There are two films in British and Irish cinemas right now that may be tonally poles apart, but which both place Australian talent at the forefront of international film-making.
A gripping tale of the aftermath of abuse, Una stars Rooney Mara as a former teen victim who confronts her attacker, played by Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn. And although the film is officially a US-UK-Canada co-production, it is also the directorial debut of Australian theatre-maker Benedict Andrew.
A sensation on its debut at Sundance back in January, Patti Cake$ is currently storming UK cinemas. On the surface, there is very little about this 8 Mile-style, rags-to-riches rap story that might suggest an Australian connection, but that only serves to underline the strength of the film’s central performance from Australian actress Danielle Macdonald.
An eighteen year old Macdonald skipped the usual route of Aussie soaps or sketch comedy by moving direct to Hollywood in 2010. There, she battled her way up through bit parts and supporting roles in a slew of American indies, and ducked in and out of television’s revolving door. The role of the eponymous Long Islander and aspiring rapper Patti Cake$ is her debut lead, in which she demonstrates all the chops of a seasoned pro.
Patti Cake$ is currently on wide release across the UK and Ireland via Fox Searchlight, with full details available on the film’s official UK website.