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      Night We Called It a Day

      2003 List
      Reviews 43% Audience Score Fewer than 50 Ratings Read More Read Less

      Critics Reviews

      View All (4) Critics Reviews
      Empire Magazine Rated: 2/5 Apr 1, 2006 Full Review Christopher Null Filmcritic.com Rated: 2.5/5 Apr 24, 2009 Full Review Matthew Turner ViewLondon This is a quirky Australian comedy-drama with likeable performances, a witty script and an impressive commitment to tacky 1970s set design. Rated: 4/5 Jan 12, 2006 Full Review Sunday Times (Australia) Rated: 3/4 Sep 6, 2003 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (2) audience reviews
      Audience Member The Night we called it a Day is the kind of movie that crops up every now and again to embarrass the Australian film industry. In between making superb movies like Animal Kingdom and Snowtown, crap like this comes along. Masquerading as a comedy (game is up pretty quickly, as it's not funny), this is really just a platform for celebrity bashing, especially American celebrity-bashing. The typical, shameful tall poppy nonsense that occurs in Australia, mainly thanks to its lower-than-gutter media. Add in a pro-union stance, and the movie is basically just propaganda. Incredibly one-dimensional: the Australians are all loveable larrikins, the Americans (incl Sinatra) are all heartless high-and-mighty boofheads. Wonder how this movie went down in the US, or among Frank Sinatra fans (and I'm not one, by the way)? Dialogue is shockingly bad - almost every line is cringeworthy. Acting is equally pathetic. Joel Edgerton is lucky his career survived this. Dennis Hopper and Melanie Griffith must have REALLY needed the money. The only positive thing about the movie is the performance of Rose Byrne. She rose above the woeful plot and direction and delivered the only convincing performance of the movie. Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars 01/20/23 Full Review Audience Member This 2003 sleeper is based on the true story of a disastrous 1974 Australian concert tour by Frank Sinatra, when he likened female journalists to whores, prompting a boycott by Australian unions that made it impossible for him to perform, to get food, electricity or water in his hotel room, or to do anything much except sit around smoking and drinking warm whiskey. It's one Australian movie that could not be mistaken for a tourist promotion. It isn't an Aussie exercise in Yank-bashing either (which I rather hoped it might be). It's more satisfying than that. Director Paul Goldman develops real substance in the contrast between Dennis Hopper as the powerful star able to get whatever he wants, and Joel Edgerton as the inexperienced young local promoter who can't get anything to go right. An endearing subplot is created by drawing a parallel between the two men's relationships with their respective long-suffering lady friends, played by Melanie Griffith and Rose Byrne. The casting is astute. Neither of the Australian lead actors are well-known even in their own country, and they give fine performances that genuinely convey a sense of nervousness at being out of their depth. This can't have been a major gig for Hopper or Griffith, but they take the work seriously and are a pleasure to watch. Hopper never captures the steely meace of ol' Blue Eyes and is actually more like a grumpy Donald Trump. He nevertheless creates a believable character, totally intransigent amidst the chaos he's generated. Griffiths is particularly good as his later-to-be-wife Barbara, whom she transforms from the ageing Hollywood bimbo of popular imagination into the most complex, interesting and admirable figure in the film. Goldman treats everyone in the story with respect, skilfully manipulating the audience's sympathies so that distaste for ugly American arrogance is balanced by a better understanding of people who are prepared to do what it takes. By the end of the movie even Sinatra's retinue of goons is made likeable. Strangely, the only real-life character not treated kindly is Bob Hawke, the trade union boss who later became prime minister and won a lot of support in Australia for standing up to the force of Frankie. In this movie Hawke, as played by David Field, is presented as a bit of a twit. In one memorable scene a Sinatra minder (played by 1960s English pin-up David Hemmings, now much meatier) demostrates real in-your-face tactics during a standover confrontation with Hawke by dropping his boxer shorts to take an insulin shot in the butt, right in front of our little Aussie hero. Goldman creates humour without relying entirely on the clash of stereotypes, and has done remarkably well to make this feel-good movie out of events that were in fact a horrible fiasco. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/10/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

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