Sweet Sue: Film Review - Cunard British Film Festival 2023

Sweet Sue: Film Review - Cunard British Film Festival 2023


Posted 2023-10-22 by Jenfollow

Wed 01 Nov 2023 - Wed 29 Nov 2023

Images - British Film Fest 2023

Sweet Sue is directed by Leo Leigh and stars Maggie O'Neill as Sue, Tony Pitts as Ron and Harry Trevaldwyn as Ron's son Anthony. A directorial debut and an Australian premiere, it's screening at the British Film Festival . Be sure to check out the rest of what the film fest has to offer from 1-29 Nov 2023, as tickets are already on sale. See here to download the program.

Sue is a middle-aged woman back on the dating scene. You find Sue waiting for her date at a restaurant, but she gets stood up. Her life is quite mundane - living on her own, running 'Sue's Party Palace' which looks a little tired, and provides event planning services for parties and weddings. Her mother is in an aged care facility with the onsets of dementia and her brother Pete (Paul Hilton) is on his deathbed bed. An obvious member of a biking community, in his final moment Pete's coffin is escorted to the cemetery by bikers. This is where Sue meets Ron, a biker at her brother's funeral. Obviously, it's the strong, silent type that attracts Sue, and she approaches him to take her for a ride. In each other's lives a few months in, Sue meets Ron's son, Anthony, who she never knew he had, over the phone. He is highly active on social media and leads a dance troupe managed by his mother. They both believe 'Electric Destiny' is tipped for stardom. Ron and his son don't seem to have the greatest of a father-son relationship. At first, Anthony is enamoured by Sue, but he's a sensitive soul who doesn't take kindly to anything out of sync with the way he sees the world. The question is, will Sue be able to navigate these new relationships and make it work for a new chance at happiness?

A simple everyday story about a middle-aged woman looking for love. In its naturalistic style, you're a fly on the wall, observing someone's day to day life. Sweet Sue has a happy spirit, and a smile on her lips and gets on with life and all it throws her way, including Anthony, Ron's son. At first, it's all hunky dory, but increasingly becomes an antagonistic battle of wills. It's not much better with her mother, whose favourite was Pete her brother, his wife and her sister-in-law (Hannah Walters) taking second place. Ron's leathers hides a conflicted soul and at times an inability to perform. His relationship with his son is almost non-existent. They are like chalk and cheese, with nothing in common.

Of the comedy genre, I didn't really find it comedic at all. Though the character studies are interesting to a point, there are times when you wish the film would get on with it. Two things that drive the film are the incredible talent of Maggie O'Neill as Sue and the scenes where she interacts with Harry Trevaldwyn as Anthony. Their scenes together bring a bit of energy to the film, just as it was languishing. Anthony is probably the most fully developed character who looks a whole lot older than the 'teen' he is meant to be. His performance does have a way of getting under your skin, his character - a gay, aspiring wanna-be social-media influencer and dancer that'll give you more than a few OMG moments. Though the focus of the film is on its characters and situations played out, it somewhat lacks depth and emotional weight. Be sure to check out the program for many other films on offer at the festival.

266866 - 2023-10-21 14:52:15


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