Review: Closed for Winter


I’ve been meaning to watch this film for quite some time, for the sole reason that it stars Natalie Imbruglia as the main character. I have this big love for Natalie Imbruglia as an artist, she’s made two of my all time favourite albums so I was curious as to how she would do as an actress. Yes I’ve seen Johnny English, but that doesn’t really count does it.

Being that Imbruglia is Australian, Closed for Winter only saw a limited Australian release back in 2009. It is based on the novel of the same name by Georgia Blain. Closed for Winter revolves around two sisters, Frances (Danielle Catanzariti) and Elise (Natalie Imbruglia), Frances goes missing when they are children, and so the film follows Elise and her mother (Deborah Kennedy) 20 years on as they are dealing with it. It plays out in a series of flashbacks, each moment revealing more to what happened that day.

Elise’s relationship with her mother, who she lives with, is put to the test when she brings back her boyfriend Martin (Daniel Frederiksen). It is clear that the mother is still keen to continue searching for her long-lost daughter, almost tunnel visioned, barely taking notice of Martin, piles and piles of old newspapers sat around her. Dark secrets are revealed over the course of the film which eventually help Elise to overcome her sorrow and finally live her life.

While the film covers a very sad situation, the film itself is very dull. Understandably it would be wrong to make a film about a missing child lively or happy, but it drags the mood and depressing feeling throughout the entire running time, well, up until the very last 10 minutes. Performances from the cast were genuinely good, notably Frederiksen, Imbruglia and I thought her friend whose name I can’t remember, but played by Sophie Ross, was good too. What I found held back the performances from being great was the dialogue. I haven’t read the book so I can’t comment, but I did feel like there was a serious lack of communication and human reaction, which ultimately breaks down any chemistry.

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Overall this wasn’t actually a bad film, it was depressing more than anything. Good performances, surprisingly good camera angles and cinematography hold this film together. This is a weird one, but it was really nice to see Imbruglia cuss! Biased or not, I hope to see Imbruglia take more acting roles, varied acting roles because she’s definitely got potential.

6.5/10

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