Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
New SWITCHCast episode out now! Click to listen to interviews with 'Rockabul's' Travis Beard and 'Thunder Road's' Jim Cummings.x
review, Mental, Mental, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Liev Schreiber, Toni Collette, Caroline Goodall, Anthony Lapaglia, Kerry Fox, Rebecca Gibney, Lily Sullivan, Deborah Mailman, Natasha Bassett, Sam Clark, P.j. Hogan



By Jess Fenton
2nd October 2012

Every family is a little bit mental - ain’t that the truth - but none moreso than the Moochmore family. After five sisters are left to fend for themselves when their ‘Sound of Music’-loving mother (Rebecca Gibney) has a breakdown and “goes on holiday to Wollongong”, their overwhelmed, clueless and absentee father (Anthony LaPaglia) picks up a hitchhiker and throws her into the family home to take care of the girls. This unique spirit, Shaz (Toni Collette) and her dog Rippa, wreak havoc in the Moochmore home and throughout the whole neighbourhood in the best way possible. Shaz teaches the girls self-respect and shows them the power and attention they crave and deserve with a gut-wrenching twist you won’t see coming.


This highly autobiographical film comes from the mind of ‘Muriel’s Wedding’ writer/director P.J. Hogan. He too had a “Shaz” after his own mother’s breakdown, as well as being in the company of a schizophrenic sister and a bipolar brother. He’s also the father of two sons with autism. As a man who lives on the border of mental illness as a close witness yet not himself a sufferer, he seems lost in his place, and the film reflects that. The film suffers by not knowing where, when or even whether or not we’re allowed to laugh at the inflicted and their inflictions. Hogan has said it has taken him these 20 years to complete the right story for these cast of characters - but perhaps he needed a little more time as the films sharp, unexpected turn at its midpoint leaves the story fractured, erratic and lost; as a result, the film is not the powerhouse it could have been.

The film does boast the most spectacular performances, led by Toni Collette.

A few crass and unnecessary moments in the film including a mass “female emergency”, the overuse of “the C-word” and a gaseous bodily function serve no purpose and only weaken the film and again deter from its most serious subject matter.

Story problems aside, the film does boast the most spectacular performances, led by Toni Collette and supported by the five fantastic girls, Anthony LaPaglia, Rebecca Gibney and the ever-impressive Liev Schreiber, who accomplishes what many have tried and many have failed - a genuinely good Australian accent. It is also Schreiber who unexpectedly steals the show as traveling shark expert Trevor Blundell.

While this isn’t quite Hogan’s return to form, it's still the long-awaited reunion between the ‘Muriel’s Wedding’ director and its star. The perfect combination of Australian A-listers and newcomer cast members are worth their weight in gold and truly something to be seen.

RELEASE DATE: 04/10/2012
RUN TIME: 1h 56m
CAST: Liev Schreiber
Toni Collette
Caroline Goodall
Anthony Lapaglia
Kerry Fox
Rebecca Gibney
Lily Sullivan
Deborah Mailman
Natasha Bassett
Sam Clark
© 2011 - 2019 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us