Three Blind Mice

Year: 2008
Production Co: Dirty Rat Films
Director: Matthew Newton
Writer: Matthew Newton
Cast: Matthew Newton, Ewen Leslie, Toby Schmitz, Gracie Otto, Pia Miranda, Bob Franklin, Barry Otto, Brendan Cowell, Alex Dimitriades, Marcus Graham

Matt Newton has been in some of the best Australian creative projects in movies and TV lately. He seems to shy away from the stalwarts of Australian cinema (coming of age in the country, suburban suffering and kooky road trips) and perform in projects that are much more recognisable to most of us, such as the accomplished The Bet.

He has the same aesthetic and sentiment here in his debut feature. It's about three naval officers who have a night of shore leave and want nothing more than to get drunk and laid but who end up facing their respective personal demons.

Straight laced Sam (Leslie) isn't the party boy his shipmate Harry (Newton) wants him to be, and he spends the night softly connecting with waitress Emma (Otto). But Harry and superior Dean (Schmitz) spend the night alternately looking for Sam and getting into trouble.

They bust up a poker game at Emma's work, enter the emotional quagmire of dinner with Dean's fiancé (Miranda) and her family, and face up to the abusive behaviour they've both perpetrated and seen on board.

I wasn't that clear on what the title meant, or even whether the plot was about anything so important as to warrant a movie. But along with the old kick I still get from seeing actors in movies in places I know so well the performances, directing and editing combined to make a very naturalistic film, a quality sadly lacking in most movies.

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