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Parents' Guide to


By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Intense relationship drama for adults only.

Movie R 2007 123 minutes
Jindabyne Poster Image

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Linney masters the intoxicating mix of shock, rage, and isolation that engulfs Claire; her performance is equaled only by Byrne's slow burn. Their relationship is true to Raymond Carver's trademark broken twosomes. The damage they inflict on each other -- and on their child -- is nearly as murderous as the dead woman's killer's gruesome handiwork. Had Lawrence gone so far as to show Stewart and Claire break each other down to their bitter and oh-so-human essence, Jindabyne would have been more courageous for it.

The movie is based on Raymond Carver's lean, Spartan story "So Much Water So Close to Home." Cinematographer David Williamson hews close to Carver's voice -- spare, taut, forceful. Through Williamson's lens, the forces of nature, human and otherwise, threaten to disturb the peace. But director Ray Lawrence moves far beyond Carver's restrained look at choice and consequence, embracing displaced grief, animism, and racism. All of which makes for a fascinating and deeply distressing -- but unfortunately less potent -- adaptation.

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