It’s the beginning of a long hot summer, and thirteen year old Janey (Alicia Fulford-Wierzbicki) and her family settle into their isolated cottage for what’s set to be another perfect holiday. But for Janey this will be no ordinary holiday, it will change her life forever. Every day she swims, fishes and cares for her brother Jim, while her mother Kate (Sarah Pierse) embarks on an affair with photographer Cody (Martin Csokas) and her father Ed (Alistair Browning) sits in the back yard, drinking whiskey and ignoring his family. Every night their parents throw parties to disguise their growing marriage problems and surrounded by adults drinking and flirting, she soon discovers her own sexuality with severe consequences. Rain is the provocative and moving debut feature film from acclaimed New Zealand director Christine Jeffs (Sylvia), set in the lush backdrop of New Zealand’s beautiful coastline.
2001 – Certificate: 15 – New Zealand
With all the rain most people seem to have been having recently in the UK, I thought I’d show a bit of solidarity with my sodden comrades and watch this film. Cactus World itself seems to have avoided the worst of the weather and today is presently sitting at a comfortable cloudy but dry, 24°C. (The latter’s in my lounge; I’ve no idea what the temperature is outside, but I don’t think it’s especially cold.) I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my neighbours too, for having their heating on so I don’t need to use mine. I haven’t had it on at all today. You know how hard it is to buy a Christmas present for someone who has everything? Well I like to think of this as my Christmas present to the Earth, but it’s proving to be a bugger of a thing to wrap up. The planet also has about a billion Christmas trees, which seems just a tad ostentatious even when compare with those people who cover their homes in sleigh-shaped lights and stuff, so I’ve not sure which one to put it under anyway. Despite its name, it doesn’t rain in this film at all. It does however, have a somewhat overcast vibe.
It’s time for another movie about a dysfunctional family. Yeah! This one’s set during a summer in the 1970s. From the use of Sherbet’s “Howzat” as part of the soundtrack, I’d say around 1976. (They don’t make songs like that anymore; thank goodness for punk.) A 13-year-old girl realises her parents have a dysfunctional marriage and whilst watching their drinking, depression and adultery, tries to figure out how to model her own behaviour. She spends most of the film trying to keep her (really very cute) younger brother happy and developing a crush on her mother’s lover. Of course, you know it’s not going to end well and my crystal ball tells me she’s going to have some pretty bad hang-ups when she’s older. Despite being made in a nice location in nice weather, the whole film has a slightly depressing and seedy 70s feel about it. There was something quite sad (as in sad pathetic rather than sad miserable) about the party scenes, a lot of adults pretending to have fun rather than actually having any; I’m glad I didn’t get invited, I’d rather have gone to see a dentist. The acting is good and the girl who plays the lead character Janey does a good job of playing a really quite complex character very well. As for the adults, they were all pretty pitiful really. They deserved one another. A decent film worth a watch, but not one New Zealand Tourism is likely to make heavy use of.
Recommend for people who have some sort of nostalgic connection to the mid 70s. Perverts! You can get treatment for that sort of thing these days; I suggest you go get some.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? This is a toughy. In fact I’m going to give up. Janey may have done something, but I can’t for the life of me think what. I’m afraid all the adults were far too boring, useless and flawed to have a hope in hell of being badass. Badass needs heroes and the strong, not contemptible weaklings!