8:00 PM, 28th August, 2004
Angelo (Ribisi) and his younger brother Gino (Garcia) are Italian immigrants living in Australia in the '50s. Their parents are dead and they only have each other as family. To show respect for his older brother, Gino tells his serious girlfriend, Connie (De Santis), that he can't get married until his older brother does. Unfortunately Gino is handsome, charming and confident - attributes Angelo doesn't share. Another problem facing Angelo is that Italian men outnumber the women five to one, so he is forced to send a letter to Italy to find a wife. Unfortunately his luck is no better with the women in Italy.
But when Angelo is encouraged to woo young, beautiful Rosetta (Warner), he writes a letter and when it comes to enclosing a photo, he sends a photo of his brother to ensure he isn't rejected again. What follows isn't mayhem and high jinx, but an intelligent well thought out film that obviously cares for its characters. The cinematography is breathtaking and complements the film incredibly well. The direction is subtle and effective, while the acting is spot on. A very well put together film.
10:03 PM, 28th August, 2004
Gallipoli is Peter Weir's definitive anti-war movie: produced more than 20 years ago, but still relevant today. It tells the story of two Australian guys: Frank, played by a very young (and hunky) Mel Gibson and Archie, played by Mark Lee. Archie grows up on an outback station and becomes a champion runner. At a track and field event, he competes against Frank and they become friends. The movie follows their friendship as they join the First AIF and head to Egypt and then on to Gallipoli.
Peter Weir uses striking visual images to sustain an anti-war message. When you see Archie racing against a rival with the red earth of his property as a backdrop, you can't help but be struck by his youth and potential. And you wonder what will happen to this potential when he gets to Gallipoli.
Mel Gibson plays his part well, but not as well as Mark Lee, who steals the show. It's a pity that Mark Lee did a bit of a Mark Hamill and was never heard of after this movie.
Completely engrossing. Bring tissues.