First movie of the evening was an Australian flick, Toomelah, directed by Ivan Sen. Set in a Koori Mission near Moree and pulling in local members of the community to act, this was an interesting take, not only of life on the Mission, but also the growing pains of a 10 year old boy. There was a slight backstory on the importance of family and connectedness as well as an undercurrent of the effects of the stolen generations. A little forced in parts but it soon drew me in and it didn’t try to provide all the answers. There was a bit of heart to it as the story evolved gradually with the lead boy easing into a wayward life. Nothing is ever simple, and there are complications on all angles.

Second movie of the evening was a lighter piece from Ireland, The Guard, directed by John Michael McDonagh. I reckon Irish movies need subtitles as I spent half the movie trying to get my ears around the accent. Though one of the things I’ve found with hearing aids and in the decline in my hearing is that I struggle more with accents. Interestingly, Toomelah had subtitles for all dialogue but I didn’t need them so much as the vocals were more familiar. This was a movie reliant on its witty dialogue with an Irish copper who is smarter than he comes across, and loves to take the piss. Minding his own business mostly in a small town, then has to deal with a bigtime American cop chasing a massive drug haul. It steered away mostly from the city man in hick town sort of humour though did use it effectively on occasion. The drug gang were particularly fun as they were educated with a philosophical bent and regarded most of the business as beneath them. The movie was made on good lines, witty dialogue and banter, as well as a love for its characters.

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