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Emerald City

(Michael Jenkins, Australia, 1989)


 


In the brittle, sarcastic universe created by Australian playwright David Williamson, pretentious Melbourne scriptwriters win AFI awards for movies called Days of Wine and Whitlam, militant Aboriginal women write books called Black Rage, and greedy Sydney producers preach the gospel of "contemporary, international action-adventure" pictures.

It’s a pity that Williamson’s view of these characters and their values is as shallow as the characters themselves.

Williamson rather unwisely compared this adaptation of his popular play to Hollywood screwball comedies of the 1930s and ’40s like His Girl Friday.

The result is a film top-heavy with garbled dialogue and hammy performances.

John Hargreaves, in particular, has obviously never heard the cliché that, in screen (as opposed to stage) acting, less is more.

MORE Williamson: Duet for Four

MORE Jenkins: The Heartbreak Kid

© Adrian Martin December 1992


Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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