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Jill Fitzpatrick - Susie Porter - is lured from her mountain retreat back to the city to investigate the disappearance of university student Mickey - Abbie Cornish. Mickey was a budding poet, she moved in academic poetic circles but not necessarily in an academic or poetic way. When her body is found at the bottom of her parents` garden, Jill feels her assignment is over , but Mickey`s parents want answers. Jill`s sleuthing leads her to lecturer Diana - Kelly McGillis - to whom she`s mightily attracted and with whom she becomes involved. It`s notable that Diana`s husband - Marton Csokas - doesn`t seem to give a damn.......Within a very short time of this film beginning I became excited at the filmmaking talents of Samantha Lang. Her visual flair, her assurance, her fluidity are remarkable. The Monkey`s Mask is based on Dorothy Porter`s poem novel and it was always going to be quite a task achieving the success of the book in film. But to a marked degree Lang achieves this, she`s only let down by the final denouement. I loved the innovative Sydney locations, I loved the mood created and the play on genre. Susie Porter has something beautifully stoic and pragmatic about her in the film and Kelly McGillis is suitably sensual and assured as Diana. For me this was a mightily satisfying film.Comments From David StrattonSamantha Lang`s excellent first film, The Well, dealt with a relationship between two women with a large age-gap between them; so does The Monkey`s Mask, but much more explicitly. I don`t know the verse book on which it`s based, but the poetry has sensibly been junked in favour of a reasonably direct narrative. The film`s well acted and directed, with great use of the Scope screen, and for an hour or so it`s really exciting. But it doesn`t stay the distance, because the whodunit element is rather unsatisfying, the suspects too superficially depicted. Still, a bold and often exciting film.

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MA15+
1 hour 33 min

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