Look Both Ways (PG)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner23/08/2006

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 100 mins

Engaging, sharply written and frequently moving drama with strong performances and impressive direction from animator Sarah Watt.

What's it all about?
Directed by Australian animator Sarah Watt, Look Both Ways stars Justine Clarke as sympathy card illustrator Meryl, who's constantly imagining a horrific disaster of some kind (in animated form) wherever she goes. After witnessing a fatal train accident, she begins a relationship with handsome photographer Nick (William McInnes, Watt's real-life partner), who has just been diagnosed with cancer.

Meanwhile, Nick's colleague Andy (Anthony Hayes) finds out that his ex-girlfriend (Lisa Flanagan) is pregnant, whilst Nick's editor Phil (Andrew S Gilbert) feels his connection with his family slipping away from him. Other characters include the train driver (Andreas Sobik) and the accident victim's young widow (Daniella Farinacci), who finds herself the subject of unwanted media attention after Phil puts her on the front page of the paper.

The Good
Look Both Ways frequently recalls P.T Anderson's Magnolia, what with its multiple characters and its inventive use of music and montage. It's also extremely well edited and the various fantasy sequences are cleverly tailored to each character eg. Meryl imagines things as moving illustrations, Nick sees things in photo montages etc.

The performances are excellent – these are real people that you genuinely care about. Similarly, for all the focus on death and illness, it's a remarkably hopeful, human film and the thoughtful, frequently moving script contains several moments of wry humour.

The Great
There are several excellent scenes and Watt achieves remarkably powerful moments with minimal dialogue (the film's climax, for example, is beautifully handled). She also keeps firm control over the tone of the film, ensuring that its emotionally intense subject matter never becomes overbearing.

Worth seeing?
In short, this is a thoroughly engaging, warm-hearted and frequently moving drama that marks Watt out as a talent to watch and deserves to find as big an audience as possible. Highly recommended.

Film Trailer

Look Both Ways (PG)
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Content updated: 12/12/2017 15:45

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