A Month of Sundays

A Month of Sundays

(2015)

Everyone deserves a second chance... even a real estate agent.

Anthony LaPlagia (Balibo) and Julia Blake (Innocence) star in this comedy-drama and character study about an unlikely friendship between a middle-aged real estate agent and an elderly woman. Co-stars the great John Clarke.... More

"As a realtor, Frank Mollard (LaPaglia) is oddly passive. As a recent divorcé, he is curiously companionable with his ex-wife, Wendy (Justine Clarke). Not exactly impenetrable, but certainly not demonstrative either, Frank seems chronically distracted by life's little details. But things begin to change for him when he receives a phone call from his dead mother.

"Actually, it turns out to have been just a wrong number, and Frank winds up befriending the caller, Sarah (Blake). But to Sarah's son, Damien (Donal Forde), something about this realtor does not compute. Is Frank a shark scoping out a potential property? Is he a lonely man looking to replace his dearly departed mother? It's possible that not even Frank himself knows for sure." (Toronto International Film Festival)Hide

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Flicks Review

Frank (Anthony LaPaglia) is an Adelaide real estate agent whose get-up-and-go has got up and gone. His mum’s died, he’s divorced, and he’s bemused by his teen Emo son, who’s so good at acting, Frank wonders if he should attend “a ‘special’ school… you know for kids who can’t play football”.... More

Frank has an amusing habit of describing every place he visits in tired real estate clichés, and his boss (played by Fred Dagg himself, John Clarke) matches Frank’s dark and self-deprecating humour. Frank may be an Aussie bloke - bored, detached, living alone, down on his luck, and stuck in a job he’s not proud of - but he’s no self-pitying sad sack. LaPaglia plays him with a disheveled charm and sardonic wit.

Things take a turn for the odd when pensioner Sarah (Julia Blake), misdials a call to her son, and gets Frank instead. The pair strike up a friendship, and before Frank’s actress ex-wife, and TV soap-opera doctor, Judy (Justine Clarke), can say “stat”, Frank learns a house can be a home, with sentimental as well as dollar value.

More akin to writer/director Matthew Saville’s TV dramas than his excellent movie Noise, it’s unshowy to the point of drab. Scenes often feel like theatre, but it’s the acting that makes this drama with a lightly comic touch a warm and enjoyable tale of ordinary people, with ordinary concerns of family, grief, work, relationships and, well, the mundanity of being ordinary. A tough sell, but it’s real Aussie charmer, well worth seeking out.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 3 ratings, 2 reviews
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BY cinemusefilm superstar

Some films attract critical consensus while others trigger polar opposite opinions like A Month of Sundays (2016). Australian colloquial drama is not for everyone and it takes patience to engage with slow-paced laconic narratives that rely on insider humour for meaning. Aussie horrors and dystopian thrillers are well known but there are few films that stand tall for sensitively exploring the inner world of male emotion. In fact, we have culturally fortified ourselves with a style of Ocker farce... More to shield us from knowing too much about what lurks within the Australian male.

Lacklustre real estate agent Frank (Anthony LaPaglia) is the quintessential Aussie bloke. He is a poor salesman and has neither the verbal wit or emotional maturity to deal with the double-barrel grief of his recent divorce and mother’s death. By extraordinary coincidence he takes a misdirected call from Sarah (Julia Blake) who sounds just like his mother and the few minutes on the phone fills an emotional void. One thing leads to another, they become friends, and Frank learns to open up on the various emotional fronts of his life. The sub-plots include redeeming the relationship with his son, resolving feelings about his wife and mother, dealing with Sarah’s health issues, and experiencing the ordinary pleasure of being nice to people. It’s a simple narrative arc, but dense with emotional side-tracks and blockages that Frank cannot resolve alone. Themes of emotional estrangement, aging, death and grief are lightened by the deadpan humour exchanged between Frank and his boss (John Clarke) and the constant running commentary in real estate language, a clever device that mocks the Aussie obsession with property ownership.

The filming has many long fixed frames and scenes where nothing happens except what we can infer is going on inside Frank’s head. When he appears to be struggling emotionally, the recurring real estate babble kicks in to punctuate the silence while he retreats into his private world of make-believe sales talk with imaginary buyers. Some critics have panned the film’s central premise and slow-burn plot, but it stands out as a thoughtful and well-acted portrait of an emotionally convoluted archetypal Australian male who survives just this side of clinical depression. Frank is ordinariness personified and not likeable at all, but he is very recognisable in this country. This is an original funny-sad look at a type of Aussie male who should watch this film for their own good.Hide


You can find good in here but you have to analyse it. There are many more that are worth your time.


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The Press Reviews

59% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Situations, subplots and even barely seen characters are unified with an almost cosmic sense of fate. Full Review

  • This modest, warmhearted character study is carried by a solid lead performance from Anthony LaPaglia, who plays a man unable to express his feelings through anything but underhanded snark. Full Review

  • A Month of Sundays" is so tidily plotted, so committed to its improve-thyself epiphanies, that it never transcends its own artifice. Full Review

  • The good things don't quite make up for the weaknesses, and the film's rather dour tone makes it a tough sell on word of mouth. Full Review

  • Strongly written parts -- and good performances, particularly by lead actor and executive producer Anthony LaPaglia -- enliven the film's brush with the familiar. Full Review

  • A quiet, tender-hearted and gently eccentric affair, the Australian-made A Month Of Sundays takes its own sweet time finding a way into your good graces. Full Review

  • [Director Saville has] given LaPaglia a role so good that it conjures up comparisons with his terrific work in Ray Lawrence's Lantana 15 years ago. Full Review

  • Contrived, occasionally credulity-snapping, even – here and there – a bit saccharine... But it is also, in its own quite unique way, a little ripper. Full Review

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