Miranda Otto, as 20-year-old misfit Dimity in Love Serenade (1996), gets it right: Dimity’s loneliness, shyness, quirkiness, and naive impulsiveness. And, like her fellow players Rebecca Firth and George Shevtsov, she succeeds as a comic actor, indispensable for shaping Shirley Barrett‘s Australian film into a funny curio. But a curio, according to dictionary.com, is “valued as a curiosity.” Love Serenade ought to be valued as that and more—as a startling look at isolation, at the abovementioned loneliness. This isn’t done, however, without the film getting (amusingly) weirder as it goes along.
Barrett—director and sole writer here—is good at seeing scenes and makes competent use of space. The dialogue she has written for her characters is wildly clever. She is patently talented, and LS should be seen several times.