The Eye of the Storm

2011

Drama

5
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 59%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 45%
IMDb Rating 6.3 10 1402

Synopsis


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720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
996.89 MB
1280*534
English
NR
24 fps
1hr 54 min
P/S 1 / 33
1.89 GB
1920*800
English
NR
24 fps
1hr 54 min
P/S 10 / 21

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by gradyharp 8 / 10

A Powerful Story, Difficult to Capture on Film

THE EYE OF THE STORM has so much going for it that it seems a shame that it likely will not draw audiences in the theaters now that it has been released in this country. Thanks to Amazon's Video on Demand it can be watched in the home without the usual distractions of the theater audience more interested in texting and eating than in being willing to follow a strong story for two hours. It is another jewel of a film from Australia and perhaps in art houses it will be appreciated.

The story is adapted by Judy Morris from the Nobel Prize winning novel by Patrick White (1912 -1990), an Australian author who is widely regarded as one of the most important English-language novelists of the 20th century. White's fiction employs humor, florid prose, shifting narrative vantage points and a stream of consciousness technique. In 1973, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, the only Australian to have been awarded the prize. 'The Eye of the Storm' is the ninth published novel by Patrick White and it is regarded as one of his best novels.

The elderly Elizabeth Hunter (Charlotte Rampling), widow of a wealthy grazier, is nearing the end of her days in some splendor in her mansion in Sydney, Australia, and her two children have been summoned to her bedside. Her son Basil (Geoffrey Rush), once a leading actor on the London stage whose career is now in decline and her daughter Dorothy (Judy Davis), the ex-wife of a minor French aristocrat whose fractured marriage has ended with her only asset being the retention of her title of Princess, are motivated more by their possible inheritance than affection for the old lady. In fact Elizabeth inspires more affection in her nurses (Alexandra Schepisi, Maria Theodorakis), her solicitor (John Gaden) and her tragic cabaret- entertaining housekeeper (Helen Morse) than she does in her children. Dorothy in particular has cause to hate her mother for secrets not immediately revealed ('Dorothy was breathless with resentment for what she herself could no more than half-remember, had perhaps only half discovered - on the banks of the ocean'), yet it is she who gets closer to her mother as the film progresses. Elizabeth is a shrewishly controlling woman and her descent into dementia only reminds everyone involved with her of the damaged childhood, marriage and life she has led. The manner in which the story come sot an end is somewhat surprising and in many ways rewards the viewer for the attention it takes.

The film is laid out in flashback scenes to manage the histories of all involved and the interior monologues that slowly build the full images of each f the characters and their inherent flaws. The acting is excellent, the cinematography is gorgeous, and the story is fascinating. If it doesn't exactly match the density of the novel by White then the ones who seem to be responsible of that are the director Fred Schepisi and the screenwriter Judy Morris. It is a tough story and if the viewer can maintain the level of concentration the film demands, then this is a most satisfying experience.

Grady Harp

Reviewed by selffamily 9 / 10

Fascinating

I bought this DVD on a whim and last night sat down to watch it. I've long been a fan of the three main actors, so knew it would be worthwhile, and could be stunning. I was not disappointed. Charlotte Rampling has always excelled in playing the really nasty person you can't imagine ever meeting, and in this she does not disappoint. It's unfortunate that she is not in her eighties or even seventies, because as one reviewer has noted, she's only a few years older than her 'children' in this. Geoffrey Rush is like chocolate, smooth and irresistible, and he uses this charm, but also reveals himself as a loser (we're talking character here)and with vulnerabilities. Judy Davis tries to be a hard-bitten bitch but until the end wants her mother to love her. True, the carers of the old woman love her more than her children - as is so often the case - and the lawyer and his wife straddle the divide between the two attitudes. It's a fascinating human story, with the flashbacks being non-intrusive and essential to the story. I loved it, but I've not read the book or know any of the background aspects. I don't enjoy the cinema so much nowadays, so to watch a good quality drama on the appliance in the corner is a joy.

Reviewed by drednm 9 / 10

Lush and Beautiful Film

THE EYE OF THE STORM is the story of a dying matriarch and her estranged adult children, both of whom have been big disappointments to her. The "kiddies," as she calls them, come home to Sydney on word that their mother is dying. But the bittersweet reunion only stirs up old resentments and disappointments on all sides. Flashbacks fill in the story of the mother as she sinks into dementia.

Superb acting by Charlotte Rampling as the unchanging mother who lavishes her attention (and gifts) on her nurses and housekeeper while dismissing her own children as greedy moochers. Judy Davis plays the uptight Dorothy, a divorced woman who married a prince but retained only the title after her marriage crumbled. Geoffrey Rush plays Basil, the unsuccessful actor whose time for stardom has passed. They both wrangle with the unflinching mother and her lawyer and battle the house staff who treat them as enemies.

It's a battle of wills (pun intended) as the children fight the mother, who at the last moment tries to change her will to disinherit her own children after she learns of their plan to put her in a home.

The three stars of nothing short of superb. Helen Morse plays Lotte the housekeeper, who entertains the old woman with bits from her old German cabaret act. Alexandra Schepisi play the nurse with designs on Basil. John Gaden plays the lawyer. Colin Friels plays the sleazy politician.

The location cinematography is gorgeous. Directed by Fred Schepisi, based on a novel by Patrick White.

A long and engrossing film, well worth finding and savoring.

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