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Perfect Strangers (2003)

Cast: Sam Neill, Sam Neill, Rachael Blake, more...
Director: Gaylene Preston, Gaylene Preston
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Studio: First Look Home Entertainment
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Australia & New Zealand
Running Time: 96 min.
Languages: English
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Written, directed, and co-produced by Gaylene Preston, Perfect Strangers centers around the romance between Melanie (Rachael Blake) and the handsome stranger (Sam Neill) who charmed her into joining him at his "castle." The so-called castle is little more than a beat-up shack on a deserted island, however, and it isn't long before her admirer's charm turns into all-out obsession. Clued into the fact that the romantic tryst has degenerated into kidnapping, Melanie makes plans to escape, but the stranger has other ideas. Perfect Strangers was filmed on the remote west coast of New Zealand's South Island and features music by Neil Finn. ~ Tracie Cooper, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Art masquerading as thriller by talltale June 21, 2004 - 3:21 PM PDT
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
On the dvd of PERFECT STRANGERS, actor Sam Neill refers to the film's writer/director Gaylene Preston as something like a national treasure. On the basis of this remarkable movie, she is indeed. The less said about the plot, the better, for this seeming thriller/lady in distress film turns out to be as close to a work of art as the genre might produce. If Ms. Preston were American instead of a New Zealander (not to mention a woman), I believe critics would be comparing her to filmmakers such as Robert Altman ("Three Women"). No matter how bizarre the twists and turns here, everything remains plausible on one level, while ascending into higher realms of metaphor and art on another. The themes that may cross one's mind while watching include--among others--landscape as destiny, men vs. women, the meaning of love, madness and reality. (This is a rich feast.) Sam Neill and Joel Tobeck are fine as the men, but it's Rachael Blake who delivers an unforgettable, multi-layered performance in the lead role. By film's end you may well feel as you do when looking at a great but strange painting: it moves you, engages you and speaks to you--but in a language you cannot quite comprehend. I'll be interested in reactions from other members to this surprising work.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.50)
2 Votes
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