During a typical New Zealand summer in the 70s, 13 year old Janey (Alicia Fulford-Wierzbicki) and her mum Kate (Sarah Peirse), dad Ed (Alistair Browning) and little brother Jim (Aaron Murphy), retire to their modest seaside cottage for a break. The days are filled with fishing, the nights with parties and flirting. Janey catches glimpses of her own mother flirting with a visiting photographer, Cady (Marton Csokas) and is also aware of cracks in her parents’ relationship, as Ed seems unable to comprehend the changes in his wife. And Janey’s own sexuality is awakened, to tragic results.
I`ve always wondered what a New Zealand `batch` was - and from this film I have an idea..... it`s a getaway house, a little piece of paradise beside the water where the family can get away from it all, that`s how Ed, Alistair Browning describes it. He`s happy there with his wife Kate, Sarah Peirse and his 14 year old daughter Janey, Alicia Fulford-Wierzbicki and son Jim, Aaron Murphy. But it`s clear that Kate is not a happy woman, which is why at one of the many parties with neighbours she responds to Cady, the ubiquitous Marton Csokas, an itinerant yachtie. The problem is, so does Janey who`s discovering her own sexuality. This little gem of a film aims at some insight and truth and it`s helped enormously by the performances of the children. Aaron Murphy is incredibly natural as Jim, Alicia Fulford-Wierzbicki ambivalently sexually confident in the pivotal role of Janey. The details of the film are depicted beautifully - the fishing trips, the ennui of summer holidays looking after a younger brother, the parties, the mornings after, the power plays between mother and daughter. John Toon`s restrained cinematography really adds to this story that`s a painful exploration of family relationships and adolescence.