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Overall Rating
4.49

Awesome73.75%
Worth A Look: 11.25%
Average: 8.75%
Pretty Bad: 2.5%
Total Crap: 3.75%

2 reviews, 68 user ratings


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Picnic at Hanging Rock
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by Filmnet

"A beautifully crafted story about the supernatural."
5 stars

You know a film’s a classic when you can watch it some 20 years on and it’s just as wonderful as the first time around. Growing up wondering if I would be transported into another dimension whenever my parents gave into my nagging and took us for our own picnic to Hanging Rock, I have always been intrigued by Joan Lindsay’s chilling book and Peter Weir’s (The Truman Show, Witness) cinematic interpretation.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a horror film in the cliched Hollywood style. This is a beautifully crafted story about the supernatural, sexual repression and society’s response to an incomprehensible act, and set amongst the stiffness of a Victorian-era boarding school for refined young ladies in rural Australia.

Peter Weir’s Director's Cut is seven minutes shorter than the original version and is scripted by Cliff Green (Against the Wind, Power Without Glory) from Joan Lindsay’s novel. The story centres about the disappearance of three boarding school students and a school teacher during an excursion to Hanging Rock, in Victoria, on Valentine's Day, 1900. Incorrectly regarded as being based on a true story, the richly textured movie follows those that disappeared and those that stayed behind, and spends more time asking questions then answering them.

Cinematographer Russell Boyd (Gallipoli, Crocodile Dundee I & II) uses the most of Victoria’s Macedon Ranges country to combine both the beauty and the creepiness of the situation. South Australia’s Martindale Hall is the location for the school under the direction of Rachel Robert’s Mrs Arthur Appleyard. Boyd won a BAFTA for his work on this film, whilst Judith Dorsman (Costumes), and Greg Bell and Don Connolly (Sound) were also nominated.

The filming is languidly sensuous and haunting thanks to David Copping’s (Puberty Blues, Breaker Morant) art direction, Max Lemon’s editing, Gheorghe Zamfir’s stunning pan flute playing and Australian film legend’s Bruce Smeaton’s original score.

The performances are all wonderful, from the gothic complexity of Rachel Roberts to the ethereal qualities of Anne Lambert and Karen Robson as the two main girls, Miranda and Irma. Helen Morse (as Mademoiselle de Poitiers), Jacki Weaver (as the housemaid Minnie) and a much younger (and just as spunky) John Jarratt (as the coachman Albert) are also superb. But don’t expect any narrative satisfaction – the open-ended storyline is intentional. Eerie and surreal at times, “Picnic” is a must-see. (Natasha Wood--filmnet.org.au)

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=3437&reviewer=169
originally posted: 12/19/99 22:16:12
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For more in the Australian series, click here.

User Comments

2/06/17 Louise Haunting, unsettling & atmospheric - it draws you right in. 5 stars
3/29/15 stanley welles an evocative, impressionistic masterwork 5 stars
12/08/11 hurdygurdy man Beautifully crafted backdrop not sustained by punchless storyline. 3 stars
11/16/11 Dr.Lao A true horror movie, as opposed to a mere bloodfest 5 stars
4/08/11 art one verySPOOKY MOTION PITCURE! 3 stars
1/27/10 PAUL SHORTT ATMOSPHERIC, HAUNTING AND EFFECTIVELY MYSTERIOUS 5 stars
8/18/07 chienne U should go 2 Hanging Rock, I did. Feel it b4 u pass judgement. 5 stars
10/16/06 Indrid Cold Not sure exactly what it's about, but the rock is indeed a strange, unsettling metaphor. 4 stars
5/18/06 chienne I am very proud of this Oz offering 2 cinema history..it's gorgeous 5 stars
5/04/06 Supriti Bose Awesome Movie...like to see it once again. 5 stars
4/06/06 MP Bartley Beautiful, compelling, eerie, terrifying. Stunningly directed. 5 stars
4/08/05 Jerry Scheschy it's an outstanding, spellbinding film. 5 stars
11/18/04 Jade i had to whatch it for a school assignment, and i was hooked it made me think , Great! 5 stars
3/27/04 Amy C hypnotic, haunting, errie but all the while beautiful 5 stars
3/25/04 Sally Its Beauitful 5 stars
3/24/04 Carla Errie, compelling and enthralling 4 stars
11/21/03 Nut Great atmosphere. You are emotionally pulled into the film 5 stars
9/24/03 Lesley-anne Maher If it really is based on actual events, i would give my teeth to know what happened to them 5 stars
9/23/03 natasha352003 Excellent movie 5 stars
9/09/03 Pia It was excellent yet a little frustrating 5 stars
9/01/03 Anna Bloody excellent 5 stars
8/31/03 jackie it was alright i found it intresting 3 stars
8/31/03 Heather Stuart This is a really well acted movie 4 stars
8/27/03 Em it was ok, bit boring 3 stars
8/20/03 race good 3 stars
8/19/03 melanie it was wierd 1 stars
6/10/03 Geoff A haunting film, the sexual tension and repression are captured superbly 5 stars
4/12/03 alex martin it was good cause all the girls were cute 5 stars
4/12/03 lauren martin crap as 1 stars
4/12/03 lauren hoystead it was stupid they should have found the girls 1 stars
4/12/03 Rosie Higgins just are question no one knows that i have asked... are miranda and marion sisters 5 stars
4/12/03 Rosie Higgins I think if they had got more searchers out and looked for longer for the 2 girls. 5 stars
3/27/03 Brenda Cooper hauntingly memorable, one of my ten best 5 stars
2/19/03 Emily interesting 3 stars
2/08/03 Fred Levy One of the great films 5 stars
12/23/02 Martin Hankin Brilliant, intriguing and haunting film. The musical score is superb. Must see! 5 stars
12/14/02 sandy howard spectacular 5 stars
12/09/02 jen hollingbery brilliant and timeless 5 stars
10/09/02 George Sweeney New age jumble. Expected to see John Tesch in the rocks. 2 stars
7/13/02 bdgvhjxhudhu Id vjhvvvcshunbsdgsbggsfvfK hcvydsd dscdsf fgyvv dffwf ea g ad gegaegaegea egeageag rhtr r 5 stars
3/24/02 Bryony Pearson i thought it was gonna be boring, but wow was it really enthralling!!! worth a see!! 5 stars
2/05/02 Gordon Beautiful, haunting film with subtle eroticism and a really spooky first half. 5 stars
2/03/02 Erikoll The ending is so so, but the first two thirds is brilliant. 4 stars
12/07/01 Julian Byatt My favorite film of all time! 5 stars
10/19/01 Patricia Tunstall An excellent movie 5 stars
9/21/01 Mike McDonald Hauntingly beautiful; thought provoking 5 stars
8/12/01 jade excellent 5 stars
8/12/01 dani sutherland it was great but left me in to much suspence so i was wondering if anyone new the realstory 4 stars
7/25/01 kerry voigt brilliant film 5 stars
4/25/01 viking The film which put Australian cinema on the map. 5 stars
4/22/01 Prue Good resourse for our history assingment 4 stars
4/03/01 sarah a beautiful and haunting soundtrack that compliments an equally haunting film. 5 stars
2/15/01 R.W. Welch A strikingly beautiful picture, but it does leave you hanging. 4 stars
2/14/01 stephanie field beautiful 5 stars
2/06/01 renee crawford iT WAS THE BEST MOVIE 5 stars
12/07/00 Hatice its great 5 stars
11/05/00 sam evans of its time 4 stars
9/24/00 Jeremy Hurtz Sumptuous and haunting. Sublime. 5 stars
7/13/00 Tom One of my all-time favorite films 5 stars
7/08/00 Chris Drake What, pray tell, was in those 7 cut minutes? A murder mystery, veiled in smoke/mirrors 4 stars
6/28/00 Jeffrye Tveraas Etherial, subconcious and thoroughly enthralling. Also slightly upsetting. 5 stars
5/30/00 Michael Grimm aussies suck!!! 2 stars
5/23/00 Jane Rawoof Haunting and atmospheric!! 5 stars
5/19/00 tank One of those overrated, boring Australian films that few Aussies are willing to denigrate. 3 stars
1/17/00 k.tomkowski Superb, especially direction. A classic 5 stars
12/19/99 Mooyok Masterpiece. Just eery. 5 stars
12/11/99 dimitri limios its a video film not big screen 5 stars
12/08/99 Booyah! A regular fucking masterpiece. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  26-Jun-1988 (PG)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  08-Aug-1975




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