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:: Surviving Georgia

With the releases of Face To Face and Red Dog, this year has really proved to be one of the best years for Australian film for a long, long time. Now comes Surviving Georgia, a film that shows that the Victorian indie filmmaking circuit is also alive and well. Like the previously mentioned films Surviving Georgia is another Australian film that certainly shouldn’t be missed.

Filmed in St Kilda and Warbuton Surviving Georgia tells the story of two sisters, Heidi (Pia Miranda) and Rose (Holly Valance) who were abandoned by their mother, Georgia (Caroline O’Connor) as teenagers. Since, then Heidi has been making ends meet working in a glass factory while Rose has been bringing up her son, Albie (Toby Wallace). When their mother’s lawyer, Frank (Andrew Martin) tells them that their mother has died and left them a Milk Bar they travel back to ‘the mountain’ where they start to uncover secrets while also discovering romance. Rose catches the eye of local copper Johnnie O’Rourke (Shane Jacobson) while Heidi is pursued by her boss, James (Spencer McLaren).

Hollywood could stand to learn a thing or two from screenwriter, Sandra Sciberras’ screenplay for Surviving Georgia. She really knows how to write a romantic drama, her characters are truly believable (certainly not one dimensional like most Hollywood’s romance films) while the story is enough to really captivate the audience. Her characters are so believable that you can’t help falling for Heidi and Rose, and you really do want them to find happiness. Together with co-director, Kate Whitbread, Sciberras really has created a beautiful film, and that beauty is only further enhanced by some amazing shots of Warburton.

The other thing that makes Surviving Georgia so special is its amazing cast. Pia Miranda and Holly Valance are sensational in the lead roles, and this is the movie that really shows Valance’s true acting ability. She brushes aside the negativity of Big Mamma’s Boy with a performance that really does show the world that she is a brilliant actress. She makes Rose so natural and believable that at times you feel you are watching a docco. Equally as good is Shane Jacobson and Spencer McLaren. McLaren reminds Australia why he is one of our finest actors while Jacobson shows that he is capable of more than just comedy. And while I’ll admit that I was skeptical of having Jacobson and Valance as love interests before seeing the film, I can say now that their relationship is believable and is one of the highlights of the film. And I know that I said the same thing after I saw Lucky Country but Toby Wallace is a young actor that has a big, big future ahead of him.

Surviving Georgia is an amazing film that Australia should be proud of. With an excellent story, fine cinematography and terrific acting this is one film that shouldn’t be missed.