If Campion’s Palme d’Or–winning short An Exercise in Discipline: Peel announced a promising new voice in cinema, Sweetie found the filmmaker in full command of her descriptive, surrealist visual style and iconoclastic sense of humor. Co-written by Gerard Lee (Top of the Lake), this bleakly funny and profoundly unsettling film is centered around a pair of dysfunctional sisters in Sydney, Australia: Kay (Karen Colston), a repressed and superstitious twenty-something woman who still lives at home, and the unhinged, domineering Sweetie (Geneviève Lemon), who returns and disturbs the family dynamic. Gradually, the reasons for the sisters’ peculiar adult behavior come into focus. Vibrantly photographed by Sally Bongers, Sweetie depicts Australian suburbia and its residents as both simultaneously mundane and menacing, ludicrous and moving, comical and disturbing. An NYFF27 selection. Print courtesy of the Chicago Film Society.
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