Monday, 12 January 2015

52 Tuesdays: DVD Review

52 Tuesdays: DVD Review

Rating: M
Released by Vendetta Films

A central conceit of shooting over every Tuesday for a year forms the spine of Aussie director Sophie Hyde's drama 52 Tuesdays.

Set in Adelaide it follows the life of teen Beth (Tilda Cobham-Hervey in an alarmingly assured performance) as she comes to terms with her mother's decision to transition genders. Dispatched to live with her father, Tuesdays becomes the only day which Billie spends with her mother - for better or for worse.

As her mother transitions from Jane to James (in a sensitively and nuanced turn by Del Herbert-Jane), Billie traverses her own sexual awakening as she begins to hang out with a pair of school friends, Josh and Jas. Filming their liaisons as the same time as her mother films her own journey, the two veer dangerously close to each other and simultaneously become distanced.

Hyde's framing device of shooting over a year and only for one day feels terrifically natural; some Tuesdays last seconds, a blur of mediocrity and mundanity that showcase the ups and downs of life; others, for dramatic purposes, last longer. Ultimately, the idea proves fertile ground for a drama that's thoughtful, skillfully and yet carefully handled and one which feels naturalistic and deftly coming of age than anything which has gone before.

While the final set of Tuesdays perhaps inevitably rise to form a dramatic crescendo that feels a little out of leftfield, the majority of 52 Tuesdays gives plenty of food for thought about identity and how grow closer yet further apart to our siblings as life goes on. With two terrific lead performances (I wouldn't be surprised if Cobham-Hervey's star is about to go into serious overdrive) 52 Tuesdays is a dramatic revelation wrapped within a genuinely natural premise.


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