A struggling Sydney poet attempts to connect with her distant father in uneven Aussie dramedy “Being Venice.” Buoyed by witty observations of human foibles and classy visuals by lenser Bonnie Elliott, but failing to muster much emotional heft, the pic reps a mixed feature bow for writer-helmer Miro Bilbrough. Indicators point to a modest future in local arthouses following the pic’s world preem at the Sydney fest.

Exploring similar themes to those addressed in her outstanding 50-minute drama, “Floodhouse,” Bilbrough focuses on Venice Ford (Alice McConnell), a thirtysomething art gallery employee who scribbles scraps of poetry on Post-It notes. Recently dumped by her b.f. and engaged in a reckless affair with Lenny (Simon Stone), a selfish student with a pregnant girlfriend, Venice is visited for the first time in ages by her father, Arthur (Garry McDonald), an ex-hippie with whom she has never exchanged meaningful dialogue. Some of Lenny’s quips and Venice’s droll comments on relationships are amusing, but pivotal scenes in which father and daughter finally confront painful truths are torpedoed by awkward scripting and uncertain thesping by McDonald, a respected comic performer miscast here.

Being Venice


  • Production: A Curious Film release of a Screen Australia, Dragonet Films, Firesign presentation of a Dragonet Films, Firesign production in association with Screen NSW. (International sales: Wide Management, Paris.) Produced by Karen Radzyner, Michael Wrenn. Directed, written by Miro Bilbrough.
  • Crew: Camera (color, HD), Bonnie Elliott; editor, Adrian Rostirolla; music, Andrew Lancaster, David McCormack; production designer, Alexander Holmes; costume designer, Terri Kibbler. Reviewed at Sydney Film Festival, June 17, 2012. Running time: 89 MIN.
  • With: With: Alice McConnell, Garry McDonald, Simon Stone, Katie Wall.