Separated from her husband, partially blinded in a car crash, Colo (Huppert) takes refuge in friendship with Robert (Menzies), himself completely blind since birth. Love blooms... Given the subject matter, Cox's bitter-sweet romance might have been pure soap; but thanks to superior performances and Cox's strangely detached tone, sentimentality is held at bay. This is due partly to his characteristically elevated concerns - occasionally stilted 'telling' dialogue suggests that he views blindness as a perversely privileged path towards self-awareness - and partly to his seeming determination to become the Australian auteur sans pareil: the flower symbolism, the use of classical music, and the flickery flashbacks are all familiar from his earlier Lonely Hearts, Man of Flowers and My First Wife. It's an often over-schematic movie that holds the attention through its extreme elegance, the camera slowly prowling to explore a luscious Eden-like landscape that Huppert is increasingly unable to see. Best, however, are the film's apparently most inconsequential moments - a tipsy birthday party peopled by elderly eccentrics, a stormy cactus-growers' committee meeting - which exude a vitality and humour to carefully counterpoint the solemnity of the story proper.
Cast and crew
Paul Cox, Bob Ellis, Norman Kaye