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      Picnic at Hanging Rock

      PG 1975 1h 50m Mystery & Thriller Drama List
      92% Tomatometer 48 Reviews 83% Audience Score 10,000+ Ratings In the early 1900s, Miranda (Anne Lambert) attends a girls boarding school in Australia. One Valentine's Day, the school's typically strict headmistress (Rachel Roberts) treats the girls to a picnic field trip to an unusual but scenic volcanic formation called Hanging Rock. Despite rules against it, Miranda and several other girls venture off. It's not until the end of the day that the faculty realizes the girls and one of the teachers (Vivean Gray) have disappeared mysteriously. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      Picnic at Hanging Rock

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      Picnic at Hanging Rock

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      Critics Consensus

      Visually mesmerizing, Picnic at Hanging Rock is moody, unsettling, and enigmatic -- a masterpiece of Australian cinema and a major early triumph for director Peter Weir.

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      Critics Reviews

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      Kevin Maher Times (UK) The “readings” are endless, the mood impossibly eerie and the legacy untouchable. Rated: 5/5 Apr 27, 2023 Full Review Joe Clay Times (UK) Extraordinary, haunting classic... Oct 26, 2022 Full Review Alyx Vesey Bitch Media [Picnic at Hanging Rock's] use of music is especially effective. Jan 7, 2021 Full Review Tim Brayton Alternate Ending A brilliantly ambiguous film about ambiguity. Rated: 10/10 Dec 24, 2023 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy A heavily atmospheric drama steeped in sexual imagery and ideas. Rated: 3.5/4 Apr 8, 2023 Full Review Pat M. Kuras Gay Community News (Boston) It is an unexplained mystery thriller that is exotic, erotic and exquisite. Sep 22, 2022 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Connor S 🇦🇺 cinema through and through; creative, well-directed, and enchanting cinematography. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 04/10/24 Full Review Peter G This opinion here is based on Peter Weir‘s original film. I am curious about the subsequent mini series which I understand is also worth seeing although it would be hard to beat the 1975 film which remains one of the most haunting & absorbing screen mysteries that I have yet to see. Many remain frustrated that there remains no explanation for the disappearance of the missing students & teacher but for me that is what makes this puzzle even more fascinating. Since the first version came out Lindsay‘s book which initially claimed to be based on fact has generally been discredited. Whether or not this is the case does not really concern me but arguments have been made that if the story has proved fictitious why not resolve the mystery. I can see the point but, for me, as I mentioned the tale‘s inconclusiveness is what makes the story a treat for the imagination. The casting is also a factor in the film‘s success & the angelic looking Anne Lambert as one of those lost & her own eerie precognition before vanishing increased my involvement in the proceedings. Rachel Robert‘s portrayal as the headmistress is equally stunning & her own character's strange & basically unexplored back story hints at some dark secrets that, I anyway have given some thought to. Robert‘s own troubled off screen personality also adds a further element of disquiet to her performance here but knowing about this beforehand perhaps encourages me to draw this conclusion. The photography, atmosphere, & use of the slow movement from Beethoven‘s 5th piano concerto also adds to the film‘s mood & impact. With this film & THE LAST WAVE (another tale to ponder) Weir has made 2 of his 4 best films followed much later by FEARLESS & the amazing THE TRUMAN SHOW. Now I have seen the mini series which has the benefits, by its nature, of more complex characterizations but the trade off is that, IMO, although useful at times, the back stories often get in the way of Weir‘s intriguing masterpiece that has an appropriate, IMO, 102 minute running time. What I did find interesting though were the different interpretations of Miranda‘s character. In Weir‘s film she has a more ethereal quality to her mystery compared with an ever so slightly aggressive & more intriguing & complex character which a 300 minute series allows. I find that both approaches have validity & how one feels regarding this is a personal opinion. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 03/09/24 Full Review Jeffrey P Purely speculative with no suspense and little development... set in 1900 Austria. It just feels like a cruel joke when you see the reviews from both critics and audiences so high, and then you watch it and are left wondering "did I watch a different movie than everyone else?" Unless you enjoy funerals, I see little reason to watch this. Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 11/28/23 Full Review Roger D Some ideas from just having watched a masterpiece. It's thirty years since I'd seen Picnic At Hanging Rock and I'd forgotten what a mesmerising experience it is. Peter Weirs' films were always mystical but no film I have ever seen can show so little and suggest so much. The film starts in 1900 but the new century will bring no vitality, optimism and happiness. This is a film about one woman's kismet. Sara bookends the film. It is about her and the Picnic is no more to the film than a mocking reflection. When we first meet her the viewer is drawn to the idea that she is mute. We don't yet know that even when she does speak no-one will ever listen. Everything is just out of reach; from her poetry that nobody will ever hear (Mrs Appleby cuts her short after she attempts to read it aloud to her) to her unseen benefactors that never pay. Sara has a brother nearby that she never finds. The slight curl of her lip in a smile when she decides to commit suicide is again subtle. Unseen of course like the rest of her life. Not for nothing does the film start with a quote from Lewis Carroll, the epitome of a man reaching out for something he could never find. The rock is the only solid, eternal character of the film. Timelessly mocking human frailty and malevolent destiny. Everything else is mist. I suspect Weir was a Thomas Hardy fan. Just as Hardy's Tess leaves the earth by a distant flag hanging silently, so does Sara in her own suicide. And symbolically she was never allowed to attend the picnic which lends the film its title. Yet at the very end the last frame is of Miranda, lost to all but really vicariously doomed through Sara's love for her. Everything that Sara touches must perish. Her love for Miranda, Mrs Appleby's guilt-ridden suicide on the Rock, the other "masculine minded" character Miss McCraw - Mrs Appleby's quote. The torn fragment of dress is of course never matched to any girl. Miranda's? We can guess but of course that will always be out of reach. We hear torn fragments of Beethoven. We see a swan several times for a few seconds, the symbol of white chastity. Sara will die a white clad virgin. The swan / Sara analogy runs throughout the film, from her initial mute (swan) appearance; her tied imprisonment to stop her stooping (the swan neck analogy); and even her name Sara Waybourn (s-w-a-n); interlocked by name and by tragedy. Sara is metaphorically killed by the Rock and all who physically perish there do so through association with her. The last frame shows Miranda but we are seeing Sara's death as well. Absolutely magnificent. R. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 09/25/23 Full Review Josh G A smartly paced and written film that gives you the sense of a storu but nothing really happens. It's about what your mind can fill in the blanks with great character actors and a villain we can sympathize with on many levels. The amount of tender humanity is incredible what a film. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 08/04/23 Full Review Leaburn O Yeah I enjoyed how this period piece was shot but the plot is a bit incomplete. Just an inexplicable disappearance doesn't quite cut it. This was like a more entertaining precursor to the Zodiac film. The not particularly subtle sexual undertones add a saucy dimension but that aside it's pretty forgettable but an easy enough watch. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 07/26/23 Full Review Read all reviews
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      Movie Info

      Synopsis In the early 1900s, Miranda (Anne Lambert) attends a girls boarding school in Australia. One Valentine's Day, the school's typically strict headmistress (Rachel Roberts) treats the girls to a picnic field trip to an unusual but scenic volcanic formation called Hanging Rock. Despite rules against it, Miranda and several other girls venture off. It's not until the end of the day that the faculty realizes the girls and one of the teachers (Vivean Gray) have disappeared mysteriously.
      Director
      Peter Weir
      Producer
      Jim McElroy
      Production Co
      Australian Film Commission
      Rating
      PG
      Genre
      Mystery & Thriller, Drama
      Original Language
      English (Australia)
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Jul 21, 2009
      Box Office (Gross USA)
      $224.1K
      Runtime
      1h 50m
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