Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
This is the best “the children are missing” films I’ve seen since Nicolas Roeg’s Walkabout to which it bears some similarity.
In both films stunning photography of the remote Australian wilderness plays a palpable role. Strangerland concentrates on the deteriorating relationship between the parents left behind after the children disappear. The parents are played convincingly by Nicole Kidman and Ralph Fiennes.
The town’s police chief (Hugo Weaving) uncovers unpleasant details about their family’s history in an investigation that isn’t helped along by the parents’ grudging participation. He realizes early on that they are hiding something.
Landscape plays a key role in the film. Desert, mountains, and sunrises appear repeatedly to emphasize passing time and the physical and emotional isolation of the characters in this story. A duststorm drenches the small town isolating the characters even more. Kidman’s character unravels before our eyes.
Be warned that this film is not for everybody. It is, however, a skillfully acted and beautifully photographed exploration of a very stressful situation.
Review copyright (c) 2015 by Dennis D. McDonald