Sydney Arts Guide
September 29, 2013
Fresh from her Oscar tipped turn in the current box office smash, BLUE JASMINE, Cate Blanchett also shines in THE TURNING, the audacious and ambitious rendering to the screen of Tim Winton’s story cycle of the same name.
The seventeen chapters of the book have each been turned over to a film maker for cinematic rendition all linked by literary heritage and augmented by a motif of animated sand drift, a sort of sand script that introduces and connects each vignette.
As with any composite piece there will be segments better realised than others and indeed appreciated by different audiences, just as a degustation offers myriad tastes and textures.
But whichever any individual may favour above another, the sum of the whole is a pretty satisfying experience.
The sheer breadth of talent on show guarantees an overall success, spearheaded by producer instigator Robert Connolly, who also directs one of the stories.
Experienced helmers like Warwick Thornton, Justin Kurzel and Tony Ayres are joined by newby directors like David Wenham, Mia Wasikowska and Simon Stone.
Seasoned performers like Hugo Weaving,Rose Byrne, Susie Porter, Richard Roxburgh and Robyn Nevin lead a marvellous ensemble of actors.
THE TURNING is unique in its exhibition. The price of admission also secures a glossy programme, a souvenir of the experience. Attendance is akin to going to a mini film festival, a more satisfying and sophisticated Tropfest is its closest kinship.
Fans of Robert Altman’s cavalcade films like Short Cuts, Prairie Home Companion and Nashville will surely embrace and be edified by this project.
True to its source material, THE TURNING is nonetheless an original take on Winton’s creation and offers a kaleidoscope of cinematic styles and characterisations that, on the whole, mesh and synchronise, compiling rather than colliding.