Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about television and movies to watch this weekend, including the experimental documentary “Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets,” the forlorn romance “Dirt Music” and the quirky Jenny Slate comedy “The Sunlit Night.”
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including feel-good “From the Vine,” the based-on-true-events thriller “Target Number One,” the hybrid barumentary “Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets” and the forlorn romance “Dirt Music.”
It may be possible to gauge your interest in “Dirt Music,” a new film on VOD starring Garrett Hedlund and Kelly Macdonald, by its advertising tagline. “Lose Yourself… Find Yourself… In Love.” That inspirational, Nicholas Sparks-style slogan tells you all you need to know about this movie. Much like the story itself, it’s vague, involves love but what does it really mean?
Stretched over two hours the film sees Macdonald play Georgie Jutland, a former nurse now playing step mother to the two sons of her new boyfriend, crayfish magnate, Jim Buckridge (David Wenham). Life in the tiny Australian fishing port of White Point is uneventful and unhappy until Georgie slips out for a midnight swim. While splashing around in the cleansing waters she meets Luther Fox (Garret Hedlund), a fish poacher plying his illegal trade. It is love at first sight and soon the two begin a passionate affair.
Luther is an enigma, a man with a tragic past. His family gone, he drifts though the world, mourning their loss. He’s a damaged guy who abruptly leaves White Point when it appears Buckridge has discovered the affair with Georgie. He heads north to the remote Coronation Island, looking for solitude and safety. Unable and unwilling to let him go, Georgie, with Buckridge‘s unlikely assistance, embarks on an epic search to find her love.
“Dirt Music” is a story of longing that turns out to be over-long. At a hair over two hours it is a feast for the eyes—the Australian landscape is breathtaking—but the story is as under developed as the film’s terse tagline. Considering the epic nature of Georgie’s search for Luther, these star-crossed lovers spend very little on-screen time together. Certainly not enough for the depth of the connection to be made clear. The result is a bit of a head-scratching exercise in lust and longing. Despite the soaring Australian temperature the pair barely have time to generate the heat needed to make us care when they are torn apart.
The story telling in “Dirt Music” trades in melodrama while Macdonald and Hedlund are playing it straight. She’s an open book, he’s broody whose hobby seems to be staring blankly into the ether. Both are bound by grief but the very thing that connects them feels at odds with the film’s over dramatic edge.