Children of the Revolution

Children of the Revolution

Director: Peter Duncan

Cast: Judy Davis, Sam Neill, Richard Roxburgh

     
 

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Children of the Revolution is an Australian film whose cinematic roots go back to the sardonic comedies of Billy Wilder. It is set in two time periods, the 1950s and 1990s, and goes back and forth between them. In the 1990s, Australian politician Joe Welch (Richard Roxburgh) is having some serious difficulties. We learn just how serious they are through a

Overview

Children of the Revolution is an Australian film whose cinematic roots go back to the sardonic comedies of Billy Wilder. It is set in two time periods, the 1950s and 1990s, and goes back and forth between them. In the 1990s, Australian politician Joe Welch (Richard Roxburgh) is having some serious difficulties. We learn just how serious they are through a series of interviews with important political commentators. Joe blames his mother, Joan Fraser (Judy Davis), for his problems. This claim seems ridiculous until we flash back to the 1950s and discover that Joan, an ardent communist, had a very brief fling with Joseph Stalin (F. Murray Abraham) and that Joe Welch could be Stalin's love-child. Welch was brought up accompanying his mother on her political rounds, and acquired a fondness for jack-booted women -- something which haunts him in his adult life. Double agent David Hoyle (Sam Neill) also had an affair with Joan during her one brief trip to Moscow, and his shadowy influence also follows Welch into the time of the film.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Tom Wiener
Actor Peter Duncan's first film as a writer/director is a quirky satire that proceeds from a hilarious premise (Joseph Stalin died in the act of impregnating a young Australian communist) and carries off the consequences of that one-night stand with panache. Much credit should go to Judy Davis, whose ability to play intelligent but emotionally flawed women is unmatched among contemporary actresses. Her Joan Fraser is fanatically devoted both to the cause of communism (even as it is clearly fading from the world stage in her middle age) and the product of that liaison, Joe Welch. The tension between Joe and his mother, who realizes too late that she should have told him of his patrimony, is nicely played for both laughs and pathos. Sam Neill, as an agent shadowing Joan and Joe for 40 years, and Geoffrey Rush, as Joe's patient stepfather, are solid in support, but the film's real discovery is Rachel Griffiths. As a policewoman whose clashes with the youthful Joe at political demonstrations lead to a sexual relationship involving handcuffs, Griffiths comes on as a younger version of Davis, a promise that has been fulfilled in subsequent roles, especially that of Brenda in the HBO series Six Feet Under.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/06/1999
UPC:
0786936059359
Original Release:
1996
Rating:
R
Source:
Walt Disney Video

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Judy Davis Joan Fraser
Sam Neill David Hoyle (nine)
Richard Roxburgh Joe Welch
Geoffrey Rush Zachary Welch
Rachel Griffiths Anna
F. Murray Abraham Joseph Stalin
Russell Kiefel Barry
John Gaden Wilke

Technical Credits
Peter Duncan Director,Screenwriter
Laurie Faen Art Director
Roger Ford Production Designer
Simon Martin Editor
Martin McGrath Cinematographer
Tristram Miall Producer
Liz Mullinar Casting
Greg Ricketson Associate Producer
Terry Ryan Costumes/Costume Designer
Guntis Sics Sound/Sound Designer
P.J. Voeten Asst. Director
Nigel Westlake Songwriter

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