Judy Davis (left), Charlotte Rampling and Geoffrey Rush weather the Storm.
THE EYE OF THE STORM directed by Fred Schepisi, written by Judy Morris from the novel by Patrick White, with Charlotte Rampling, Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davis. An eOne Films release. 114 minutes. Opens Friday (December 9). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NNN
Charlotte Rampling has been remarkably good at playing craggy old women lately (see Melancholia) and she outdoes herself as Elizabeth, a bourgeois woman on her deathbed anticipating the return of her two estranged and needy adult children (Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davis). Elizabeth seems acutely aware of their selfish motives but still welcomes the chance to spit a bit more venom their way.
Director Fred Schepisi's chamber piece is a perceptive and comic look at fraught relationships, class barriers and sexual tensions within and around this damaged family, which includes the doting servants who can't help but get mixed up in all the drama.
Unfortunately, the film's pace is as meandering as the forgetful character at its centre, and Schepisi often gets carried away with stagey visuals.