Wish You Were Here was absolutely perfect way to kick-off Sundance Film Festival 2012! It’s innovative, well made, beautifully acted and like all the best Sundance films, there’s really no way to explain it to those who haven’t seen it without ruining it. But, I will do my best to tell you about the wonders of Wish You Were Here without destroying any of this amazing film!

Too lazy to read? That’s okay! Watch my video review at the bottom of the post!

The Players:

  • Director: Kieran Darcy-Smith
  • Writer: Kieran Darcy-Smith and Felicity Price
  • Actor: Joel Edgerton, Teresa Palmer, Felicity Price, Antony Starr
  • Producer: Angie Fielder
  • Cinematographer: Jules O’Loughlin

The Good:

  • Cinematography: There is something about Australian films that have a raw, colorful, emotionally layered look to them that is perfect for indie films. Whether it’s the natural setting around them that gives them the inspiration or something in the water, this film was the perfect balance between beautiful art house and studio filmmaking — it looks great, without being overly clean, and has depth and intrigue that’s easy to watch and perfect for the story.
  • Writing Against the Cliches/ Surprises: Though there are a few moments that could be seen as cliched, but the way that the actors respond and the way that they reveal those moments are so new and innovative that it really gives a fresh perspectives to many old ideas.
  • Acting: Joel Edgarton continues to impress with film after film, and his performance in this work just shows yet another layer of his talent. Felicity Price gives a truly stunning performance and is able to capture the heart and destructive nature of her character in powerful yet small moments and reactions.
  • Directing: From working with child actors to the locations, to the beautiful subtitles in the relationships and complex time-line, Keiran has proved what a force he is as a director. This film had a lot of different aspects to it, and without much effort (that could be seen by the audience) was able to bring them all together beautifully.
  • No Superfluous Information: Everything adds up to something, there’s no extra information in this film. The mundane tasks and the small moments that at first confuse and possibly leave you thinking not much is happening, all add up to one huge finale that makes the entire journey well worth it.

The Bad:

  • Slow Start/Chops to Come: There were a few montages towards the start of the film that could be shut down.
  • Teresa Palmer’s Character: Would have liked to understand her dynamic with her sister a touch more and see her story answered just a touch more.

The Overall:

This is a hard film to advertise and the film may have some trouble making its way out into the world because of that. But something tells me, that with time and buzz, this will be one of those films that will sneak into theaters, stay there for a long time and finally end up with a number of awards to show for it.

Rating: 8.5/10 (unlike what I said in the video below)