It’s New Year’s Eve on a hot summer night in Sydney. Over a transistor radio comes the news nobody thought was possible: nuclear war has broken out in Europe and North America, and bombs have already dropped on US facilities in Australia: everyone is warned to stay where they are. Thus begins a long, long night.
Pic builds inexorably to a truly shattering climax, yet doesn’t rely on special effects or histrionics. Duigan seems to suggest that, in Australia at least, the world will end not with a bang nor exactly a whimper, but with a puzzled question-mark.
It’s a daring approach but overall, and despite some rather strident acting early on, it does work.