March 20, 2014
Australian films enjoy SXSW raves; Oscar nominee Michael Wilkinson to launch clothing range; no budget boost for Lego sequel.
The Infinite Man soaks up the praise
After a mostly encouraging response to the Spierig brothers’ Predestination, two more Australian films have had world premieres at the South by Southwest festival in Texas. Director Tony Mahony’s The Mule has Angus Sampson playing a footballer who, after an end-of-season trip to Thailand, is suspected of smuggling condoms full of heroin into Australia. The Hollywood Reporter says it has an ”enjoyably nasty turn” by Hugo Weaving as a detective and is ”less jokey than viewers might expect” given much of the film has Sampson in custody in a hotel room until the evidence passes through his system. Especially well received was director Hugh Sullivan’s The Infinite Man, which has Josh McConville as a control-freak inventor trying time after time to fix the relationship with his girlfriend, played by Hannah Marshall. It was named in Time.com’s list of the top 10 festival highlights and won best first feature and best screenplay in an Indiewire critics poll. The Playlist blog described The Infinite Man as “a delicate, intimate character piece [that] plays out in brilliant, bedazzling ways”.
Guy Pearce out of Strangerland, Joseph Fiennes In
Joseph Fiennes, best known for Elizabeth and Shakespeare In Love, has replaced Guy Pearce in Strangerland, Kim Farrant’s mystery drama about a couple whose lives unravel when their two teenage children go missing in the desert. Hugo Weaving plays a cop leading the investigation. Shooting starts in the next fortnight in Sydney, Canowindra and Broken Hill.