By Keeva Stratton
Frank Mollard (Anthony LaPaglia) is facing a life crisis of sorts. Having recently lost his mother, he’s in the process of a divorce, and is struggling to find meaning from his job in real estate. He is, as his friends suggest, ‘in a bit of a mood’.
When Frank receives a phone call from an elderly woman, Sarah (Julia Blake), who he initially mistakenly believes to be his late mother, he strikes up an unlikely friendship with her. It’s a friendship that is met with suspicion from her adult son, but it’s one that helps Frank to navigate his grief and reconnect with both his wife and his teenage son.
Through Sarah’s questions, Frank begins to question his own reasoning behind his divorce with a wife he still seems very close to and whom he remains affectionate towards. He is also able to open himself up emotionally to his teenage son, who has followed his mother into acting, a path which his overtly masculine father finds challenging at first to accept.
Sarah is a profound woman, and her ability to connect with others soon helps Frank’s closest friends, too. When she is faced with her own health crisis, Frank must now face losing his new mother figure so soon after losing his own Mum.
A Month of Sundays is a film about human relationships. It takes one man’s personal crisis and uses it to highlight the significance of human connection. Through Sarah, Frank is given a new perspective on the relationship he has with those around him, but also becomes acutely aware of the level of his personal grief.
The performances are solid, and this Aussie film certainly has a lot of heart. It’s a slow-moving piece that relies heavily on our unique cultural sense of humour, and it’s a little hit and miss in this regard.
I really enjoy Anthony LaPaglia as an actor, but the writing didn’t make the most of his talents here. John Clarke (who plays Frank’s caustic boss), on the other hand, is given some excellent lines, and he delivers them with such cutting wit we can only wonder why he doesn’t grace the silver screen more often.
All in all, the film has some touching moments, and offers a gentle exploration of a male perspective on grief, self-worth and human connection. It could have been tighter in its delivery, but will find a connection with Australian audiences looking for a film with a warmth and reflection many films lack.
Director: Matthew Saville
Stars: Anthony La Paglia, Julia Blake, John Clarke, Justine Clarke
Runtime: 110 mins
Release Date: April 28
Reviewer Rating: 3/5