A family is exiled, after a scandal, into a small outback Australian town, just to face even more horrific ordeal - the disappearance of their two children. How to survive the uncertainty, when with every second passing by finding the kids becomes a more desperate task? Old wounds are open and lives shuttered, as time is gradually running out.
STRANGERLAND have a few good things going for it - Nicole Kidman as desperate mother and Hugo Weaving as focused but sensitive cop have great dynamic, building up the characters well beyond what the script had to offer. The cinematography is great and the many areal shots enriched film with an atmosphere of mystery and even dread. Locations for the film were also carefully chosen and beautifully photographed - there’s a lot of eye candy without CGI on offer.
Unfortunately, it is not enough to have great cast and access to a helicopter to make a good film. STRANGERLAND fails terribly to deliver the goods and the script is to blame. This film has the most infuriating ending I had seen in a long time. Covering an all too familiar territory of a missing person mystery, thriller it is not. STRANGERLAND is a drama, a very slow and frustrating one. With no real goal to reach, it is stumbling along without any sense or purpose. Good acting actually making it worse, as you do feel for the people who lost their children. Interesting characters require some sort of a closure, so do the viewers. I would not complain much, if it was just the mystery that remained unsolved, but with so many loose ends the film belongs rather on a clothing line, than in the movie theatre.
It’s a shame to see so much talent, so much effort going to waste. Come on SCREEEN AUSTRALIA, next time you have 10 million dollars to go to the dogs, donate it to the real ones.