- rated - Tepid
This is the review I wrote when I saw Radiance at the 1998 Sydney Film
Festival in June....
"This film is anchored by three brilliant performances: Rachael Maza,
Trisha Morton Thomas and Deborah Mailman give us excellent portraits of
three Aboriginal women, and with not a stereotype in sight. Deborah
Mailman's Nona is exuberant and fresh, and I nominate hers for the best
smile on current film - overtaking the last title-holder, Toni Colette.
Rachael Maza is elegant and cool as Cressy, but finally it is Trisha
Morton Thomas' performance which astonishes.
The film is well-directed, looks great, and is a great advance in
Aboriginal cinema. But I do have a major problem with the script. I
think it has too many gimmicks (Radiance nougat for heavens sake? That
black hat!). And I think is has a big sag in the middle of Act 2. The
form itself is a bit of a cliché: the idea of 3 siblings
returning for a parent's death or illness and confronting each other,
themselves and their pasts is an idea we have seen done many times
before. But this time the fact that the 3 are modern Aboriginal women
does give the idea some pep and a few new angles.
The director changed the ending of Louis Nowra's play for the film, and
I agree with her decision. Rachel Perkins knows what she is doing, and
she does it very well. The ending is delicious, and just right for now.
We need that kind of an ending right now."
I still have the same view now.