Skip to main content


Australia, 2000 (MIFF 2000, Australian Showcase)

Director: Mark Lamprell

Frances Regina Aileen Nano Kennedy or, more simply, Frank, is a cantankerous, eccentric and sharp-tongued widow in her 50s. A rebellious Catholic, Frank keeps a watchful eye on her 18-year-old son David (Matthew Newton, Looking for Alibrandi). To Frank, this is just being a concerned parent, to David she is an interference who burdens him with wake-up calls in the midst of lusty dreams and drops him off with a cut lunch at college. When David persuades his mother to occupy her time more productively—taking up an adult education course—his plan backfires in a comic catastrophe when Frank winds up studying at the same institution.

Screenwriter and documentary filmmaker Mark Lamprell has drawn together a fine Australian cast and a script imbued with gentle humour for his feature debut. Sam Neill plays against type as a stuffy, batty academic. Professor Mortlock, showing previously underutilised ability for comedy. Sinead Cusack (Stealing Beauty) is outstanding as the strong-willed Frank; with exceptional support from Sacha Horler (Praise, Soft Fruit) and Rose Byrne (Two Hands) as the object of David's desire.

See also...


What ever happened to Gerry Humphrys? This is teh question asked and answered in Nigel Buesst's tribute to a great lost figure in Australian music. Humphrys is best remembered as front man for The ... More »


1960s Australia, not the swinging city, but a dusty fibro amidst scorched grass in the shadow of an oil refinery Lola (Lola Marceli) is an exotic Spanish woman, defiantly serving chorizos in a land ... More »


The Diplomat follows East Timor's freedom fighter and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos Horta in the final tumultuous year of a passionate campaign to secure independence for the country. Allowed ... More »


This youthful Australian comedy sparkles with the wit of the Y generation—too old to be Generation X but still not game enough to quit their jobs at the video library. And that's where Dan ... More »


In an early moment of Better Than Sex hilarity, David Wenham feigns chewing his own arm off. Broaching the subject of sneaking off before the previous night's drunken conquest wakes, Wenham imbues ... More »


City of Dreams tells the fascinating story of an unconventional couple—Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahoney Griffin; visionary American architects, whose imaginative engagement with ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director