Beautiful Kate (2009)

Beautiful Kate (2009)

Ben MendelsohnSophie LoweMaeve DermodyRachel Griffiths
Rachel Ward


Beautiful Kate (2009) is a English movie. Rachel Ward has directed this movie. Ben Mendelsohn,Sophie Lowe,Maeve Dermody,Rachel Griffiths are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2009. Beautiful Kate (2009) is considered one of the best Drama,Mystery movie in India and around the world.

A writer, Ned Kendall, is asked to return to the family home by his sister Sally, to say goodbye to his father who is dying. The family home is in a very remote and isolated area. While back home, Ned starts having memories of his beautiful twin sister and himself when they were children. These memories awaken long-buried secrets of brother/sister sex from the family's past.


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Beautiful Kate (2009) Reviews

  • Excruciatingly good


    I saw this film over a week ago, and it still stays with me, almost haunts me. Tex Perkins' soundtrack was perfect, and like the images, will hang around you for days, perhaps weeks. The subject matter is not pretty, and may be confronting to many, but in my experience it is not terribly unusual or unexpected, given the remoteness of the family farm. Accolades must go to the cast - Ben Mendelsohn, Bryan Brown, Rachel Griffiths (deliberately dowdy in this)and the amazing Sophie Lowe as Kate. The Flinders Ranges in South Australia also has a major role, and performs well - beautiful, remote, dangerous and overwhelming, a bit like the underlying secret which gets addressed during the course of the film. This is the story of a family secret, hidden (but not forgotten) for 20 years, and the final revelations are stark and shocking. The cinematography and editing are truly inspiring, and I was thrilled to see such a fine piece of film-making. Top credit however must go to Rachel Ward - Director, writer (adapted from the novel)- as this is her movie, and she deserves every one of the awards that this movie is sure to receive. As a piece of art - which it is - this film will move you, even if it makes your skin crawl, or you find yourself wriggling in your seat. For the experience alone, this film is worth seeing.

  • A fabulous Australian film!


    Beautiful Kate is a beautiful movie albeit a difficult, challenging movie but one that will remain with you long after leaving the theatre. Diane and I saw this film yesterday at SX Luna and as we waited to enter a lady exited and said she did not like anything in the film and we thought she had seen another film. Now I realise what she meant although I would vehemently disagree with her. Beautiful Kate takes place in a 30s house on a small farm with South Australia's Flinders Ranges as a backdrop: it is kind of dilapidated, very dry and probably hugely depressing to people coming from more salubrious surrounds. Bryan Brown who plays a pivotal role has been made-up perfectly to fit his part as the father of his family that must live out the mental re-enactment of long past deeds. I mention Brown because his appearance (a wonderful tribute to the makeup artist's skill) is, to me at least a metaphor for the lives of the children gathered at their families' farm. This film is raw; the title may have given the woman who so disliked it the wrong idea of its substance because the movie is exactly opposite of beautiful. Personally I thought Rachel Ward, director and writer, examined the emotions of the players brilliantly. I cannot speak highly enough about this film. We have developed a movie genre that is unique to Australia and conveys ranges of nuanced emotion that can only be dreamed about in other countries. Hollywood came close with The Last Picture Show but that was almost 50 years ago and they seem not to want to return to the genre. Make every attempt to see this movie but be aware when you walk in that the vehicle is not fancy.

  • a bleak but ultimately haunting and well made drama


    Beautiful Kate is another local film to delve into a bleak and dysfunctional world, but at least this one has some impressive credentials on both sides of the camera that will potentially help it pull in a larger audience. Beautiful Kate has been adapted by Rachel Ward from Newton (Cutter's Way) Thornburg's novel, which was in the tradition of the sort of Gothic southern fiction that gave us tales like Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte, etc. Ward has successfully transplanted Thornburg's essentially American novel to the isolated Australian bush, while retaining its powerful themes. Beautiful Kate is also like transplanting a Tennessee Williams to rural Australia. It has all the usual ingredients – the dying patriarch, the dysfunctional family, the prodigal son returning home, incest, rancid secrets revealed, ancient wounds picked over until they are raw and bleeding. And then there is a final catharsis that allows for closure and the family to move on. At the request of his sister Sally (Rachel Griffiths), author Ned Kendall (Ben Mendelsohn) returns to his drought-ravaged family farm after a twenty year absence to visit his dying father. He hasn't seen his estranged father since he left home following the tragic death of his twin sister in a car crash and the subsequent suicide of his brother. He brings with him his latest girlfriend Toni (Maeve Dermody), a city bred girl who quickly tires of the boring routine of life on the farm. And when she learns of some of the Kendall family's dark secrets she flees in disgust. Ned's return brings a lot of simmering resentments, guilt and unresolved issues to the surface. Ward honed her skills on a number of short films, including the powerful AFI award winning The Big House, and she handles her debut feature superbly. The film is nicely layered and textured, and Ward reveals the tawdry secrets and painful back story in a series of extended flashbacks. She draws excellent performances from her small but solid cast. Mendelsohn finds his meatiest role for quite sometime and he rises to the occasion with a rich, complex and quite raw performance as the son consumed by guilt. Bryan Brown is good as belligerent patriarch, a once proud man struck down and left embittered and crippled by tragedy and debilitating congenital heart disease. The scenes these two share are quite powerful and provide plenty of fire works. Dermody makes the most of her role, while Griffiths is effective in her few scenes as the long-suffering and stoic Sally. Newcomer Sophie Lowe (also in Anna Kokkinos' upcoming family drama Blessed) is very good as the sexy and beguiling adolescent Kate. Cinematographer Andrew Commis has shot the film in widescreen, and he captures some quite evocative images of the beautiful Flinders Ranges locations. The run down farm, a far cry from the bustling place of their childhood, is hauntingly symbolic of the father's failings and of the slow destruction of the family.

  • A challenging and masterful Australian gem.


    I found this film started out as an "Australiana-ploitation" however, once through the awkward opening 10 minutes, opened up into a fascinating yet challenging film. The production values are amazing, especially the cinematography, editing and score (Tex Perkins Et el). Ben Mendelson and Brian Brown are excellent as the bitter and twisted Son/Father. The film reveals itself through a series of memory flashbacks juxtaposed against the present day and works really well. The film will challenge you and may repulse viewers to the point of disengaging from the film. Doing this would really be a disservice, as untimely it subtly deals with the secrets and lies around dysfunctional family units with themes of denial, guilt and absolution. Like any great film, you'll be thinking about this one long after the credits role. Recommended, especially for lovers of raw Australian cinema.

  • Always on their minds


    Director/screenwriter, Rachel Ward has created a very moving experience in Beautiful Kate. It's a story of a dysfunctional bush family, set in the dry but magnificent country around South Australia's Flinders Ranges. Ward's husband Bryan Brown doubles as producer and actor. The death of his wife left Bruce Kendall to bring up their young children, two boys and two girls. His macho, tough approach to parenting brought nothing but disaster. A explosive mixture of adolescent sexual awakening and outback isolation was compounded by his choice of home schooling through School of the Air. The young twins Ned (Scott O'Donnell)and Kate (Sophie Lowe) were especially close. When Bruce is dying, forty-year-old Ned (Ben Mendelsohn) returns to their property with his feisty girlfriend Toni (Maeve Dermody). Writer Ned starts to record his memories as a way of burying his ghosts or closet skeletons. When his sister leaves him as carer for several days, all the old wounds are reopened. The film is a journey towards the ubiquitous closure cliché. Bruce and Ned would find much more colourful synonyms for an ending, happy or otherwise. This is a remarkably talented cast. Brown gives one of his most convincing performances and Mendelsohn impresses throughout. Rachel Griffiths as youngest sibling Sally is rock solid. Lowe does a fine job steering clear of the potential overkill inherent in her very difficult role. Dermody's scenes with Brown leave us with the certainty that there is much more depth to her character than we meet on the surface. Scott O'Donnell is a capable actor though he lacks the cheekiness and charisma of either the young or mature Mendelsohn. The father/son confrontations are classics. Wall-flies would no doubt have enjoyed the rehearsals and off-screen banter. Rachel brings out the best and worst in both of them. Kate is a well paced and structured narrative using unfolding flashbacks very effectively. Despite its themes, it is not a dark or brooding film of the kind that has been criticised lately. At one stage the older Ned cries out, "I'm still here!" in despair. As he drives back to the big smoke, these words herald a new opening. Her feature film debut as director is a triumph for Rachel Ward. Cinema Takes


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