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Alexandra’s Project

Year: 2003
Production Co: Vertigo Productions Pty Ltd
Director: Rolf de Heer
Producer: Rolf de Heer
Writer: Rolf de Heer
Cast: Gary Sweet, Helen Buday
A stark and brilliant portrayal of the minor warfare going on behind the closed door of almost every suburban house, done with such simplicity and clarity it's one of Australia's best films of the year.

Steve (Sweet) is a normal husband and Dad with a nice house and an office job in the city. We see snippets of his life with wife Alexandra and their kids - filled with the sort of minor annoyances that comprise every marriage.

Steve goes to work and enjoys a so-so day at the office, then comes home to find the house empty except for a TV, VCR and video tape with a message to play it. At that point, the film plunges into a surreal netherworld that becomes Steve's (and most husbands') nightmare. Alexandra begins by giving him a special message from herself and the kids, then she sends them off to school.

Then, to Steve's delight, she starts to strip. Then, to his horror, she unleashes a barrage of quiet, long-thought-about rebuttals to every wrong he's committed in the name of marriage.

Revelations about her feelings and activities while he's at work come so thick and fast they hit you like physical blows, and the whole time Steve visibly deteriorates, turning the video off more than once before resigning himself to the fact that he has nothing left to do in the world but watch Alexandra and listen to what she has to say.

Full of powerful moments, brilliantly acted, and the antithesis of a happy ending. Stark, bleak, sparse, but with the impact of a sledgehammer. A writing and directing triumph.

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