From Down Under, A Movie Called “Winter of Our Dreams”

An Australian film, Winter of Our Dreams (1981), concentrates on a bookseller, Rob (Bryan Brown), who cheats on his wife, and now the two maintain what amounts to an open marriage.  Following the suicide of a former girlfriend, Rob wishes to talk about the woman to her friend Lou (Judy Davis), a prostitute and a junkie.  Lou becomes attracted to Rob and to a sexual relationship with him that promises nothing.  None of the characters finds the close consorting they effect very fulfilling.

During the “winter of our dreams,” people’s dreams are frozen; they go nowhere, they are unfulfilled.  This is particularly true for Lou, comforted at the end only by the melody of a song she hears at an anti-Bomb gathering.  John Duigan‘s film—written and directed by him—is astute and meaningful.  He stays away from longueurs, and his flick is not tedious.  Smooth Brown doesn’t have much to do, but Miss Davis does.  She is a fleshy wonder, convincing as a druggie who goes straight; fascinatingly fragile.  The film lives because of Duigan first, Davis second.

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