Review: ‘Heatwave’

In his first feature film since the widely acclaimed Newsfront [1978] director Phillip Noyce projects Sydney as a cauldron in which hapless individuals are scalded by big business, organized crime, lawyers, police and journalists, working in an unholy alliance.

In his first feature film since the widely acclaimed Newsfront [1978] director Phillip Noyce projects Sydney as a cauldron in which hapless individuals are scalded by big business, organized crime, lawyers, police and journalists, working in an unholy alliance.

Noyce’s chief protagonists are Richard Moir as a visionary young architect who has designed a $100 million residential complex, and Judy Davis as a radical activist in the forefront of the residents’ resistance to its construction.

In part, pic takes on the trappings of the conventional mystery-thriller, pointing to a conspiracy involving the project’s financial backer (Chris Haywood), his oily lawyer (John Gregg), Moir’s boss (Bill Hunter), a journalist (John Meillon), and union official (Dennis Miller).

Davis, a formidable actress, wrestles with her ambiguous and enigmatic character, and does not quite jell. Moir, however, is a strong, sustaining force as the arrogant, moody, idealistic architect.

Heatwave

Australia

Production

Preston Crothers/M & L. Dir Phillip Noyce; Producer Hillary Linstead, Ross Matthews; Screenplay Marc Rosenberg, Phillip Noyce; Camera Vincent Monton; Editor John Scott; Music Cameron Allan Art Dir Ross Major

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1981. Running time: 93 MIN.

With

Judy Davis Richard Moir Chris Haywood Bill Hunter John Gregg Anna Jemison
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