Gugu Mbatha-Raw stars in director Amma Asante's period drama, which is based on the true story of Georgian Britain's first mixed-race aristocrat, Dido Belle.
On Film4: 23 Jan 9:00PM
A young woman tries to escape her mundane life in smalltown Australia with help from her free-spirited friend, a marriage of convenience and lots of ABBA.
Collette plays Muriel, a fat, awkward, sensitive dag. Living in provincial Porpoise Spit with a slug of a father, downtrodden mother and intolerable siblings, she's the butt of even her friends' jokes. Like the rest of the girls, Muriel's recurring dream is to get hitched, but hers is a fantasy of acceptance, not romance.
On a cocktail and karaoke holiday she meets fellow spirit Griffiths who persuades Muriel to escape her hellish home life and move to Sydney. Things begin to look up when a South African dreamboat proposes, even if it's just to get a passport.
Another kooky Australian movie this may be, but director Hogan and his cast sustain a strange melancholic undercurrent while Collette's portrayal of emotional enlightenment and the film's vicious observations of backwater life help lift it above mere kitsch comedy romance.
Camp as Kylie, but also thought-provoking and touching, this is a quality piece of filmmaking
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