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The rage in Placid Lake - Ben Lee, Rose Byrne, Miranda Richardson, Tony McNamara

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Be normal, fit in. Even if it kills you!

His name is Lake. Placid Lake. Yeah, you guessed it, hippy parents. Children of the 60s.

Placid Lake's (Jordan Brooking) life has never been normal, from his early years when his mother sent him to school in a dress to challenge the other 5-year-old children's "preconceived notions of sexuality" he should have guessed that fitting in was not going to be easy.

Fortunately for Placid, Gemma (Eleeza Hooker), the crayon-gobbling scientific genius in awe of no-one but her father is also having a few "blending in" issues. They develop a firm friendship through the years during which their own peculiar parents attempt to drag them up and hurl them into adulthood and they both discover the binding passion between them is a desperate bid for the elusive "normal life", especially now that high school is over and the real world beckons.

A twisted teen comedy for big people.

Theatrical propaganda posters

The rage in Placid Lake image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Australia film teen high school love hippy socialisation love

Persons of interest

  • Ben Lee .... Placid Lake
  • Rose Byrne .... Gemma Taylor
  • Miranda Richardson .... Sylvia Lake
  • Garry McDonald .... Doug Lake
  • Christopher Stollery .... Joel
  • Nicholas Hammond .... Bill Taylor
  • Francis McMahon .... Anton
  • Saskia Smit .... Jane
  • Toby Schmitz .... Bull
  • Nathaniel Dean .... Lachie
  • Stephen James King .... Angus
  • Socratis Otto .... Bozo
  • Jordan Brooking .... young Placid
  • Eleeza Hooker .... young Gemma
  • Tony McNamara .... Screenwriter
  • Tony McNamara .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Having lived with a former hippy parent with children who rebelled against their liberal upbringing by becoming conservatives (shades of Family ties) I can testify that Placid Lake's rage is accurate. Doug and Sylvia Lake are a different story. It's as if Tony McNamara has distilled the worst of all the Hippy New Age Shit™ he could find and squeezed it into these two characters. Don't get me wrong, I know people who are like the Lakes (even down to the name: I was at university with a girl named Seagull) but even the most obsessive hippy goes on holiday.

Ben Lee has a difficult time with his performance: it's naïve (in the artistic sense: untutored, artless) even though he does make a good geek (in the abusive sense: nerd, loser). More experience will fix this. Rose Byrne also has some difficulty with her character, not from any incompetence but because the character is badly written: Gemma's personality alters at the direction of Placid's literary needs. When he needs a friend, she is a friend; when he needs a sounding board, she's a sounding board; when he needs a partner in crime, she's a partner in crime: it's not good to treat your characters like a TV, changing channels any time you want something new. Miranda Richardson and Gary McDonald are well cast as the ageing hippies.

The rage in Placid Lake is a good concept but the execution lets it down somewhat; not that it's a bad film but it does get that damning phrase, "Could do better".

Security censorship classification

M (Sexual references, medium level coarse language, medium level sex scenes, low level violence)

Surveillance time

90 minutes (1:30 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 28 August 2003

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