21 March 2016


Mental 2012
  • Director: P.J. Hogan
  • Based on book: no.
  • Cast: Toni Collette, Anthony LaPlagia, Liev Schreiber, Rebecca Gibney, Nicole Freeman, Chelsea Bennett, Bethany Whitmore, Lily Sullivan, Malorie O’Neill, Kerry Fox
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
    • Toni Collette – Dead Girl, Fright Night, Little Miss Sunshine, In Her Shoes, The Hours, About a Boy, Changing Lanes, Hotel Splendide, The Sixth Sense, Velvet Goldmine, Muriel’s Wedding
    • Anthony LaPlagia – Lantana, The Client
    • Liev Schreibner – The Butler, Every Day, Taking Woodstock, Repo Men, Defiance, Kate and Leopold, Hamlet
    • Kerry Fox –Bright Star, Black and White, Shallow Grave, An Angel at My Table
    • Caroline Goodall – Schindler’s List, Hook
    • Deborah Mailman – Rabbit-Proof Fence
  • Why? Toni Collette
  • Seen:  18 March 2016      

       Another popular film theme. Nannies. This begins with an absurd Sound of Music rendition in an Australian suburb where the neighbours keep their driveway tidy with a toothbrush.
       From the maker of Muriel’s Wedding in which the protagonist is obsessed with ABBA, here we have a daft mum obsessed with The Sound of Music. She has a gang of daughters, each more neurotic than the next and utterly embarrassed by their mother. The whole cast are crazy.
       When mum ends up in a mental hospital the desperate dad, who is running for re-election as mayor and can’t remember his daughters’ names, picks up a hitchhiker who looks like a biker moll and has a murderous dog.  Toni Collette.
       Mary Poppins? Maria von Trapp? Not exactly.
       Actually…exactly. She gives the girls confidence and courage to fight against conformity. The old formula.
       Toni Collette is always excellent, the girls are quirky and make us care about them. There’s darkness and violence and humour. Mary Poppins with a past. Maria von Trapp with a knife and a pit-bull.
       It’s not a feel-good movie. The ending is funny though. Mental. But funny.

3 * of 5

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