This one is the winner. It's brilliant. Best of the day by far and away, and the one I most wanted to see.
Given that it was cheap Tuesday, I lined up my choices so I could go to three in succession. This was the third, and I'm glad it was the last because I want to keep thinking it over in my mind.
This is probably the one you don't know. It's an Australian film, set in rural Queensland, where William McInnes' character is a lonely widowed farmer, just him and his blue cattle dog Elvis, for reasons that become clearer later on. Stumbling onto his property one day is an Afghani woman who has run away from enslavement in a brothel, and he chooses to hide her rather than give her up to the authorities or the men who come seeking her.
It's a thriller and a love story and although it's a reworking of a Dutch film (The Polish Bride) it feels very Australian in its landscape and light, its use of silences, its sensibility. If you've seen SeaChange, you know how William McInnes can convey character with little dialogue. The Dutch actress Monic Hendrikx is great, too.
Memo to Australia's filmmakers: if you make films like this, I WILL go and see them. So much 'Australian film' in the last few years has been dross or daft or dark or just not engaging. This is a story worth telling, well told, and it deserves to find an audience. (At the start, there are so many funding sources, it's a credit to the producers that they were able to gather all this support and finance and make it work.)
Wonderful stuff. If it's on at a cinema near you, don't miss it.
The other really good film I've seen recently was The Painted Veil, and I'd recommend it too. But Unfinished Sky is my best of the year so far.
Read a review and see the trailer and some clips here.
The film's official website is here.
Here's the trailer on YouTube.