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DOING TIME FOR PATSY CLINE

Australia, 1997 (MIFF 1997, Australian)

Director: Chris Kennedy

Chris Kennedy juggles comedy, drama and sentiment with aplomb in his third feature; Ralph, a sweet natured, and exceptionally naive young man from the bush is determined to make his mark on the Nashville Country & West­ern scene, but instead winds up in prison because he fell for a girl called Patsy.

Leaving his parents' out back property and hitching a ride to Sydney, Ralph falls foul of the charming and roguish Boyd, a Errol Flynn lookalike driving a stolen Jaguar. He is besotted by Boyd's gorgeous companion who tells him she was named after Country music legend Patsy Cline. Of course, the hapless Ralph ends up tak­ing the auto theft rap. Patsy manages to get away, while Ralph and Boyd are held in a small­town lockup. The police are in no hurry to lay charges; Ralph's dreams are in ruins, until luck intervenes...

Top-notch cameos and Peter Best's lilting score are real pluses, and Otto's singing voice merits centre stage at the Grand Ole Opry. But Doing Time for Patsy Cline has worked its magic long before we get to Nashville. Eminently entertaining and cleverly constructed, Kennedy's endearing film is certain to charm MIFF audiences.

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