Having had her handbag snatched near Sydney’s Harbour Bridge, a hysterical and angry Tia (Olivia Pigeot) runs into Bobby (Teo Gebert), who has just run random breath test unit. The chance meeting leads to frantic casual sex and the start of a destructive relationship. Bobby lives in a car, having left his wife, and Tia tells him straight out that she’s married. When Tia runs into childhood friend Phaedra (Susan Prior), they renew their friendship but Phaedra’s vulnerable life, in the wake of her boyfriend’s heroin overdose, is shaken by Tia’s crash-and-burn lifestyle. Phaedra is dragged into this world of denial and denials, but it is her strength and natural compassion that gradually infect the other two as they confront the demons chasing them.
 

4
Three disaffected characters all dealing with their own grief meet by chance on the streets.

Former Kiwi director Paul Middleditch has firmly established himself in the Oz commercials and film scene. After the austere Terra Nova what is in store for us with A Cold Summer? Bobby, Teo Gebert and Tia, Olivia Pigeot, meet by accident one morning. They\'re both running from something and it seems in retrospect to be themselves. They make wild passionate love, but it doesn\'t seem to be enough for either of them. And then Tia runs into an old friend Phaedra, Susan Prior, who\'s retreated from life after the death of her lover. The relationship between Phaedra and Tia is a combination of admiration, hubris, envy and bravado. Tia\'s relationship with Bobby seems to have many of the same components. The narrative of this film is made up of moments, moments of painful experiences often based on the lies each of the protagonists spin to protect their lives. But what emerges is a compelling veracity, based on terrific performances from the three leads and supported by a peripheral cast. What struck me about this film, very much like the experience of The Finished People, was the honesty with which it was made. Paul Middleditch is a filmmaker of integrity, visually he\'s gone for urban grit with the help of cinematographer Steve Arnold. But what soars above everything in this film is that something real, despite the surreal nature of the characters, is touched on and communicated. When I first saw this film I thought it was unlikely that it would reach audiences, on second viewing I really feel that it must.