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Australia, 2002 (MIFF 2003, Australian Showcase)

Director: Tony McNamara

Placid (Ben Lee) is an awkward, troubled teen. His school life was marred by bullying and the embarrassing eccentricities of his aging flower-power parents (Miranda Richardson, Blackadder and Garry McDonald, Mother and Son). Free of the bonds of high school, he takes a job at an insurance firm—complete with George W. Bush haircut—to the horror of his family. In his effort of 'turning over a new leaf', Placid wishes to change the nature of his friendship with Gemma (Rose Byrne, Two Hands) from platonic to romantic. Gemma, who has transformed her bedroom into a science lab at the request of her father (Nicholas Hammond), doesn't seem as keen on the idea. Our eponymous hero, however is determined to win her over.

Unashamedly romantic, The Rage in Placid Lake is full of charming and amusing situations—Placid's parents are a constant source of hilarity. Musician Ben Lee brings an off-centre and extremely likable presence to his first screen role and Rose Byrne is utterly beguiling as the shy, tender Gemma.

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