Thursday, 27 January 2011

The Hopes and Dreams of Gazza Snell: Movie Review

The Hopes and Dreams of Gazza Snell: Movie Review

The Hopes and Dreams of Gazza Snell
Rating: 8/10
Cast: William McInnes, Robyn Malcolm, Joel Tobeck
Director: Brendan Donovan
Set in East Auckland's Howick, The Hopes and Dreams of Gazza Snell is the story of William McInnes' manchild Gazza Snell, whose world is falling apart with a failing business.
All he's obsessed with is getting his eldest son to Milan for a karting championship in Milan.
However, when his youngest is seriously injured in a crash, Gazza loses all touch with the horrifying reality of what lies ahead - and instead becomes insistent on focussing solely on the karting.
That causes the family rift to widen.
The Hopes and Dreams of Gazza Snell is a feelgood Kiwi battler kind of treat- despite the initial beginnings there's plenty of warmth in this tale of a suburban dad; thanks to good solid performances from McInnes and Robyn Malcolm as his desperate housewife, it succeeds - even with its sentimental ending.
It's thanks to the everyman feel of the film that it becomes a winner - the universal tale of Gazza needing to grow up is clearly based on the reality - and Donovan himself has admitted that the father figure is based on several dreamers he knows.
There's also the racial element as Snell's eldest begins dating an Asian girl - and with a sly script, it exposes some of the stereotypes that Howick (and parts of New Zealand itself) are prone to.
Robyn Malcolm gives a quiet solid desperation to her first leading woman role on the big screen - and there's unexpected laughs throughout. There's also a lot of honesty on display in this film - in the performances, the writing and the direction - it's an unashamedly crowd pleasing film which is easily identifiable to many of us.

The Hopes and Dreams of Gazza Snell is packed full of heart, humour.. and Howick- and deserves to be a massive hit thanks to its essential Kiwi feel.

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