In the past month of Sundays, audiences have been treated to a couple of terrific local films. Now a third joins the ranks, A MONTH OF SUNDAYS, starring Anthony LaPaglia and John Clarke, and written and directed by Matthew Saville.
There’s no dearth of diversity nor harking back to brilliant gumtrees in these films, Broke shot in Gladstone, Queensland, Pawno in Footscray, Victoria, and now A MONTH OF SUNDAYS showing the photogenic-osity of Adelaide.
Death, divorce and real estate are cited as the three great stressors of the modern age.
All three are visited on Frank Mollard, an addled Adelaide real estate agent coping with the loss of his mother and the collapse of his marriage.
Mum dies, wife achieves acting fame, son goes with mum and follows in her professional footsteps, and Philip is caught in a mood of lethargy.
Luckily Frank has Philip Lang, a very understanding boss, sympathetic and superlatively supportive.
Then one night, Frank gets a phone call from his mum. Don’t worry, the picture doesn’t descend into woo woo ouija territory. It’s a wrong number but it cuts through and makes a connection in Frank’s no dial tone existence. Frank decides to redial and by connecting to Julia Blake’s Sarah, reconnects with the rest of his life.
Deliciously deadpan and lusciously laconic, La Paglia as Frank and John Clarke as Philip Lang play off each other with adroit drollery.
There is a spectacularly staged sprinkler scene, the calibration of which is comedy choreography at its finest. Laconic laughs re-tickled by reticulated water
The gorgeous Justine Clarke as Frank’s ex, Wendy, plays almost a parody of herself, an actress who becomes a soap superstar in a medical series called Major Surgery, a show that has in joke echoes of the ill fated The Surgeon that starred Clarke and was directed by Matthew Saville.
Kudos too for Gary Sweet for being such a good sport in playing himself as Wendy’s co-star in the soap. On yer, Gaz!!
Nice support too by Kylie Trounson as kindly Dr Kylie Elliot and Donal Forde as Damien, the recalcitrant and suspicious son of Sarah, whose neglectful filial duty is the catalyst of the narrative.
Julia Blakes’ Sarah grows from catalyst to conduit of changing Frank’s flatlining life in the most surprising ways.
Realtors round the country rejoice. A MONTH OF SUNDAYS shows there are property professionals who are not unctuous with the clammy calumny of commissions – some are genuine conduits for home making, not just bricks and mortar mortgage brokers.
Compare and contrast the dark side of the business in the recent American release, 99 Homes.
Matthew Saville cements the film with a fine sentiment but not to the point of sentimentality. MONTH OF SUNDAYS is the REAL estate of local film making – edifying edifice with rooms full of charm, wit and great views.