Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
The Brisbane International Film Festival is underway - click here for our reviews from their great line-up!x
review, Palm Beach, Palm, Beach, 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, Bryan Brown, Sam Neill, Greta Scacchi, Jacqueline McKenzie, Richard E. Grant, Heather Mitchell, Claire Van Der Boom, Aaron Jeffery, Matilda Brown, Charlie Vickers, Rachel Ward, Comedy, Drama film rating

PALM BEACH

★★

AUSSIE DREAM CAST, UNWELCOMING DINNER PARTY

THEATRICAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Chris dos Santos
26th July 2019

Back in 2012, something unlikely happened - ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ became the third-highest grossing film in Australia, behind ‘The Avengers’ and ‘The Hunger Games’. Think about how crazy that is: this British/Indian drama was up there with ‘The Avengers’. So of course, due to the insane success, studios took note and now we have an influx of Senior based films, with British rehashes starring someone from ‘Marigold’ or American versions featuring Diane Keaton. It’s been seven years and these films aren’t going away, from ‘Book Club’ to ‘The Hundred Foot Journey’. Australia has tried a few films to reach this demographic, like last year’s ‘Ladies In Black’, but 2019’s ‘Palm Beach’ seems to be our closest comparison to the one that started it all.

It features a lot of actors that your Mum would ask you, “Oh who’s he? He looks familiar.” Frank (Bryan Brown, ‘Red Dog: True Blue’, ‘Cocktail’) is reuniting his friends (this isn’t clear at first, I went in blind and all the younger actors where calling him Uncle so I assumed this was some kind of family reunion movie) at his Palm Beach home for his birthday. He is married to Charlotte (Greta Scacchi, ‘The Player’, ‘Looking for Alibrandi’, here giving her best fake-crying face without ever crying) and they have two kids together. They are joined by Leo (Sam Neill, ‘Hunt For The Wilderpeople’, ‘Jurassic Park’) and his wife Bridget (Jacqueline McKenzie, ‘The Water Diviner’, ‘Romper Stomper’), jingle writer Billy (Richard E. Grant, ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’, ‘Logan’), and Eva (Heather Mitchell, ‘Muriel’s Wedding’, ‘The Great Gatsby’) an ageing actress who is only being asked to play grandparents.

SWITCH: 'PALM BEACH' TRAILER

While these are some fine actors, the acting is pretty mediocre - they are doing nothing here besides enjoying a free vacation. The actors playing the children were trying more than the leading stars, which really says something when you have a cast that big. No one is god-awful, although Scacchi was doing a bit more stage acting than the others and often overreacted to everything, but for the most part all are just fine. The only one who seems to actually care more about her character and not the vacation is Heather Mitchell; her character struggles not just with her job but her relationship, striving for attention and validation while still being the funny friend of the group. The movie tries to give the kids some drama between them and their relationships, but it’s pretty forgettable. It also takes a while to work out who is married to who and whose kids are whose - it’s weird that something so simple like character relationships takes so long to be established.

Even if you love these actors, they have all been in better films.

The story is pretty simple: a group of friends unite for a party and secrets of their friendship and past lives are revealed, yet for all the big reveals and twists this film has they’re all resolved with ease. Not a single complication changes anything for the characters; the biggest plot point is a who’s-the-father arch and is so uninteresting and changes nothing.

‘Palm Beach’ offers very little in its 98-minute run time. It thinks it’s getting deep about growing up and getting old, but it doesn’t - it’s a boring sit that seems to only appeal to the rich white baby boomers who like to complain that millennials are ruining everything. Even if you love these actors, they have all been in better films.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 08/08/2019
RUN TIME: 1h 38m
CAST: Bryan Brown
Sam Neill
Greta Scacchi
Jacqueline McKenzie
Richard E. Grant
Heather Mitchell
Claire Van Der Boom
Aaron Jeffery
Matilda Brown
Charlie Vickers
DIRECTOR: Rachel Ward
WRITERS: Joanna Murray-Smith
Rachel Ward
PRODUCERS: Deborah Balderstone
Bryan Brown
Deborah Balderstone
PalmBeachTheMovie
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Slam - A gripping urban mystery
TRENDINGSLAMA gripping urban mystery
Ride Like a Girl - Melbourne Cup biopic plagued by race's questionable history
TRENDINGRIDE LIKE A GIRLMelbourne Cup biopic plagued by race's questionable history
Zombieland: Double Tap - The gang's back for a brainless zombie comedy sequel
TRENDINGZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAPThe gang's back for a brainless zombie comedy sequel
Locusts - A low-key, low-down thriller
TRENDINGLOCUSTSA low-key, low-down thriller
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil - Disney still have some magic left in them
TRENDINGMALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVILDisney still have some magic left in them
NT Live: Fleabag - The birth of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's masterwork
TRENDINGNT LIVE: FLEABAGThe birth of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's masterwork
And Then We Danced - A passionate and remarkable classic in the making
TRENDINGAND THEN WE DANCEDA passionate and remarkable classic in the making
Children of the Sea - Sunk by a soggy script
TRENDINGCHILDREN OF THE SEASunk by a soggy script
Lion - A raw and powerful journey of identity
TRENDINGLIONA raw and powerful journey of identity
Strange but True - All-star cast saves thriller from being a total misfire
TRENDINGSTRANGE BUT TRUEAll-star cast saves thriller from being a total misfire
Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw - Very furious, not so fast
TRENDINGFAST & FURIOUS: HOBBS & SHAWVery furious, not so fast
Five Feet Apart - Breathing borrowed air and clichés
TRENDINGFIVE FEET APARTBreathing borrowed air and clichés
Happy Ending - An extra-wrinkly sex comedy
TRENDINGHAPPY ENDINGAn extra-wrinkly sex comedy
The Land Before Time - 30th anniversary of a breathtaking animated masterpiece
TRENDINGTHE LAND BEFORE TIME30th anniversary of a breathtaking animated masterpiece
Double Lover - Softcore pornography for cinephiles
TRENDINGDOUBLE LOVERSoftcore pornography for cinephiles
Ellipsis - Fails to come full circle
TRENDINGELLIPSISFails to come full circle
In My Blood It Runs - An eye-opening tale of struggling Indigenous youth
TRENDINGIN MY BLOOD IT RUNSAn eye-opening tale of struggling Indigenous youth
One Last Deal - A touching tale of final chances
TRENDINGONE LAST DEALA touching tale of final chances
2040 - A hopeful look into our environmental future
TRENDING2040A hopeful look into our environmental future
Midsommar - Ari Aster brings the gore but lacks the emotion
TRENDINGMIDSOMMARAri Aster brings the gore but lacks the emotion
© 2011 - 2019 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us