Search - Jindabyne on DVD

Actors: Laura Linney, Gabriel Byrne, John Howard, Stelios Yiakmis, Simon Stone
Director: Ray Lawrence
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
R     2007     2hr 3min

Stewart Kane, an Irishman living in the Australian town of Jindabyne, is on a fishing trip in isolated hill country with three other men when they discover the body of a murdered girl in the river. Rather than return to th...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Laura Linney, Gabriel Byrne, John Howard, Stelios Yiakmis, Simon Stone
Director: Ray Lawrence
Creators: David Williamson, Catherine Jarman, Garry Charny, Philippa Bateman, Tony Tvrdeich, Beatrix Christian, Raymond Carver
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Love & Romance
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 10/02/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/2006
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2006
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 2hr 3min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: French, Spanish

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Member Movie Reviews

Reviewed on 2/4/2010...
Very exciting story involving ethics, human decisions and how they affect the people you know and love. Also, the prejudices of whites vs Aboriginal people in Australia.

I really enjoyed this movie! I had not heard much about it, but I'm glad I took a chance.
I believe Laura Linney won a supporting actress award for her performance.

Movie Reviews

A Murder and Its Implications for a Town's Families
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 10/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"JINDABYNE is a disturbing, somber little film from Australia - a film with profound observations about ethics, racism, the fragility of marriage, the vulnerability of children's minds, and the desperate need for respect for beliefs and peoples outside the mainstream. Beatrix Christian adapted the screenplay from one of Raymond Carver's brilliant short stories, 'So Much Water So Close to Home': it has been said that Carver had 'the ability to render graceful prose from dreary, commonplace, scrapping-the-bottom human misery' and this story embodies all of those traits. As directed by Ray Lawrence with a cast of excellent actors, JINDABYNE will likely become a classic movie - if enough people will take the time and commitment to see it.

In a small town called Jindabyne in Australia a group of four men depart their families for a fishing trip: Stewart Kane (Gabriel Byrne), Carl (John Howard), Rocco (Stelios Yiakmis) and Billy (Simon Stone). While fly fishing in the back country, Stewart discovers the nude, murdered body of a dead Aboriginal girl Susan (Tatea Reilly) floating in the water, calls his buddies to witness the ugly act, and together they decide to wait until their fishing trip is over before reporting it.

When the men return home, concerned and embarrassed about their actions as they report to the police, the town is outraged at their thoughtless behavior. Yet more outraged are the wives of the men - Carl's wife Jude (Deborra-Lee Furness), Rocco's mate Carmel (Leah Purcell), Billy's 'wife' Elissa (Alice Garner) and, most of all, Stewart's wife Claire (Laura Linney) - a woman with a history of mental instability for whom her husband's insensitivity becomes intolerable. Claire sets out to 'right' things with the Aboriginal tribe who are devastated at the murder and the disregard for another human being's life that the fishermen have demonstrated. The town and the families (including children) are fractured by the deed - and the strange aspect is that no one appears concerned to discover the murderer, the greater 'crime' has been against human decency. In a powerfully moving final memorial for the dead girl every one is forced to face the dirty aspects of the recent events and come to a degree of understanding and acceptance.

Filmed in the beauty of the Australian countryside with camera technique that feels intimate and almost spying in nature, the story unfolds so naturally that the audience is made to feel a part of the dilemma at hand. The acting is first rate: Laura Linney once again proves she is one of our finest actresses, and Gabriel Byrne makes his odd character wholly believable. The supporting cast (especially the women) is outstanding. This is a sleeper of a film that deserves a wide audience, an audience ready to commit to thinking and reacting to an act and subsequent public response that, while difficult to swallow, is essential information if we are to exist in the society we have created. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, October 07"
A haunting vision of human culpability . . .
Ronald Scheer | Los Angeles | 12/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This disturbing domestic drama takes a situation from a Raymond Carver story (already adapted for Robert Altman's film "Short Cuts") and dramatizes it in a far more unsettling way than Carver or Altman did. Four men in a small town in Australia get away from the women in their lives for a while by going on a fishing trip. When they get where they're going, they discover the body of a murdered woman but choose to put off notifying any authorities until they've finished what they came for - fishing. This insensitivity is the cause of an emotional upheaval that in the original story alienates one of the wives from her husband. In this film, the ramifications are much broader, disturbing the entire community and, because the victim is an aboriginal, triggering the outrage of her family and tribe.

To what extent the men's failure to act is racist or simply chauvinistic, it's difficult to say, since they are unclear themselves about what they've done. It seems to represent a general indifference that all of the characters feel toward one another - often irritable and impatient with each other, nurturing unvoiced grievances against the world and their lot in life. From the beginning, an ominous edgy pall hangs over the scenes like the mists in the surrounding mountains, while a town, we are told, lies drowned under a man-made lake. The smoky aboriginal rituals that eventually mark the end are described as a long-overdue form of purification. It's a haunting film, made especially powerful by the performance of Laura Linney as the central character, isolated emotionally from her husband and from the community, both whites and aboriginals.

Shot mostly in available light with little rehearsal (as we learn from the DVD's accompanying making-of featurette), scenes have a kinetic, spontaneous quality that with the editing make the film ready at every turn to become darker and more tragic. At two hours, it offers a haunting journey across an emotional landscape that is reflected in the imagery of fields, lakes, and mountains that provide the setting. Downbeat in its overall portrayal of human indifference to the welfare of others and the shunning of culpability, its closing scenes of resolution aren't completely persuasive, and meanwhile the murderer is still at large. Five stars for a troubling film with the courage of its convictions. Also recommended: "Somersault," another Australian film set in a similar moral universe."
Needed To Peak Its Head Above The Murky Waters
B. Merritt | WWW.FILMREVIEWSTEW.COM, Pacific Grove, California | 04/19/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Stewart Kane (Gabriel Byrne, Vanity Fair) heads out with his local Jindabyne, Australia fishing buddies for a weekend of rest, recreation, and relaxation. But when Stewart discovers an aboriginal woman's body floating face-down in a river, things appear to have turned out for the worst. The largest casualty of the weekend is the men's commonsense. They don't hike out of the ravine, and instead finish their fishing weekend with some great catches. Then they head out and report the body.

The town and the men's lives quickly turn into a mess. The local media swarms them, and accusations of aboriginal prejudices rear up from the local natives. Stewart's wife Claire (Laura Linney, The Exorcism of Emily Rose) senses the deeper meanings of what her husband and his friends did, but has to battle with it through her own mental illness.

Amidst all this chaos is the life that was this young woman who is now a media spectacle, splayed out on a morgue slab. Her murder and subsequent dumping into the water are symbolic of what lay beneath the town of Jindabyne: a division of men and women, black and white, social and outcast.

The only other people who seem to understand some of what is going on are two young kids: Stewart and Claire's son who is being led around by a half-breed Aussie who's mother was killed also just a few years before. The young girl lives with her grandparents and is trying to let go of her mother the best way she can, and the discovery of a new body seems -- strangely enough -- a method in which to accomplish this (again, the underlying current of Jindabyne is surmised).

Everything and everyone in this Jindabyne township feels what lurks beneath its surface, yet none of them are willing to dive into the murky waters and take a look around (the symbolism here is seen when a nearby lake that is used for recreation and swimming is said to contain the old town of Jindabyne under its surface). None, that is, until Claire forces them to.

The movie is interesting if a bit too convoluted. There are far too many storylines that needed exploring and it just doesn't get done; too many loose threads. The acting was okay, but the filming was terrible. Wobbly cameras, grainy or dark shots, and just a generalized sloppiness hurt the overall production.

I enjoy symbolic films, Northfork being one of my all-time favorites in that vein. But Jindabyne needed to peak its head above the turbid water so that it could see its own problems, which simply didn't happen."