The Actress

In the tradition of "Teorema," "Something for Everyone" and "The Servant," Aussie indie "The Actress" has a stable household invaded by a stranger whose indiscriminate sexuality and questionable motivations wreak havoc. Entertaining no-budget black comedy is a bit bare-bones to travel beyond the fest circuit.

With:
With: Caitlin Higgins, Matt Hardie, Steve McCall, Jodie Passmore, Jane Pyper, Laura Henderson, Renee Formiatti, Renato Fabretti.

In the tradition of “Teorema,” “Something for Everyone” and “The Servant,” Aussie indie “The Actress” has a stable household invaded by a stranger whose indiscriminate sexuality and questionable motivations wreak havoc. Entertaining no-budget black comedy is a bit bare-bones to travel beyond the fest circuit, but should lure programmers of youth-oriented and new-director slots.

A dreary Perth house shelters three twentysomethings united in passivity and social haplessness. Tom (Matt Hardie) is a date-shy supermarket employee; office drone Kevin’s (Steve McCall) love life is confined to his right hand. College student Claire’s (Jodie Passmore) friend storms out at pic’s start, necessitating recruitment of a new housemate. That night, Tom brings home newly met Emma (Caitlin Higgins), an actress visiting from Melbourne. Soon, she’s installed as his girlfriend and a semi-permanent flatmate. But Emma is as tight with rent money as she is loose elsewhere. A smirking seductress, she gets everyone under thumb, then delights in setting them against each other. At a drunken party, tensions explode, with near-fatal consequences. Droll tale is plainly mounted, but perfs, situations and Ash Gibson Grieg’s quirky original score hold attention.

The Actress

Australia

Production: A Quagmire production. Produced by Zak Hilditch, Antony Webb. Directed by Zak Hilditch. Screenplay, Hilditch, Steve McCall.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Antony Webb; editor; Webb; music, Ash Gibson Grieg. Reviewed at Slamdance Film Festival (competing), Jan. 22, 2006. Running time: 91 MIN.

With: With: Caitlin Higgins, Matt Hardie, Steve McCall, Jodie Passmore, Jane Pyper, Laura Henderson, Renee Formiatti, Renato Fabretti.

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