It was a fantastic year for Australian Cinema, with each film I saw knocking it out of the park. There were intimate documentaries, films that held up a mirror to society, and those that brought the action to a new level. This list will look more at the locally-made Australian productions/co-productions and not just films filmed in Australia.
So without further ado, these are the best Australian Cinema in 2022. Be warned that there will be significant spoilers for the films in question.
TL;DR – A heart-wrenching look at life in Australia on the cusp of the 1900s and at issues that are just as relevant today.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Warning – This film depicts scenes of abuse
Disclosure – I paid to see this film
The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson Review –
There are many touchstones in Australian literature that you must look at in school, and one of the big ones from the 1800s is Henry Lawson. One of their more famous works is that of The Drover’s Wife, a story of life on the ‘frontier’ in 1983. It is an interesting tale of survival against the elements, but it also glosses over many realities of the time. Today we are looking at a film that takes that central premise and then reinterprets the story from a different perspective.
So to set the scene, it is 1893, and high up in the Snowy Mountains, a lone mother, Molly Johnson (Leah Purcell), is watching over her home and four children while her husband is away droving sheep on the high plains. Her husband is away for months at a time, so she has to be resourceful, like when she takes out a wandering bullock that was about to attack her kids. But as she is cooking the meat, the new town Sergeant Klintoff (Sam Reid) and his wife Louisa (Jessica De Gouw) arrive destitute after losing it all in the river. Molly helps them and sends them on their way because they can take her kids to town, so she can give birth uninterrupted.