Looking for Grace
Directed by Sue Brooks
When rebellious 16-year-old Grace takes off, her exasperated mum and dad enlist the help of a close-to-retirement detective, and begin the long drive from Perth out to the West Australian wheatbelt to try to find her. On the journey, the two must confront the realities of their changing relationship to one another, and to their daughter…
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★★★½ review by Andi B. Goode on Letterboxd
On reflection, it's a little less fantastic than I felt it was upon leaving the cinema, but I still think it's a solid drama.
This is only the second Sue Brooks films that I've seen (the other being Japanese Story) but I've found that I wasn't particularly emotionally engaged with either. That distance didn't affect my enjoyment, though, because I found other ways to engage - through the visuals, the very good to great acting, etc.
There are some gorgeous shots in this.
Odessa Young was great as Grace and I always like Radha Mitchell and Richard Roxburgh.
Also, this is the second (Australian) film that's been criticised, lately, for being tonally inconsistent, something I barely noticed while watching. I do understand what everyone means, but I didn't think about it until I read some reviews later. Perhaps it's my own mercurial moods that made me just go along with it, or maybe I'm just not a very discerning viewer. At any rate, it didn't bother me.
★★★★ review by Girlybug on Letterboxd
This movie is unique and interesting; I liked it at once. I really liked how it was filmed from numerous characters’ different points of view. Also I thought that the camera lens and screen length worked very well for this film.
It explored events surrounding a 16-year-old girl who ran away and I found the different characters’ reactions and ways of coping very interesting!
I found the movie relatable. Maybe because it was Australian. Maybe because it’s about life and feels very natural. There was no sensationalism as is common with movies. It was a very quiet and contemplative movie. I found myself being surprised by how much I enjoyed it. 😊
★★★½ review by Ian Anderson on Letterboxd
The title is a pun. One could write about what drives people to name their children (particularly girls) after things and concepts, but I digress. Two teenage girls are off on a bus trip to a concert in a town several days away (Western Australia is a big place). Neither girl told her parents.
The film tells the story from multiple points of view, or rather it tells several intersecting stories that centre around Grace and her parent's hunt for her. Through these stories we get to know her mum and dad and the private detective on her case. After starting off in an orthodox way the story becomes increasingly shaggy dog. The tone of the film jumps all over the place in a Coen Brothers fashion and the title of the movie could equally well be "Everyone behaving badly".
Western Australia looks very beautiful in this film, especially during the opening credits.
★★★★ review by Tez on Letterboxd
★★★★½ review by Jamie Hornsby on Letterboxd
I had a really good time with this film. I loved the non-linear narrative, the blend of comedy and drama, the performances (Mitchell, Young and Roxburgh, of course, being the standouts.) Great direction. Great cinematography. Just a good (and sometimes sad) time.
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