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REVIEW: Bryan Brown leads stellar ensemble cast in Palm Beach

Frank (Bryan Brown), Leo (Sam Neill) and Billy (Richard E Grant) used to be in a band together. I think Frank may have been their manager. Not 100 per cent sure. Back in the late ’70s, they had one big hit and that was kinda it.

Anyway, since then, Leo has become a journo and Billy writes jingles for advertisers. Frank, however, has done very well for himself, as evidenced by the eye-wateringly stunning Palm Beach home showcased in this movie.

I mean, seriously. I would sell both kidneys and maybe even a lung for a home like this.

But back to the movie, the old bandmates remain great friends and have gathered at Frank’s home, with their wives and a few kids in tow, to celebrate Frank’s birthday.

It’s supposed to be a lovely weekend with old friends, good wine, great food and a lot of laughs. But an old secret and some deeply hidden jealousies come bubbling to the surface over the course of the weekend

Should I watch it?

The home and locations are just gorgeous. It’s the stuff dreams are made of. These people are all carefully and casually boho in the most elegant of ways. Every prayer flag that flutters in the breeze, every cool piece of art on the walls, every carefully considered oh-this-old-thing-but-I-just-threw-it-on piece of clothing is just perfect.

Throw in some of the finest characters actors in the country, plus a few international ring-ins, and you have a perfect storm of, well, perfection.

But should you watch it? Hmmmm

I thought it was perfectly lovely. The acting talent on show is world-class. Of course. But the script is a little bit meh. It’s all a little safe and just ….lovely.

Did I enjoy it? Absolutely.

Should you spend your money on this movie? Absolutely if you want to spend a lovely day at the movies with some friends, more than likely of a certain age who prefer just lovely movies.

If you want something deeper, richer, something with a little more grit, then maybe watch something else.

Having said all that, I continue to be super impressed by Matilda Brown, the daughter of Bryan and the film’s director, Rachel Ward. I first watched her in this little miniseries thing called Let’s Talk. It was on Foxtel and it was about a girl’s journey through an unplanned pregnancy. Catch it if you can.

But all in all, Palm Beach is a perfectly lovely movie if you’re looking for a perfectly lovely thing to do.

3 stars

Running Time :  100 minutes

Release Date: In cinemas now 

Who is in it? Frances Berry, Bryan Brown, Matilda Brown, Richard E Grant,  Aaron Jeffrey, Jacqueline McKenzie, Sam Neill, Greta Scacchi

Written by Sue Ellen

Copywriter. Writer. Reviewer. Coffee addict. Handbag tragic. Conspiracy tin hatter. Drama Queen.