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TIFF Review: Looking for Grace

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A 16 year old girl runs away from home with her girlfriend which affects the lives of a number of people.

Two teenage girls riding on a bus encounter a male passenger who seduces and robs one of them.  A truck driver accompanied with his young son gets involved with a mysterious accident.  A woman discovers that the house safe is open and her daughter gone with the money.  A married man is tempted to have a hotel affair with an employee.   A detective comes out of retirement to assist in the finding of the missing girl.  All of these storylines intersect and show a different perspective about events as they unfold.

The opening montage looks like tapestry but is in fact aerial shots of the Australian landscape while the closing one features a first person perspective of traveling on a winding road.  There is artistry on the display with visuals conceived by Sue Brooks and Katie Milwright who was responsible for the cinematography.  The music and sound design are not overpowering allowing them to seamlessly integrate into the various scenes.  The shift between the different stories is somewhat jarring narratively but do allow viewers to have some insight into the various characters though the truck driver becomes somewhat of a footnote. An unexpected twist happens which emphasizes how life can change suddenly.

When it comes to the cast the two most soulful characters are played by Radha Mitchell (Olympus Has Fallen) and Odessa Young (The Daughter) who both give nuanced performances as a mother and daughter struggling to obtain an emotional equilibrium within their fractured family; they’re great dynamic is displayed in a particular moment involving the trunk of a car.  Unfortunately, Richard Roxburgh (Moulin Rouge) plays a father/husband so morally in flux that he comes across as a caricature.  As much as having the different storylines is an interesting narrative device it has a disruptive effect on the cinematic rhythm.

2.5 out of 5

Trevor Hogg is a freelance video editor and writer who currently resides in Canada; he can be found at LinkedIn.


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