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Ten Empty

Year: 2008
Production Co: Dragonfly Pictures
Director: Anthony Hayes
Writer: Anthony Hayes/Brendan Cowell
Cast: Daniel Fredriksen, Geoff Morrell, Lucy Bell, Tom Budge, Brendan Cowell, Jack Thompson
Some movies make you wonder whether you're just watching them at the wrong time, and whether if things were better in your own life you wouldn't have wished so hard you didn't see them. Filmmakers evidently never have a hard time with money to the extent they're threatened with eviction or starvation, or feel like everyone is having a really cool life and they aren't, etc.

But some films - particularly in Australia - like Clubland and The Black Balloon are technically adept but the stories do little but make you feel guilty for worrying about your own problems.

Ten Empty is the new entry into the Miserable Australia Suburban Family Hardship drama genre that's (as the title suggests) ten times worse than the others. The performances and script are top notch, but would you want to watch a homecoming like this, much less live in it? A well to do young man returns home to Melbourne where his working class father resents him bitterly for his success, particularly for running away after the suicide of the bipolar mother of the family.

The crusty old Dad's got himself a younger wife the son resents, and to cap it all off there's a bipolar younger brother whom they all consider a time bomb waiting to go off in the same way their wife and mother did.

Throw in an old flame he has the wherewithal to fuck but not love and a collection of realistic Australian characters and you have a greatly done but thoroughly miserable movie. Watch it after you've won the lottery, anything less will just make you hate yourself.

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