Review: A Month of Sundays

A Month of Sundays, which premiered at the Adelaide Film Festival and is the latest film by writer/director Matthew Saville (Noise, Felony), is what some might label minor entertainment.

That usually means that it is independently produced on a small budget and adopts an understated approach to material that could be considered slight or insubstantial. This is not to say that A Month of Sundays is in any way undeserving of an appreciative audience – especially given it was shot and is set in Adelaide – for this is a warmhearted and honest piece of work with many things to enjoy. A Month of Sundays tells the story of Frank (Anthony LaPaglia back on home turf and an executive producer), a world–weary, middle–aged real estate agent recently divorced from his somewhat famous TV actress wife (Justine Clarke) and hard pressed to find meaningful connections with anybody as he trudges through his daily existence. It’s a wonder that he manages to mutter the occasional droll one–liner from time to time. In a sad attempt at communicating with his teenage son, Frank starts up a game of ‘I Spy’ in the car. He can’t guess that what his son sees beginning with an ‘e’ is ‘estranged husband’. One night Frank receives a wrongly dialed phone call and strikes up a conversation, and ensuing friendship, with an elderly woman, Sarah (Julia Blake), who reminds him of his recently deceased mother. Meanwhile Frank’s boss Phillip (wonderful John Clarke) visits his dementia stricken father (Wayne Anthony) in a nursing home. Needless to say, there are well–worn themes and ruminations on ageing and death aplenty, albeit treated in a gentle, languid manner. Performances from LaPaglia, Blake and especially Clarke (injecting necessary lightness) lift the material and provide heart where it clearly needs to be. Rated PG. A Month of Sundays is in cinemas now.

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