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...


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 »


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 »


Profits of Punishments is a documentary that takes the viewer on a bizarre road-trip through the US heartland, offering a unique insight into the style and manner in which correctional facilities ... More »


Paul Morris is your average struggling family man battling bills, daily squabbles and the multitude of problems faced in raising kids. Pressure at work doesn't help... especially when, like Paul ... More »


Parking Infringement Notification System or Pricks In Nerdy Suits: these are the two possible explanations offered for the acronym of the title by director Garth Davis. His profile of three Melbourne ... More »


Australian painter John Perceval is renowned for protecting his privacy. This documentary is a rare look at his life and work seen through the cinema vérité camera of David Blackwell (father of one ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director