In heartfelt drama/comedy “June Again”, a twist of fate gives family matriarch June a reprieve from vascular dementia. Much to the amazement of her adult children, Ginny and Devon, June re-enters their lives only to learn that 'things haven’t gone according to plan'. With limited time June decides that it’s up to her to get this wayward family back on track. When her meddling backfires, June sets out on a journey of her own and soon discovers she needs help from the very people she was trying to rescue. The film stars Noni Hazlehurst (June), Claudia Karvan (Ginny) and Stephen Curry (Devon). It is not a film about dementia, but relationships, mainly family.
The group generally liked the film but did not find it the best film of the year. The performances were good, showcasing some of Australia’s talent. The title for the film did not do it justice, and perhaps resulted in lower attendances. It sounded more like a “Groundhog Day” film.
All the main characters developed during the film. June, as the matriarch, learnt how her overbearing approach to her children stifled their dreams. Ginny and Devon both learnt the value of talking to move forward in life. The film showed some promise but did not deliver. It did avoid getting “super mushy” but did not have as much humour as expected. One aspect that has become apparent to me is the use of facial expressions, and Noni Hazlehurst’s performance showed her skill in depicting her character using facial expressions. When suffering from dementia, she has a blank look, but when out with her children her face is more open and vibrant.
Overall, this was a watchable film, but we rated it only as 2.5/3 out of 5.
Two of the class had also seen “Cruella”, a live-action prequel film following a young Cruella de Vil. Before she becomes Cruella de Vil, teenaged Estella has a dream. She wishes to become a fashion designer, having been gifted with talent, innovation, and ambition all in equal measures. It stared Emma Stone as Estella/Cruella and Emma Thompson as the Baroness, a high-class fashion designer. The film shows how Estella’s character develops into Cruella, based on her relationship with the Baroness.
The performances by the “two Emma’s” were excellent, again showing how talented actors can use facial expressions to show character and emotion. Emma Stone’s facial expressions were totally different depending on whether she was Estella or Cruella at the time. Costumes were interesting and in some cases spectacular. Overall we rated the film as 3.5/4 out of 5.
Our film for the August class discussion is “From the Vine”, screening at BPACC from 29 July.