Though Nicole Kidman has the movie star charisma to play Gertrude Bell, Grace Kelly and a foil to Paddington, it’s nice to see her return to her Australian roots with the Aussie drama Strangerland. Kim Farrant’s film premiered at this year’s Sundance, and it stars Kidman, Hugo Weaving, and Joseph Fiennes in a story about a mother (Kidman) and a detective (Weaving) looking for her teenage children in a massive desert storm. Here’s the full synopsis:
Newcomers to the remote Australian desert town of Nathgari, Catherine and Matthew Parker’s lives are flung into crisis when they discover their two teenage kids, Tommy and Lily, have mysteriously disappeared just before a massive dust storm hits. With Nathgari eerily smothered in red dust and darkness, the townsfolk join the search led by local cop, David Rae. It soon becomes apparent that something terrible may have happened to Tommy and Lily. Suspicions run riot, rumours spread and public opinion turns savagely against the Parkers. With temperatures rising and the chances of survival plummeting with each passing day, Catherine and Matthew find themselves pushed to the brink as they struggle to survive the mystery of their children’s fate.
This is Farrant’s first film, and despite the cast, it was sad to see J.R. Kinnard receive it at Sundance as so boring. “A splendid cast, led by Nicole Kidman, is wasted on movie-of-the-week melodrama with so little forward momentum that it challenges the principles of Newton’s Second Law. Director Kim Farrant gives us a film that looks and sounds terrific, but none of her skill can hide what a complete mess it is.”
Strangerland opens stateside July 10 in theaters and on demand. Watch the trailer below: