Directed by: PJ Hogan
Starring: Toni Collette, Rebecca Gibney, Deborah Mailman, Liev Shreiber, Anthony La Paglia
Sassi’s Star Rating: 5/5
PJ Hogan, most well-known for Muriel’s Wedding, brings us another crazy family black comedy that is streaked with the typical Aussie outlook and unique cultural humour. Believe me, if you thought Muriel’s Wedding was a crack up, then you are going to lose your mind in Mental – just like everyone else in this family.
The Moochmore family headed by absent father (La Paglia) run into strife when Shirley Moochmore (Gibney) the mother of the tribe of five girls, has a psychotic break and her fantasy for the Sound of Music takes full control. Left alone to cope with five very individual girls with their own set of problems, Barry Moochmore has an epiphany and hires someone to look after the girls, which in essence, is a great idea. Of course, the natural choice is a dodgy looking hitch-hiker named Shaz (Collette) with an unruly dog named Ripper that pretty much keeps the girls in check with some well placed growls and baring of teeth.
Shaz is an unlikely caretaker that brings a whole lot of mischief to the unsuspecting family of misfits that gladly take on her wild ways and enjoy the freedom of saying what you really mean. Shaz is unforgiving in her nature, letting it all out, saying what she wants, when she wants to whomever she wants. That’s a kid’s dream come true. All are taken on an hilarious ride to discover that each of us is a little mental in some way, it just depends how far we go on the spectrum.
The five daughters are played by essentially new talent that really bust out amazing performances and make this film all the more worthwhile. Sandra (Mailman) is superb and just an absolute crack up as a lesbian aboriginal who doesn’t mind speaking her mind either which just makes it all so un-pc but incredibly funny! Then there’s Blundell (Shreiber)who blew my mind by playing one of the most Aussie Ocker characters ever! Yes, I’m going to say it, he did the best Aussie accent by any American and I agree with PJ Hogan on this one, better than the glorious Meryl Streep! Big call but you HAVE to see it and hear it to believe it!
Even more astounding is that this story is semi-autobiographical for Director/Writer PJ Hogan. If you want to know more about that – then check out our article on the Q&A with PJ Hogan and the stars of the film at the preview screening!
If you’ve ever thought your family might be mental, then you need to check our this mob, in cinemas today and check out Margaret Pomeranz’s chat with the cast here.
Category: Film & TV