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The Press (Canterbury, NZ)
11 September 2004



Reviewed by JAMES CROOT

Dysfunctional barely covers the problems inherent in the Peet and Rosser families.

Businessman Howard Peet (John Noble) no longer lives with his wife, Gwen (Liddy Holloway).

Trying to get resource consent for a new water-front tower block, he also has to deal with son Gordon's (Alistair Browning) impending trial for fraud and other son Athol's (Michael Hurst) imminent separation from Swedish wife Ulla (Jennifer Ward-Lealand).

Things aren't much better at the Peets. Solo mother Leeanne (Kate Elliott) has been frozen out by her religious fundamentalist mother ever since she decided to keep her baby, while brother Brent (Jared Turner) can't stay out of trouble.

Then, when an attempted burglary by Brent goes horribly wrong, Ulla is left paralysed and the two families' woes become even greater.

Most famous as the film that almost wasn't finished thanks to the financial collapse of writer-director Parr's (A Soldier's Tale) Kahukura Production Company in 2002, Fracture belies its off-set troubles.

Based on Maurice Gee's 1994 novel Crime Story, the film is a competent, confident, and complex drama worthy of a place in New Zealand's cache of Cinema of Unease.

Touching on themes of religion, fate, domestic violence, politics and sex, the movie makes full use of Wellington to portray shattered lives. The acting is uniformly good with standout performances from Elliott and an almost unrecognisable Ward-Lealand.

Not a fully formed New Zealand classic, but Fracture boasts slivers and sections of impressive work.



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