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THE HONOURABLE WALLY NORMAN

Australia, 2003 (MIFF 2003, Australian Showcase)

Director: Ted Emery

A wonderful new Aussie comedy from acclaimed director Ted Emery (Kath & Kim, Fast Forward). Wally Norman, a rural battler, is the foreman of a failing meat­packing plant. He is suddenly and reluctantly thrust into public office when a couple of corrupt local politicians devise a way to deflect attention from mass retrenchments. Fighting his tendency to faint when called upon to make a speech, Wally is up to his ears in bribery, treachery and chicanery before he can kiss his first baby.

The Honourable Wally Norman combines the best aspects of fish-out-of-water comedies, with the infectious good humour of The Full Monty (MIFF 1997). A who's who of Australian comedy people the cast including Shaun Micallef as a deliciously reptilian Local Member and Greig Pickhaver (a.k.a. H.G. Nelson) as a blustering bureaucrat. Kevin Harrington (The Dish, australian rules, MIFF 2002) is goofily perfect as Wally.

Emery's film mercilessly pokes fun at parliamentary process and highlights the plight of rural Australia while retaining a touching humanist core. Wally Norman may not be the best man to represent the bush in Canberra but you're guaranteed laughs in abundance while comparing him to the no-hopers who already do.

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