Combustible Celluloid
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With: Laura Linney, Gabriel Byrne, Chris Haywood, Deborra-Lee Furness, John Howard, Leah Purcell, Stelios Yiakmis, Eva Lazzaro, Sean Rees-Wemyss, Alice Garner, Simon Stone, Betty Lucas
Written by: Beatrix Christian, based on a story by Raymond Carver
Directed by: Ray Lawrence
MPAA Rating: R for disturbing images, language and some nudity
Running Time: 123
Date: 05/23/2006

Jindabyne (2007)

1 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Thicker Than 'Water'

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Gabriel Byrne plays one of four fishermen in Australia who discover a dead body at their favorite, remote fishing spot. Instead of reporting it, they go about enjoying their weekend. Stewart's wife (Laura Linney) can't understand what he was thinking. Robert Altman already incorporated Raymond Carver's great short story "So Much Water, So Close to Home" into his 1993 masterpiece Short Cuts. With Jindabyne, Australian director Ray Lawrence (Lantana) and writer Beatrix Christian have the luxury of more time to explore it, but instead they merely add several external, superficial elements that misunderstand and circumvent the story's center. They throw in new characters, unwanted pregnancies, near-drownings, a leering serial killer, racism and hate crimes, new "dramatic" dialogue as well as a bizarre, "happy" ending. What a waste.

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