Peaches
I know it’s supposed to be a peach but it looks like ass.

Theatrical Release Date: 06/09/2005 (Australia), no official USA release
Director: Craig Monahan
Cast: Emma Lung, Jacqueline McKenzie, Hugo Weaving, Matthew Le Nevez

The ability to form relationships and discover your own identity can often be tied to the role and level of involvement a child has with their parents.

It never seems to fail that a person feels lost and confused whenever they are missing one or both of their parents.

Feeling a hole in your history creates an almost manic drive to fill that void with something else … to replace one feeling with another.

Such is the case in the Australian drama, “Peaches”.

Set in a small town, whose main form of employment comes from a peach factory, the film is about a girl whose parents died in a car accident. She is raised by her mother’s best friend and as she enters adulthood, she navigates her own journey to find out who her parents were and who she herself is as well.

The story is told by dueling narratives, one being current day and the other the past, as the daughter (and the audience) discover who her parents were.

This plot device had been used before and there’s nothing new here on that end. In fact, the film as a whole really doesn’t tackle any new territory.

The acting is excellent, most notably Emma Lung as the main character and Hugo Weaving as the object of her need for both a father and a lover. The two of them feed off each other with such a wonderful energy that it feels genuine.

They don’t often put all of their cards on the table, keeping their rationales to themselves – and yet, understanding one another so perfectly that it is a joy to watch them onscreen.

Director Craig Monahan also has his cinematographer Ernie Clark and composer David Hirschfelder to thank for making certain moments in the film really work well.

There’s a scene early in the film, shot on a cliff near a river, that is one of the most beautiful scenes put to film that I’ve ever seen. If I had the money, I’d be calling up a travel agent and trying to find this exact spot so I could watch the sunset there through my own eyes … and I still think that might not recreate the feeling of wonder I had watching this at home.

Also, Hirschfelder created a central theme for the film that is wonderfully haunting and beautiful. I’m going to be scouring the Internet to see if I can find that piece of music so I can loop it and sit in a dark room, listening to its melody gather and swirl my thoughts.

Wow, that’s trippy … and I’m not even on cough syrup or anything!

The rest of the film is done ably enough, I thought the pacing was a bit slow and it was a little frustrating that it was so predictable, but the sum of the parts does equal a satisfactory result.

Sure, there is some bias because of my love for just about anything Australian but if you are looking for an ensemble drama involving close-knit friendships torn apart by time and regret, you’ll find what you’re looking for here.

I’m giving “Peaches” a 3 out of 5. You’ll find a much more thorough look at this character archetype in another Aussie film, Somersault, but there’s an broader spectrum at work here that gives this film its own place on my shelf.