Monkey Grip

Gloom settles quickly as Nora (Hazlehurst) launches into a portentous account of her emotional ups-and-downs. Thirtyish, separated from the father of her child, she is suffering almost stoically as a single parent in Sydney but still hoping to get fulfilled. Prospects look slim when, after discarding junkie number one, she falls for Javo (Friels), the sort of guy who needs a day's notice to tie his shoelaces. After much airing of thick-eared romantic problems in swimming-pools, squats and studies, Nora emerges, so she informs us, an older but infinitely wiser woman. What seems extraordinary is that this should have been held up (and apparently applauded) as the story of a woman fighting to control her life, when she's clearly making a dreadful mess of it. It's also unrelieved by the faintest glimmer of humour, except for one (unintentionally?) quite hilarious scene in which Javo's acting ambitions take a tumble when he heaves all over the footlights on his debut. Noni Hazlehurst is excellent, but it's an unrewarding plod.

Release details

Duration: 102 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Ken Cameron
Screenwriter: Ken Cameron
Cast: Alice Garner
Candy Raymond
Colin Friels
Michael Caton
Harold Hopkins
Tim Burns
Noni Hazlehurst
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