'Jindabyne': Interesting Acting, Limited Material

Maui Time | June 11, 2007
Overwrought thriller-as-social-drama, loosely based on Raymond Carver’s short story, "So Much Water So Close to Home," slides around a morally slippery narrative area of four fishermen discovering a corpse. Set in Australia, writer/director Ray Lawrence casts Gabriel Byrne as Stewart, the gas station owner whose family is torn apart by their Jindabyne community after news of Stewart's long dalliance in reporting the body of a aboriginal murder victim to the police. Stewart's wife Claire (Laura Linney) co-opts the story's would-be serial killer mystery plot to pit the primary conflict inside her attempts to reconcile with her community and the aboriginal community to whom the dead girl belonged. Byrne and Linney do interesting work in spite of the material's obvious limitations.

Rated R, 123 mins. (C)

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