepy country town where most everyone works at the peach factory, it's about a girl named Steph (Emma Lung) who was born a miracle child after surviving still inside her mother's womb the car crash that killed both her parents. Steph has been brought up by her mum's best friend, Jude (McKenzie), and she longs to find out more about her past, a longing which leads her to some strange places, such as the formation of a relationship with her boss Alan (Weaving), a man who has a history with both Jude and Steph's parents, and which Steph is trying to uncover.

Peaches is like this year's Somersault (2004), but in a warmer climate. There is less of an emphasis on the look of things, but the stories are both quite similar: the personal discoveries of young girls growing into women. In some ways, I think that Peaches is a superior film to Somersault - it's a bit more straight-forward in both its story and the way that it's told, and this style really suits the film. But in other ways, it was the areas like the look and the creative aspects of Somersault which made it stand out from the crowd, and this is not as prevalent in Peaches, so I guess I'd have to say they're about even overall.

Monahan does well when he's working with the basics. This story has a little more to it than The Interview, but it's still a down-to-earth story that it's easy to relate to, despite some of its aspects being quite foreign to me. Much the same as Somersault gave us Abbie Cornish, this film announces the arrival of Emma Lung, who is beautiful on screen, and holds her own amongst the more experienced actors that surround her. The scenes in which she's wearing the traditional dress are the most reminiscent of Cornish in Somersault, but Lung is definitely not a carbon copy.

I liked the way that Peaches opened itself up, and then folded up neatly and tied its ribbons into lovely little bows at the end, sending itself off to you as a nice little surprise package. I liked that it wasn't afraid to be Australian, and that it was Australian in the best possible ways. I just liked it.

pearly gives this movie 8 out of 10.
Review created on Thu 30 Jun 2005

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Reader comments

  1. I agree with you Pearly. It was an entertaining film with an interesting plot and characters you could easily identify with. I read somewhere that this film was made before Somersault, about two and a half years ago, but had some legal problems being released.
    All the performances were great and the cinematography and music took it to another level.
    I enjoyed this film much more than Somersault, mainly because the story/ies held your interest throughout whereas Somersault basically meandered on with minimal dialogue and lots of atmospheric shots, probably covering up for the shortcomings in the script.

    Rating given: 9

    A comment from Lance on Mon 04 Jul 2005 08:37 #

  2. A truly memorable film. I want to marry Emma. Great acting by all. More like this please. It could only have been made in Australia. Well done !!

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from Peter Schuitemaker on Tue 23 Nov 2010 23:12 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 9.50 (2 ratings)

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