In the lead-up to the 2013 Federal election, The Tunnel’s team of guest bloggers will be providing regular review and analysis of the campaign so far.
Today, hosts of ABC’s At The Movies, Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton, provide their review of the latest electoral offering.
David: Federal Election 2013: The Race for Hot Stephanie tells the story of two men and their quest to be elected Prime Minister of Australia. Kevin Rudd plays the prime minister and Tony Abbott his ambitious opponent. There’s a lot of talking, not a lot of action and, to be honest, the whole thing seems to go on and on forever. Eventually, though, we have a tense denouement where one of the men finally wins the prize. Or do they?
As you can probably guess, this is a political drama with an extremely formulaic plot. However, some of the supporting performances are excellent. I particularly enjoyed Bob Katter’s turn as a cowboy and I laughed a lot at Clive Palmer, who was the butt of some rather predictable – but very funny – fat jokes.
The two leads I found less satisfying. Kevin Rudd is a bombastic, domineering presence, like Tom Cruise at his most excessive. Tony Abbott is a more brooding, Clive Owen figure but very wooden at times. The scenes where Abbott takes off his shirt add nothing to the story but are probably some of the most enjoyable.
This is an Australian production so I hate to be critical. It is great to see so many people employed and hopefully everyone involved will learn from the experience and come up with something better next time out.
Federal Election 2013 is a long slog but there might be something in it for you if you persevere. I almost did.
So, Margaret, what did you think?
Margaret: Oh, David, I agree with you. It goes on forever, doesn’t it?
David: I don’t mind long films. Some of my favourites go for seven hours. But they have to be interesting.
Margaret: Which this one wasn’t. I found Tony Abbott particularly annoying.
David: I didn’t mind him in the role. I thought he was rather good with limited material.
Margaret: Oh David! You’ve got to be kidding! And that sex scene. Ugh!!! And, tell me, where are the women in this story? Why are we supposed to care about all these appalling men?
David: Apparently they tried a woman in Rudd’s role and the test audiences didn’t buy it.
Margaret: I think that’s sad.
David: I agree. I love women. What are you giving it?
Margaret: Two stars.
David: I think you’re being a trifle harsh. I’m giving it two and a half.