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:: The Monkey's Mask

Based on a bestseller by Dorothy Porter written entirely in verse, The Monkey’s Mask is the second film for Australian Film Television and Radio School graduate, Samantha Lang. Susie Porter (Better Than Sex) stars as an ex cop turned private investigator who is searching for a missing girl, a poetry student, played by Abbie Cornish. She meets and falls in love with her poetry lecturer, Kelly McGillis (Witness), who knows more than she is telling.

The lesbian love scenes, of which there are many, are bound to get the audience in, but as far as whodunit’s go, it’s fairly disappointing. Porter’s character, Jill, does little investigating, and what clues she does get fall into her lap (no pun intended). There is very little real threat to anyone and the suspense fades fairly quickly. What holds it together though is the refreshing appeal of seeing two realistic and sexy women who can actually act on the big screen. Kelly McGillis particularly provides a welcome reprieve from the perfectly plastic faces of ‘older’ actresses, without having to be anybody’s mother or to relinquish her sexuality.

Samantha Lang’s direction has eschewed the coldness of her previous film The Well, and she shows Sydney in all its glittering glory. Unfortunately the missing girl was a bad poet and most of the poetry we hear in the film is hers, so be prepared.

Screening at the George Cinemas and Cinema Nova